Back to the shelf of forgotten books for this next selection, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume.
To really give this entry the attention it deserves, I’m going to tap another great contributor to girlish youth. Because this novel was a return to the period in my life (no pun intended) when I was asking questions just like Margaret’s, I wanted to ensure I captured the keeper of my young thoughts – the ultimate 90’s diva, glitter rainbow queen, and sole contributor of our love for pink dolphins, Lisa F-ing Frank.
Disclaimer: I own this book because my middle daughter got involved with some kind of book trade through her Girl Scout troop. It was supposed to be an intricate exchange where each girl sent a book to their assigned person, and received multiple books in return via snail mail. The girls completed a survey of their interests, age, location, etc. Then groups were assigned and the exchange could begin. By the end of the rotation, each girl should have had 14 books if all went well. (Don’t ask me about the math on that, because I really have no idea who cooked this thing up.) But it didn’t work because my daughter ended up with one book, not at all appropriate for her age, and it was this one.
Now look at the kittens!
I have three girls, and for mothers of girls Judy Blume is of great help. Her book, Forever, is the novel I gave my oldest after the sex talk. Blume’s depiction of losing virginity in that novel is embarrassingly accurate, and it really helps to drive home the reality of such a decision. It’s honest without being disparaging. I would highly recommend that book to any parent who’s looking to tell the truth about sex without forcing the True Love Waits agenda.
And here’s a unicorn!
This book, however, I wouldn’t recommend. Not because it isn’t good or honest or any of that. Simply because it’s outdated, and I seriously doubt this generation of kids would be able to connect to it. This was published in 1970. Not THE 70’s. 1970. Likely written in the 60’s. So it’s pretty old, and the world is a much different place. It was for me in the 90’s. It certainly is for my girls today. Example: Margaret attends a party with her classmates where they all play Two Minutes in the Closet and she receives her first kiss. By the time I was this age, the number was seven and Heaven was the goal. Now I’m standing mouth gaping as my twelve-year-old shows me Instagram video of a party where her female classmates grind their asses on the laps of boyfriends.
Orca in the Arctic sunset! And another dolphin!
Call me crazy, but I cannot for the life of me remember begging God (or any other deity) for my period to start. I actually dreaded that moment. My own children are certainly dreading that moment – every mood swing, or deviation from normal body responses is met with the panic of staring down the inevitable. Margaret and her friends crave the moment they’ll look down to find the red in their underwear. Must have been a 60’s thing.
Cupcake yellow puppies!
This is a great coming of age of story, if you were coming of age 30-40 years ago. I could go on here about how our over-sexed society has stolen the childhood from the youth of today. I could talk about how uncomfortable its become to have puberty conversations with girls so informed they can practically teach a class on the subject. I could go on about teen pregnancy rates, limited access to birth control, derelict and neglectful parents who prove to be less helpful than the instructions on a tampon box. Or I could simply say Mother Nature is a cold-hearted bitch who comes for us all.
But I won’t. Instead, lets look at these cute pandas in a rainbow puddle!