Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume was a seminal book for me while growing up in the seventies. I read the book after my mother died in 1976 during the fall of fourth grade. I remember talking to my besties about it, gathered around the book like it was a found treasure. In a way it was.
I, like Margaret, grappled with religion and reading this book helped me deal with my feelings about God, religion, and adolescent anxieties. I related to Margaret’s journey to understand herself. July Blume became an important person in my life after reading that first book. My father was not very open to discuss things like puberty, reproduction, boys, and sex. Blume’s book Tiger Eyes tackles the subjects of losing a parent, not feeling understood by the adults around you, and PTSD. Over those few years of early adolescence Blume’s books parented me in ways my father was incapable of, and her books showed me I wasn’t the only person in the world who felt different. At that tender age we all feel different in some way and Judy showed us we were not alone.
On Sunday I was out to brunch with some girlfriends and Blume’s books came up in conversation because of the new film coming out. Each woman spoke of her favorite book and character and has equally strong feelings about the author. Our generation grew up reading Blume and her books made an impact, helping us make sense of friendship, love, grief, adolescence, religion, sex and death.
Blume now 85 years old, owns a bookshop in Key West, is seeing her books come to life on screen. April 28th the film adaptation of the 1970 novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret will open in theaters. Judy Blume Forever, a documentary on Amazon Prime, is now streaming. An animated film based on Superfudge is in the works for Disney+. And Summer Sisters will be a series coming to Netflix and another series based on the book Forever will air on Peacock.
I love to read and have read hundreds of books over the years but there’s no author I feel such a deep level of appreciation for as Judy Blume.