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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at

http://pennyreviews-chat.blogspot.com/

See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at

http://reviewsforpenny.blogspot.com/

Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Monday, August 11, 2014

"Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" by Judy Blume

Welcome to Marvelous Middle Grade Monday!  

My first post is on a wonderful book by Judy Blume, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret.  I picked up this book a few days ago and it ruined my sleep for two nights until I finished it!  I could hardly put it down.  It also classifies as a near perfect MG book--a lovely coming of age story. I just wished I'd read it back in 1986, or 1995, or 2007, when it might have helped me with my own daughter's middle school transition.

Since it was written in the 1980's, of course, much has changed about how pre-teens, or 'tweens communicate.  I'm sure they still run over to their friends' houses, if they live in a neighborhood where there friends live --like where we lived until Katy was 9.  Then she had friends around the corner.  And in middle school, we moved back to the same neighborhood, and she had plenty of friends she could walk to.  Nowadays, I see my teen and her friends communicating mostly by text, with some phone calls, but then their get togethers are much harder to arrange.

In Judy Blume's Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, not only is Margaret dealing with moving to a new neighborhood and school, she's nearly 12, going into 6th grade -- here that would be middle school -- she's also facing religious pulling.  By that I mean her parents have different faiths and rather than raise Margaret to be one or the other, they're teaching her nothing about faith or religion.  She's to figure it out on her own and choose when she's older.  

So on top of new friends, starting to notice and like boys, awkward social situations, and waiting for "get it" like her friends are getting their periods, Margaret has a project to choose her religion.  She has the push/pull of grandparents, and the complete abdication of her parents in this matter.  Whew!  So what does Margaret do?  She does the very best she can and keeps us informed every step of the way.  On irony is that Margaret has conversations with God. Perhaps that's even better than choosing a religion.  She has her own personal relationship with God, and to me, that's the best anyone can do.

This is another great read by Judy Blume that I'm sorry I missed out on till now.  But so glad I finally found it.  I want her to write more middle grade books.  Since I'm not that fond of YA or adult books. I think we need more great middle grade books like Kate DiCamillo's and Judy Blume's, Here's a list of  Judy Blume's other MG books:


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Tags;  Judy Blume, Are you there God, It's me Margaret, middle grade books, children's literature, children's books for tweens, marvelous middle grade Monday.

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