Thursday, September 10, 2009

Classic Novel: Are You There God? Its Me Margaret.

Margaret Simon is our narrator in this classic coming of age story. She is a 12 year old girl who is making a transition from big city New York to small town Farbrook. She is not to happy about the move especially considering she will be a new school and away from one of her favorite people in the world, her Grandmother. Margaret is, all in all, an average 12 year old kid going through the motions of school, best friends and most importantly trying her hardest to fit in and be "normal" just like her friends. The thing about Margaret that stands out is she is what we would call "stuck in between religions". Her Christian mother and her Jewish father have decided that Margaret will choose her own religion when she is old enough and ready to make her own decision. Unfortunately for Margaret her grandparents are not to happy with this decision and she does feel the pressure from them to choose a religion, preferably the one they want her to be. She also feels out casted from her friends because they all have a religion and either go to the YMCA with the Christians or the Jewish Community Center. Because of this she develops a special relationship with God and even talks to him every night and every time she feels she needs him in her life. Her relationship with God seems as though it is stronger through her search for a religion than it would be if she were simply born into a religion.

This story is a fascinating one. Margaret is a normal 12 year old girl who is in a secret club with her best friends and simply trying to fit in. She is worried she will be the last of her friends to get her period, worried about kissing a boy for the first time, and worried about school. The thing about Margaret that makes her special is she is forming a relationship with God without even knowing it. She speaks to him everyday, "Are you there God? Its me Margaret." She always address him this way. Its as if she knows he is there but she wants to know if she is listening. I would definitely recommend this book to any preteen girls because I think she is a good role model for girls her age. It tackles issues that most girls are worried about and feel like they are the ONLY ONES thinking about it. Almost every girl can relate to feeling like they would be the last of their friends to get their period. Excited about becoming a woman, but being nervous about what it would feel like. Her thought process as she is going through these situations is very genuine. I wish I had a book like this to read when I was younger to let me know that all girls are nervous about these issues like buying your first bra. (Also, its okay to get a bra even if you only wear a 32 AA.) I think this is a perfect book for young adult readers because there are so many issues they can relate too. Also, it might get you thinking about your own religion. Are you Christian or Jewish because your parents told you that's what you are, or do you genuinely feel a relationship with your God like Margaret?

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