Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret (Atheneum Books, 1970) is a classic coming of age novel by Judy Blume that this year was made into a motion picture.

I think I read the book when I was kid, but not 100 percent certain. I certainly knew of it. This spring I saw the movie and last month read (re-read?) the book.

There really isn’t much more to say about either the book or the movie. Reviews and commentary have been written by so many others. But I’m still going to give my 2 cents.

After leaving the movie, in the parking lot I heard a guy say the film was “weird”—he was walking with who I presumed were his wife and daughter. I wish he would have said it was “insightful” or “I understand more now”—but, weird, well, that was an unfortunate description.

Maybe he meant he was “uncomfortable” or maybe he was embarrassed to admit he just didn’t get it. I give him credit for going, but perhaps a bit more introspection might get him to be able to have an open discussion with his wife and daughter about their thoughts on menstruation.

Menstruation and the search for religious clarity are the dominate topics.

The former is that weird rite of passage that young girls look forward to and soon wonder why.

The religious component of the book is thought-provoking.

This is a book and movie that could and should start a lot of dialog between child and parent (or some meaningful adult in their lives). It’s a good reminder that being a pre-teen isn’t easy—no matter the generation. My guess is with social media life is worse for this age group than it was for me.

All the more reason books and movies like Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret remain available for girls to know they are not alone. Sadly, the book is banned some places.

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