Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret, one of Judy Blume's most successful young adult novels, was published in 1970. The book appeared only shortly after Blume began her literary career, while her young children were still in preschool. Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret has been praised for its exploration of important adolescent themes, including puberty, menstruation, and crushes, not to mention more serious topics such as choosing a single religion to live by. It was one of the first novels of its time to touch upon these subjects, and was widely read both by young adults growing up around its publication and by members of the following generations.
Blume has said that she felt like she'd always known the protagonist, Margaret, even before sitting down to write her story. When Blume was in sixth grade herself, she dealt with many of the same concerns that confronted Margaret—developing physically like the other girls, wearing a bra, and getting her period. Just like Margaret, she had a very personal relationship with God, regardless of organized religion. At the same time, though, Margaret's family is very different from Blume's own; this novel's narrative, while based in reality, is very much a product of the imagination. Blume has said that Margaret's story brought her her first and most loyal readers.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret has won numerous literary awards. Upon its publication in 1970, it was named a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year. In 2005, it was placed on Time Magazine's All-Time 100 Novels list, and in 2011, it was placed on the same publication's Top 100 fiction books written in English since 1923 list. The novel's success inspired Blume to write a companion book, Then Again, Maybe I Won't, which tells a similar story from a boy's perspective, though the secondary themes in this juvenile novel are considerably different.