Friday, June 21, 2013

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Written by: Judy Blume

First line: Are you there God?

Why you should read this book: Despite the fact that it's over 40 years old and discusses defunct technology (menstrual belts) and outdated medical advice (that only adult women should use tampons) this book remains the best beloved novel addressing the preadolescent girl's thoughts and anxieties surrounding getting her first period (as of this writing, its Amazon Sales Rank is 1647). Margaret, new to town, joins a club of other girls who are fixated on their own physical development, led by the dominant personality of her neighbor, Nancy, a girl who acts like she knows everything and isn't afraid to talk about it. Although it's the arc about menarche that most people take away from the story, in rereading this book, I was most captivated with the subplot about Laura Denker, the girl who is ostracized because her pubescence is much further along than that of her classmates, and the way the Margaret becomes more empathetic toward others, more critical of her own shortcomings, and more skeptical of her friends after interacting with Laura.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You can't even read the word "menstruation" without wincing.

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