This was one of the very first books I remember reading when the librarian at my primary school began to complain that I read too many horror stories and suggested I'd probably want to try something different. I was 7. I got upset. What did she know about books anyway!! Horror stories were always so crippling and captivating and let my imagination do the most. They're really still my favourite all these millions of years later. So I didn't listen obviously and then she REFUSED to let me check out horror books. Literally would just shake her head and tell me to look for something else. I didn't even know where other books were!!! So she took my hand and led me to a shelf full of Judy Blume books and picked one for me. I was so irritated. I was an advanced reader please, and she was here presenting me with baby books with big ol' words. Bet it had pictures too.
I checked it out reluctantly. Hadn't even looked at the cover. Got to class and at reading time unleashed the God awful book. Are You There God? It's me, Margaret by Judy Blume. And thus began my obsession and admiration for Judy Blume and all her works. But this one has always been my favourite. Read it every few months still.
So it's about a girl, Margaret, whose family moved from the city to the suburbs and so she had to make new friends in a new school, as well as navigate the struggles of being a pre-teen like waiting for her period to begin and boobies to grow. Now, honestly, I suck at giving synopsis because every story I ever tell becomes my story and I might spice it up a little more than I need to or add enough drama for it to seem like a 10 season series, so you might just like have to grab the book yourself.
But my favourite thing about the book is her conversations with God. Now Margaret doesn't grow up in a religious household, her mother is Christian and her father is Jewish. So they generally just let her explore religion for herself. And she has little conversations with God about anything and everything.
She'd just talk to Him like He's one of her girls. Nicely ask for things and put up requests. It was just all so innocent and beautiful. The simplicity of it all.
Of course, I can only think about that now in this my old age. Before it was just a pretty relatable well written book. Now it's like dang!! Judy Blume really did the thing!!
You see, I've always been on this journey of self discovery when it comes to religion. My mother is Christian. My father is Muslim. I grew up Christian. I didn't really like it. It just always felt forced. I enjoyed nothing. It wasn't for me.
So when I was old enough to say "I'm not going to your church anymore" without getting whacked, I began to explore my options. I began with deciding not to believe in anything. It wasn't too bad. But it felt odd. Then I looked at Islam, it was only fitting. I enjoyed every single aspect and detail of it. Mostly because I knew it already, and so to learn it in depth and understand it was pretty cool. But somehow it just wasn't mine. Then I went back to Christianity. Looked into the different denominations and learned and read and asked questions. Mostly trivial ones of course. Ones that make people flinch. Haha. But things must be discussed okay. Okaaaay. But yeah, so I learnt, well still learning. And I chose.
And I'm totally Margaret with my "Are you there God?" moments. I say the simplest things, ask the hard questions, cry out when necessary. Sometimes, really really wondering if God is actually there.
And I love this book because it reminds me that I can always just have the simplest and most innocent conversations with God. It doesn't have to be some rehearsed speech full of vocabulary and quotes. It's the most basic conversation I could ever have. And that for me is really it.
And I love Judy Blume for still being able to help my 24 year old self with the simplest of books. Also shout-out to the librarian for denying me my doze of horror stories for a month and introducing me to the marvellous Judy Blume.
But legit this book is mostly about navigating change and friendship and periods and little 5th grade crushes and growing boobies. Lol. It's great!! And!! Aaand. It doesn't have pictures.
Till Next Read,
S.O for Probably Asleep
-Pictures from Pinterest.