100 Chapter Books Project: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

AreYouThereGod1

 

1970’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume came in at number 74 on the Top 100 Chapter Books list. It’s kind of right on that border of middle grade and YA due to lots of time spent talking about puberty and budding relationships.

What it’s about: Margaret Simon is starting sixth grade at a new school after moving from New York City to New Jersey. Her mother is Christian and her father is Jewish and she spends a lot of time thinking about religion — when she isn’t thinking about boys or puberty issues.

Age level: Grade 5-6

Best part: Margaret learns some great lessons about not believing rumors about people and about standing up for herself, even against bullying family members.

Worst part: Margaret’s eventual conclusions about religion are ridiculous. They actually managed to ruin the entire book for me.

Verdict: Borrow/Skip

I really didn’t feel like writing much about this book because it made me so angry. I was actually thinking “hey, this book isn’t too bad — it’s a little weird that these girls are talking so much about their periods since I never once talked about it with any friend because EMBARRASSING but maybe some girls were different than I was” and then BAM! the most ridiculous “moral of the story” showed up in one or two sentences near the end. Margaret spends the entire book researching religion, attending different services and talking to a God that she isn’t even entirely sure she believes in about how she wants him to make her boobs grow. So what conclusion does she come to? That her parents were wrong to leave the choice of her personal religion up to her because it’s just too damn hard to think for herself and that she will just force a religion on her own children from birth and spare them the agony of thought. Yeah. That’s a great message to send to kids. Don’t bother thinking about religion. Pray that you were lucky enough to just have your parents tell you what you are and what you believe. Blech.

Moving on … I’m definitely looking forward to The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate! It’s been on my TBR since it came out but I’ve just never gotten to it.

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Schedule – August through November

note: dates are not necessarily set in stone – posts may go up a day or two before or after

August 30 – #66 The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (2009)

September 15 – #14 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1938)

September 30 – Project Update – Two Years In!

October 15 – #79 The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (1967)

October 31 – #48 The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (1999)

November 15 – #21 The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961)

East of Eden, Discussion #3!

EastofEdenReadalong

 

We’re almost there, kids! We’re nearing the East of Eden finish line! Personally, I didn’t realize how short the chapters would be in this section or we might’ve apportioned things a bit differently. Nonetheless, a lot developed!

Feel free to answer our questions, pose your own, comment here or link up your own blog post. We’re flexible!

1. What do you think of the twins since they’ve grown up quite a bit? They seem to take after both Adam and Charles. How do you explain that? My book club had fun with some theories recently.

2. Any surprises in this section? Lee, Dessie and Tom, Adam’s business dealings? Just some ideas. :)

3. Ugh, Kathy/Cate. Is there anything redeemable about this woman?