Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

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Overview

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

No one ever told Margaret Simon that eleven-going-on- twelve would be such a hard age. When her family moves to New Jersey, she has to adjust to life in the suburbs, a different school, and a whole new group of friends. Margaret knows she needs someone to talk to about growing up-and it's not long before she's found a solution.

Are you there God? It's me, Margaret. I can't wait until two o'clock God. That's ...

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Overview

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

No one ever told Margaret Simon that eleven-going-on- twelve would be such a hard age. When her family moves to New Jersey, she has to adjust to life in the suburbs, a different school, and a whole new group of friends. Margaret knows she needs someone to talk to about growing up-and it's not long before she's found a solution.

Are you there God? It's me, Margaret. I can't wait until two o'clock God. That's when our dance starts. Do you think I'll get Philip Leroy for a partner? It's not so much that I like him as a person God, but as a boy he's very handsome. And I'd love to dance with him... just once or twice. Thank you God.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Judy Blume's body of work returns to her original editor, Richard Jackson, with the rerelease of four classics in hardcover. An African-American family moves to all-white Grove Street in Iggie's House, to be released in April. The author's breakthrough title, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, about 11-year old Margaret Simon's struggles with puberty and religion, is now available in hardcover as well as in a Spanish-language edition, Estas ahi Dios? Soy yo, Margaret. Two additional titles came out last season: Blubber takes on preteen teasing; and It's Not the End of the World explores the effects of divorce. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Margaret Simon is starting sixth grade in a new school in a new state. She and her parents have just moved from New York City to a suburb in New Jersey. Margaret is not too happy about all this. For one thing, the move has taken her away from her grandmother, Sylvia Simon, who is her biggest fan. Chapter one begins with Margaret talking to God. She tells God how scared she is to be facing all these changes. Throughout the book, Margaret talks to God in a very open and spontaneous way. Although she talks to God, Margaret does not belong to any one religion. Her parents were both raised in different faiths and their marriage created problems for their extended families. So they decided to let Margaret make her own decision about joining a religion when she gets older. This is an issue for Margaret in the suburbs because it seems that all the kids she meets are either Christian or Jewish. Margaret also worries about being liked by her classmates. She soon meets a girl named Nancy, and becomes part of her group. The girls are obsessed with boys and bodily changes. They are curious in a healthy way about how they will change from girls to teenagers. Female readers will identify with Margaret and relate to the things she worries about during her sixth grade year. Although this book was originally published in 1970, the issues Margaret deals with are timely for today's girls on the verge of adolescence. Readers will laugh with Margaret. It will be easy for girls to imagine themselves in Margaret's world because it is a realistic one. She experiences a wide range of emotions, all of which will strike a chord with readers. 2004 (orig. 1970), Dell Yearling/Random House, Ages 10 to 14.
—Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret is Judy Blume's account of what it is like to be an almost 12-year-old girl whose greatest desire is just to be normal. The novel is honest and forthright. Margaret Simon worries that she doesn't have anything to fill her bra, that she will be the last girl in her group of friends to start menstruating, that she just won't fit in. And to compound things, she has no religion, so she can't join either the Jewish Community Center or the Protestant Youth Center in her new neighborhood. This recorded version of Margaret's conversations with God, her parents, friends and us, the audience, is even more authentic than the book. Laura Hamilton's reading captures Margaret's anxiety in her conversations with God, her indignation in some conversations with her parents, and her enthusiasm and vulnerability in conversations with her friends. She can emphasize the girls' fixation with the pronunciation of new words in their life, as well as Margaret's pain when she is forced to cancel her planned holiday visit to Florida to see her much loved grandmother. Listeners seem to be co-conspirators, sympathetic friends, and always important members of Margaret's entourage. This conversational story is well-served here.Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Washington, DC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385739863
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/13/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 310,105
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy  Blume

Judy Blume, one of America’s most popular authors, is the recipient of the 2004 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of beloved books for young people, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and novels for adult readers, including Wifey, Smart Women, and Summer Sisters. Her work has been translated into thirty-two languages.Visit Judy at JudyBlume.com or follow her on Twitter at @JudyBlume.

Biography

Before Judy Blume, there may have been a handful of books that spoke to issues teens could identify with; but very few were getting down to nitty-gritty stuff like menstruation, masturbation, parents divorcing, being half-Jewish, or deciding to have sex. Now, these were some issues that adolescents could dig into, and Blume’s ability to address them realistically and responsibly has made her one of the most popular – and most banned – authors for young adults.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, published in 1970, was Blume’s third book and the one that established her fan base. Drawing on some of the same things she faced as a sixth grader growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Blume created a sympathetic, first-person portrait of a girl whose family moves to the suburbs as she struggles with puberty and religion. In subsequent classics such as Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, Deenie, Blubber, and Tiger Eyes, Blume wrote about the pain of being different, falling in love, and figuring out one's identity. Usually written in a confessional/diary style, Blume’s books feel like letters from friends who just happen to be going through a very interesting version of the same tortures suffered by their audience.

Blume has also accumulated a great following among the 12-and-under set with her Fudge series, centering on the lives of preteen Peter Hatcher and his hilariously troublesome younger brother, Farley (a.k.a. Fudge). Blume’s books in this category are particularly adept at portraying the travails of siblings, making both sides sympathetic. Her 2002 entry, Double Fudge, takes a somewhat surreal turn, providing the Hatchers with a doppelganger of Fudge when they meet some distant relatives on a trip.

Blume has also had success writing for adults, again applying her ability to turn some of her own sensations into compelling stories. Wifey in 1978 was the raunchy chronicle of a bored suburban housewife’s infidelities, both real and imagined. She followed this up five years later with Smart Women, a novel about friendship between two divorced women living in Colorado; and 1998’s Summer Sisters, also about two female friends.

Blume has said she continually struggles with her writing, often sure that each book will be the last, that she’ll never get another idea. She keeps proving herself wrong with more than 20 books to her credit; hopefully she will continue to do so.

Good To Know

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was inspired by an article given to Blume by her babysitter about a toddler who swallowed a small pet turtle. She wrote a picture book introducing Fudge (based on her own then-toddler son), the turtle, and older brother Peter; but it was rejected. A few years later, E. P. Dutton editor Ann Durell suggested that Blume turn the story into a longer book about the Hatcher family. Blume did, and the Fudge legacy was born.

Blume is not an author without conflict about her station in life. She says on her web site that, as part of her "fantasy about having a regular job," she has a morning routine that involves getting fully dressed and starting at 9 a.m. She has also getting out of writing altogether."After I had written more than ten books I thought seriously about quitting," she writes. "I felt I couldn't take the loneliness anymore. I thought I would rather be anything but a writer. But I've finally come to appreciate the freedom of writing. I accept the fact that it's hard and solitary work."

Blume's book about divorce, It's Not the End of the World, proved ultimately to be closer to her own experience than she originally imagined. Her own marriage was in trouble at the time, but she couldn't quite face it. "In the hope that it would get better I dedicated this book to my husband," she writes in an essay. "But a few years later, we, too, divorced. It was hard on all of us, more painful than I could have imagined, but somehow we muddled through and it wasn't the end of any of our worlds, though on some days it might have felt like it."

Her most autobiographical book is Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself, says Blume. "Sally is the kind of kid I was at ten," Blume says on her web site.

Blume keeps setting Fudge aside, readers keep bringing him back. The sequel Superfudge was written after tons of fans wrote in asking for more of Farley Hatcher; again more begging led to Fudge-a-Mania ten years later. Blume planned never to write about Fudge again, but grandson Elliott was a persistent pesterer (just like Fudge), and got his way with 2002's Double Fudge.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York's Upper East Side, Key West, and Martha's Vineyard
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 12, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Elizabeth, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.S. in education, New York University, 1961
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. We’re moving today. I’m so scared God. I’ve never lived anywhere but here. Suppose I hate my new school? Suppose everybody there hates me? Please help me God. Don’t let New Jersey be too horrible. Thank you.


We moved on the Tuesday before Labor Day. I knew what the weather was like the second I got up. I knew because I caught my mother sniffing under her arms. She always does that when it’s hot and humid, to make sure her deodorant’s working. I don’t use deodorant yet. I don’t think people start to smell bad until they’re at least twelve. So I’ve still got a few months to go.
I was really surprised when I came home from camp and found out our New York apartment had been rented to another family and that we owned a house in Farbrook, New Jersey. First of all I never even heard of Farbrook. And second of all, I’m not usually left out of important family decisions.
But when I groaned, “Why New Jersey?” I was told, “Long Island is too social-Westchester is too expensive-and Connecticut is too inconvenient.”
So Farbrook, New Jersey it was, where my father could commute to his job in Manhattan, where I could go to public school, and where my mother could have all the grass, trees and flowers she ever wanted. Except I never knew she wanted that stuff in the first place.
The new house is on Morningbird Lane. It isn’t bad. It’s part brick, part wood. Also, there is a very nice brass knocker. Every house on our new street looks a lot the same. They are all seven years old. Soare the trees.
I think we left the city because of my grandmother, Sylvia Simon. I can’t figure out any other reason for the move. Especially since my mother says Grandma is too much of an influence on me. It’s no big secret in our family that Grandma sends me to summer camp in New Hampshire. And that she enjoys paying my private school tuition (which she won’t be able to do any more because now I’ll be going to public school). She even knits me sweaters that have labels sewed inside saying MADE EXPRESSLY FOR YOU…BY GRANDMA.
And she doesn’t do all that because we’re poor. I know for a fact that we’re not. I mean, we aren’t rich but we certainly have enough. Especially since I’m an only child. That cuts way down on food and clothes. I know this family that has seven kids and every time they go to the shoe store it costs a bundle. My mother and father didn’t plan for me to be an only child, but that’s the way it worked out, which is fine with me because this way I don’t have anybody around to fight.
Anyhow, I figure this house-in-New-Jersey business is my parents’ way of getting me away from Grandma. She doesn’t have a car, she hates buses and she thinks all trains are dirty. So unless Grandma plans to walk, which is unlikely, I won’t be seeing much of her. Now some kids might think, who cares about seeing a grandmother? But Sylvia Simon is a lot of fun, considering her age, which I happen to know is sixty. The only problem is she’s always asking me if I have boyfriends and if they’re Jewish. Now that is ridiculous because number one I don’t have boyfriends. And number two what would I care if they’re Jewish or not?

Copyright 1991 by Judy Blume
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First Chapter

Chapter One

Are you there God? It's me, Margaret. We're moving today. I'm so scared God. I've never lived anywhere but here. Suppose I hate my new school? Suppose everybody there hates me? Please help me God. Don't let New Jersey be too horrible. Thank you.

We moved on the Tuesday before Labor Day. I knew what the weather was like the second I got up. I knew because I caught my mother sniffing under her arms. She always does that when it's hot and humid, to make sure her deodorant's working. I don't use deodorant yet. I don't think people start to smell bad until they're at least twelve. So I've still got a few months to go.

I was really surprised when I came home from camp and found out our New York apartment had been rented to another family and that we owned a house in Farbrook, New Jersey. First of all I never even heard of Farbrook. And second of all, I'm not usually left out of important family decisions.

But when I groaned, "Why New Jersey?" I was told, "Long Island is too social -- Westchester is too expensive -- and Connecticut is too inconvenient."

So Farbrook, New Jersey it was, where my father could commute to his job in Manhattan, where I could go to public school, and where my mother could have all the grass, trees and flowers she ever wanted. Except I never knew she wanted that stuff in the first place.

The new house is on Morningbird Lane. It isn't bad. It's part brick, part wood. The shutters and front door are painted black. Also, there is a very nice brass knocker. Every house on our new street looks a lot the same. They are all seven years old. So are the trees.

I think we left the city because of my grandmother, Sylvia Simon. I can't figure out any other reason for the move. Especially since my mother says Grandma is too much of an influence on me. It's no big secret in our family that Grandma sends me to summer camp in New Hampshire. And that she enjoys paying my private school tuition (which she won't be able to do any more because now I'll be going to public school) . She even knits me sweaters that have labels sewed inside saying MADE EXPRESSLY FOR YOU...BY GRANDMA.

And she doesn't do all that because we're poor. I know for a fact that we're not. I mean, we aren't rich but we certainly have enough. Especially since I'm an only child. That cuts way down on food and clothes. I know this family that has seven kids and every time they go to the shoe store it costs a bundle. My mother and father didn't plan for me to be an only child, but that's the way it worked out, which is fine with me because this way I don't have anybody around to fight.

Anyhow, I figure this house-in-New-Jersey business is my parents' way of getting me away from Grandma. She doesn't have a car, she hates buses and she thinks all trains are dirty. So unless Grandma plans to walk, which is unlikely, I won't be seeing much of her. Now some kids might think, who cares about seeing a grandmother? But Sylvia Simon is a lot of fun, considering her age, which I happen to know is sixty. The only problem is she's always asking me if I have boyfriends and if they're Jewish. Now that is ridiculous because number one I don't have boyfriends. And number two what would I care if they're Jewish or not?

Copyright c 1970 by Judy Blume

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 599 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(484)

4 Star

(57)

3 Star

(22)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(27)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 599 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    BEST BOOK EVER

    I am just starting sixth grade and my mom suggested this book. I read it in two days and I absolutely love it. I reccomend it for all girls from ages 11 to 100!!!You can really relate to all of the troubles that Margaret goes through.

    91 out of 104 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good to force.

    I admit that at first the only reason I got this book was like the main character my name is Margaret. But, after reading the whole book, cover to cover, I actually really liked it. Sure at points you can sense the awkwardness of it but besides that it was a fun read, and good to force on your friends.

    49 out of 66 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    TIMELESS CLASSIC! The last time I read this book, I was a child

    TIMELESS CLASSIC! The last time I read this book, I was a child. I recently re-read several Judy Blume books. As an adult, this book still touched my heart and I still took something away from it having been able to see it as an adult. Worth the read no matter what your age!

    38 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Loved it! ;)

    This book is an excellent classic that I read in fourth grade. Two years later, I feel the urge to encourage people to pick up this heartwarming book. Margret discovers who she really is. If you enjoy self enpowerment, get it. If not, don't.

    Sincerely,
    A sixth grade bookworm.

    35 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2011

    Best book for girls!

    When I was younger before I read this I was nervous about it and didn¿t know how good it would be or if it would be an uncomfortable book to read. But this book surprised me and ended up being a fantastic book, Judy Blume has never written a book I didn¿t like. This is one of those books every girl should read VERY VERY VERY relatable and helpful.

    27 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Are you Pre-teen?

    Are you there God ?It's me,Margaret is a Great book !It is about growing up too fast fro Margaret who start growing up when she joins a club.She soon wants a bra and too be a women.Margaret finds out her best friend is a lier about her period.When all this is going on ,only in sixth grade for a girl.Margaret and all the girls start to like the same boy!Soon Margaret gets to dance with him and a Kiss!!!!!!!!She lied to her friends about making -up with him too!This book is a one-night read !Great for a 12 year old girl who is now a pre-teen !

    26 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    AMAZING

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK EVER!!!!! IT IS SOOOO GREAT!!!!! For any girl who wants to learn more about friends, your body, and religion. Judy please write a second Margaret book. I about died when you cut the book off like that. I wanted to know what happens to her next year and while she's at camp.AMAZING READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    22 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    I recommend this ONLY TO GIRLS!!

    This is a wonderful book about religion and growing up. ONLY GIRLS SHOULD READ THIS! BOYS, STAY AWAY!!

    20 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    I love thisbook

    This book is perfect for a pre teen. I am going into 6 th grade and this is a great book. You can really relate to what happens. Yah boys dont read this it is q great book for GIRLS ONLY !!!!!!!!!!!

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    One do pass on for all future female generations!

    I read this book over 30 years ago, and my 11 year old, who has had a really hard time warming up to reading just finished it and absolutely loved it!! She is searching for other books to read that she can relate to as well as she did this one!! I saw her attitude toward reading do a complete flip-flop. I recall loving this book and being totally involved in the character of Margaret. Having gone to a catholic elementary school, I connected to the prayer focus in the book quite well. This is definitely a book for us all to pass on to our preteen girls who have such a hard time with life today.

    17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    Um

    You know, my friend got her period in 4th grade and i got mine in 5th, and i have to say, I HATE HAVING IT. I dont get how girls WANT to wear pads, having to change them 3 times a day, not being able to go in your friend's pool when u have it, and being freaked out if it seeps through your new white dress or not. Why are girls like "oh no! Im in 6th grade and i dont have my period yet!" Trust me girls, you do NOT want it.um

    11 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Good Book

    Every girl should read this book

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Fantastic

    This is a great book for preteens. I'm twenty now and I still remember reading this book in the 5th grade and being able to relate to so much that Margaret went through. I laughed out loud to this book when I was younger because it's freakin hilarious. I highly recommend it.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2003

    Parental Warning! Preview it before letting your kids read this book!!

    I consider myself to be a well-read parent. Young children are mostly being 'dumbed down' with books like this. I was in a bookstore and saw Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret with the new blue cover and wholesome-looking girls on its cover. The main character's stupidity over 'mens-stroo-ation', her disregard for the feelings of her estranged grandparents, the frequent mentioning of how she 'hates' this or that about people¿all point to a pathetic lack of writing skill. Margaret, the main character, sounds shallow and uneducated. When I was age 12 my favorite authors were in classic literature. These days, teachers tell me they don't care what kids read, as long as they are reading something. So, even at a private school, where exceptionally high academic standards are the norm, books with no character development, sense of place in history, and thinly drawn adults, are popular--like this one. Judy Blume is obsessed with female body parts. On page one, 'I caught my mother sniffing under her arms'; pages 4, 6, 8, and 11, 'Her nose turned up so much I could look right into her nostrils'; 'I found my mother with her rear end sticking out of a bottom kitchen cabinet'; 'Oh, you're still flat [chested]?'; 'In a few years I'm going to look like one of those girls in Playboy'; 'My ears stick out a little'; 'They're [boys] only interested in two things--pictures of naked girls and dirty books!'; and, unbelievably, in her prayer to God on page 50, 'I've got a bra now. It would be nice if I had something to put in it.' Finally, on page 67, 'How about a Tampax?' and 'We don't advise internal protection' is problematic. I read this book to preview it for reading level appropriateness for my daughter. I'm so glad I never let her read it. It would be helpful to parents if there was a notice on the cover that this book attempts to educate girls approaching puberty about menstruation, blood in their panties, washing bathing suits, breast size and bra shopping, the popularity of Playboy, and how sickening grandparents and most people are.

    10 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    I absolutly loved this book, because a Margaret is growing up

    I absolutly loved this book, because a Margaret is growing up and trying to figure where she belongs. I throughly enjoyed how the story was told. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2004

    Do not read if.....

    Instead of reaching its goal, this book merely made me feel more outside than any other. I was a scared 14 year old, growing up more slowly than anyone else, and in the book it says that the mother would take her to the doctor if she didn't have it by fourteen. That made me cry for hours just because I felt so abnormal. A way that Judy Blume could have helped her book, is not putting any age labels, which I thought was the book's downfall. I also found it very upsetting when the girl 'pitys' the girl who hadn't gotten hers yet.

    9 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Good book for girls but read this please

    Hey this really is a good book for girls who havent had their period yet. I can totally relate to ALL of u girls who really want to have ur period. When i was ur girls' age, every time i would go to the bathroom i would check for anything. Sometimes i would put toilet paper in my bras just to see what it would look like to have big boobs. Just a little warning for u girls though and im trying to help u not destroy ur dreams or ur wants. And pls trust me because i am fourteen and a half and i know this stuff.when i was ten eleven and twelve and a half i use to stuff my bras. Not my best choice. After u look in the mirror when u have just stuffed ur bras ur brain is only telling u that it looks good. In reality ppl can tell if u have stuffed ur bras. Also when u get into high school ppl will know and say things behind ur back that would hurt u. I dont stuff and wont again. Also if and when u girls get a boyfriend it will really disappoint them when they fidnd out ( and they will find out some way or another) u stuff ur bras. Just a little bit of older sisterly help and love there. Another thing. Having ur period is wonderful, exciting, and awsome... when u first get it. Yes, it means that u r transforming into a women and it makes u feel older. I have been there and have done that. Sometimes i am still happy that i had that feeling when i first had my period ( which was when i was thirteen, seventh grade going into eighth grade. Actually on the presidents birthday :p) But now that i have been having it every single month its not that great. Well, the worst of it is the cramps. I once went to bed moaning it hurt soooo badly. Also pads r super uncomfortable. Ive never used a tampon but apparently they hurt going in the first couple of times. Also having to worry about changing every four hpurs or so. U so have to worry about if u can see the pad through ur pants cause it is bulky. U also have to worry about carrying the pads/tampons around without all the guys seeing ot in school or... where ever. But thats when u get o start carrying around a purse and thats another good thing. U get to carry around a purse. Well all im saying is that having ur period and the feeling of growing up is wonderful. It just has those tiny flaws.im just telling what to expect. So go ahead and feel that joy when u see that stain in ur panties. Just remember that with that stain comes some dreadful times but also some good ones. I wish the best for all u girls who are waiting for it.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008

    I LOVE IT!!!!!

    Dear Mrs. Blume this is one of the best books in the world ever sense i just finished it i wanted to read it again and again and AGAIN!!!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Wow

    This is weird a girl wants her period i hate it im 14 in 8th grade it suck maybe if you want to were a pad or tampon and dont want to swim or you like cramps but i dont enjoy your period free days cause i started when i was 10 in 5th grade:(-

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Christian girl last post i reported

    A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ good book

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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