Study Guide

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

By Judy Blume

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Moose Freed

Philip Leroy may make it to the top of the list in Margaret's Boy Book, but Moose Freed really has her heart. The only problem is, though, that Nancy totally doesn't approve. Moose—like Nancy's brother Evan—is fourteen, and Nancy is certain that fourteen-year-old boys are useless. She explains:

"[…] All boys of fourteen are disgusting. They're only interested in two things-pictures of naked girls and dirty books!" (2.92)

And just like that Nancy makes crushes on fourteen-year-old boys very uncool. Luckily for Margaret, though, her dad hurts his finger and hires Moose to come mow their lawn. And as soon as Moose is on the Simon family property, it becomes quite clear that Margaret thinks he's the bee's knees. She says:

I sat around outside while Moose cut the grass. I liked the way he sang as he worked. I also liked his teeth. I saw them when he smiled at me. They were very clean and white and one in the front was a little crooked. I pretended to be really busy reading a book but the truth is-I was watching Moose. If he looked toward me I put my nose back in the book in a hurry. Moose would be number one in my Boy Book if only I was brave enough, but what would Nancy think? She hated him. (6.14)

So she likes the way he sings… and she likes his teeth… and she's totally lurking while he works… but Nancy wouldn't approve, so Margaret keeps her feelings about Moose to herself. And Nancy's influence doesn't stop there. Nope—she tells Margaret that she heard the Laura/Moose/Evan A&P story straight from Evan's mouth, so once Margaret learns it's untrue she decides to confront Moose herself about how wrong it is to spread stories like that. She's got another thing coming to her when she does, though. Check it out:

"I want to tell you something," I said.

"Go ahead."

I put my hands on my hips. "You know what Moose! You're a liar! I don't believe you ever took Laura Danker behind the A&P."

"Who said I did?"

"What do you mean who said it!"

"Well, who?"

"Nancy told me that Evan told her that you and Evan-" I stopped. I sounded like an idiot.

Moose shook his head at me. "You always believe everything you hear about other people?" he asked.

I didn't know what to say.

Moose kept talking. "Well, next time, don't believe it unless you see it! Now if you'll move out of my way, I've got things to do!"

I didn't move. "You know what Moose?" I asked.

"What now?"

"I'm sorry I thought you were a liar." (25.8-20).

That's a pretty big exchange Margaret and Moose have, right? Over the course of the book she's gone from hiding her feelings for Moose because Nancy wouldn't approve to looking him straight in the eye and telling him off. Remember—he's a couple years older than her, and an actual teenager, so this takes some major spine on Margaret's part. And then—and we think this is the coolest part of all—when he corrects her, she apologizes to him.

When it comes to Moose in this book, it isn't really about him at all. Instead it's all about Margaret, because through her interactions with him we can see how much she's grown up and come into her own.

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