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This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2010) Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.   Author(s) Judy Blume Country United States Language English Genre(s) Young adult Publisher Yearling Publication date 1970 Media type Print Pages 149 pp ISBN ISBN 0-440-40419-3 OCLC Number 19882286 LC Classification MLCS 2006/13809 (P) Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a 1970 book by Judy Blume, typically categorized as a young adult novel, about a girl in sixth grade who grew up with no religion. Margaret's mother is Christian and her father is Jewish, and the novel explores her quest for a single religion. Margaret also confronts many other pre-teen female issues, such as buying her first bra, having her first period, coping with belted sanitary napkins (changed to adhesive sanitary pads for recent editions of the book), jealousy towards another girl who has developed a womanly figure earlier than other girls, liking boys, and whether to voice her opinion if it differs from those of her friends. Contents 1 Plot summary 2 Major Characters 3 Controversy 4 Subsequent book 5 External links Plot summary The main conflict in the novel comes from Margaret's need to settle her mixed religious heritage. She deals with her issues of belief in God, as the story is frequently interlaced with her praying by beginning with the title's words "Are You there, God? it's me, Margaret." In school, she is assigned a year-long independent study project; she chooses a study on people's beliefs, which proves to be more than she can handle as she is finding out a lot about herself as well. She also is dealing with conflict between her grandparents on both sides of her family, as her maternal grandparents are trying to guarantee that she is indeed Christian as she was born with a Christian mother. Margaret enjoys spending time with her paternal grandmother, who seems to accept her for who she is and is more accepting of her son's interfaith marriage, although she has referred to Margaret as "my Jewish girl" and introduced her to synagogue services, but more for the purpose of showing her granddaughter what the Jewish faith entails. The ambiguities of her interfaith identity are particularly highlighted in a scene — following a heated argument with another girl — in which Margaret visits a church, finding her way to the confessional booth; there the unseen priest inquires as to her problems, but — believing at first that the priest is God himself speaking to her and not comprehending the concept of Christian confession or its confidential nature — she simply responds "I am sorry," before running out of the church in tears. Margaret eventually stops "talking to God" after being in the middle of a confrontation between her parents and maternal grandparents. She is angry at Him for putting her in such a conflict. In the end of the book, she goes to the bathroom and finds spots of blood in her underwear. She calls her mom, who was prepared for this and has bought Teenage Softies. She puts the pad on, and makes one final prayer to God before the book ends: “ Are you still there God? It's me, Margaret. I know you're there God. I know you wouldn't have missed this for anything! Thank you God. Thanks an awful lot... ” Major Characters Margaret Simon - Protagonist of book. She's 11 years old, an only child, and is starting the 6th grade. She's just starting puberty and noticing boys, plus she's uncertain of which religion she prefers to follow. Barbara Simon (nee Hutchins) - Margaret's stay-at-home mother, who is Christian. Herbert Simon - Margaret's father, who is Jewish and is in insurance. Sylvia Simon - Margaret's Grandmother and Herbert's mother. She refers to Margaret as "my Margaret" or her "Jewish girl". Nancy Wheeler - Margaret's neighbor and her first new friend in Farbrook, NJ. Gretchen Potter - A friend of Nancy whose father is a doctor, and is a member of the Four PTS's. Janie Loomis - Another girl in the Four PTS's with Nancy, Gretchen, and Margaret. Evan Wheeler - Nancy's older brother. Moose Freed - Evan's friend and a boy Margaret takes an interest in. Miles J. Benedict Jr. - Margaret's sixth grade teacher who is in his first year as a teacher. Laura Danker - A classmate of Margaret's who is tall and very developed for her age. Phillip Leroy - A classmate of Margaret's whom she initially likes. Mary and Paul Hutchins - Barbara's estranged parents who all but disowned her for marrying outside her religion, and after Barbara sent them a Christmas card, made plans to visit the week Margaret was supposed to go to Florida. Controversy Are You There God? It's Me Margaret has been criticized by certain groups for being controversial in dealing with puberty and religious indecision. According to Blume, a female called her in the early 1980s, and after confirming she was the writer of the book, called her a Communist, and hung up the phone. To this day, no connection between communism and the book has ever been made, but it was the start of her unfortunate battle with censors. Subsequent book Blume's success with Are You There God? It's Me Margaret inspired her to write another book, Then Again, Maybe I Won't, which this time deals with Tony Miglione, a boy of the same age as Margaret who is dealing with puberty as well, although his transition from childhood to adulthood is obviously quite different from Margaret's. External links Judy Blume's website Works by or about Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. in libraries (WorldCat catalog) v · d · eWorks by Judy Blume Fudge series Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing • Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great • Superfudge • Fudge-a-Mania • Double Fudge • characters Novels The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo • Iggie's House • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. • Then Again, Maybe I Won't • Freckle Juice • It's Not the End of the World • Deenie • Blubber • Forever... • Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself • Wifey • Tiger Eyes • Smart Women • Just as Long as We're Together • Here's to You, Rachel Robinson • Summer Sisters Non-fiction and others The Judy Blume Diary • Letters to Judy: What Kids Wish They Could Tell You • The Pain and the Great One • Places I Never Meant to Be