Study Guide

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

By Judy Blume

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Coming of Age

Margaret is eleven going on twelve—but really she's eleven going on teenager—so her thoughts, worries, and attention are all focused on crossing that tween bridge and everything that comes with it. So while Margaret deals with some pretty big questions surrounding religion and family in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, she does so while simultaneously panicking about the incredibly serious issue of bra size. And deodorant. And when exactly she'll get her period. And which boy is most deserving of her secret affection.

Don't go thinking these things aren't important issues, because to Margaret—and pretty much every kid standing between childhood and official teenager status—they are super important. And this means that not only are they pretty much constantly on Margaret's mind, but they're also part of what's made this book a timeless classic.

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. Does hanging out with the Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie make Margaret more or less confident?
  2. How does Margaret's quest for a religion of her own affect the way she deals with normal teenage issues?
  3. Is having a friend like Nancy a good thing? Is part of growing up having a friend that you are incredibly close to but don't quite trust?
  4. As the girls get into their teenage years and go off to junior high, what growing up stuff still awaits them? Are they prepared for it?

Chew on This

Margaret's stuck in a weird sort of in between place that not a lot of other kids her age would understand—she's worried about boys and bras just like the other girls, but she also has estranged grandparents and a lack of religion to deal with. This puts her in a position to grow up more quickly.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret was written in the 1970s, but the major coming of age issues the book deals with are relatable to every generation.

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