Judy Blume: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Question: Are there boy books and girls books? Do we embrace this as a professional necessity or do we actively try to fight stereotypes.

I am sorry to say that this is one stereotype that is sticking around.  There are diffidently certain books that have strict gender lines. Judy Blume’s Are You There God It’s Me, Margaret is a great example I can’t see guys wanting to read this one unless they were really curious what was going on in a girls head. Even then they would not be advertising it.  Now I am not saying that this is the case for all books there are plenty of books that are great for both such a Harry Potter and other fantasy books.

The article Opposing Viewpoints by Lizzy Burns mentions a comment made by Robert Lipsyte  “the emphasis is currently on young women” and “we need more books like the good old days.”  There is a lack of male role models in book world all around librarians, teachers, publishers, which got him some negative press.  I can see why he would say this but can females be the only ones to blame?  Is it our fault that more males don’t want to be teachers, publishers, and librarians?  To all the men out there its ok to pursue career in these fields women will not think any less of you!!!

As future librarians we can work on our list of clear cut boy girl books but also a list that blurs the lines.  There will be a lot of tweens that come in that don’t know what they want to read or have to do a book report and have a list of criteria this is were we get them. This is were we can introduce them to new things. Who know they Just might like it.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, is a great book for a girl reaching that critical age. You know what I mean.   Margaret has just moved to New Jersey from New York for what she believes is her parents attempts to loosen the leash Margaret’s  Grandma has over her.  Margaret’s not pleased She loved New York.   Margaret is battling her self about religion her mother was born christian her father Jewish but now both have abandoned their religion.  When They decided to get married their families were unhappy her mother’s family disowned her.  so Margaret has grown up with out religion. In this new area she will be tested. She does however meet a girl named Nancy right off the back  they become fast friends. Nancy is a bit of a queen bee, she introduces her to friends and lets her join her club the PTSs.  In the club they promise that the first to get their period with give all the details to the other girls.  This is where I can’t see a boy reading this book they would probable be grossed out but a girl would what to know what is going to happen to her. They also have to share who they have a crush on. There is a lot of drama that unfolds. What to know who gets there period first? who has a crush on who? what religion Margaret chose? Then read to find out!

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2 thoughts on “Judy Blume: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

  1. I think if we choose to label them differently than boy books and girl books then they may be viewed less stereotypical. I agree they are sticking around and believe they serve a wonderful purpose. Am I being horribly stereotypical to assume that most 8-12 year old boys aren’t going to be interesting in Are you there God? It’s me Margaret? I think comparing that book with Hatchet may have not been the best comparison unless that was the point. I’m not sure tweens are going to be thinking their boy vs. girl books are stereotypical and for us adults maybe just changing the wording in how we refer to them may give us peace of mind.

  2. You are right changing the wording may help but in the long run I still feel that some books just have a stronger pull for one gender. I don’t think its such a bad thing. I do however see that there is a heavy market right now for females and I hope it will even out a little more. I don’t think it is horrible to think that most boys would not want to read this book in fact I agree.

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