I'm joining Sheila at Book Journey by jumping on the Banned Wagon! Many other bloggers are joining in and there are events planned for every day this week, make sure to check them out.
The banned book I decided to read was Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume.
Margaret Simon, almost twelve, has just moved from New York City to the suburbs, and she's anxious to fit in with her new friends. When she's asked to join a secret club she jumps at the chance. But when the girls start talking about boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret starts to wonder if she's normal. There are some things about growing up that are hard for her to talk about, even with her friends. Lucky for Margaret, she's got someone else to confide in... someone who always listens.
The first time I read this I was probably 11 or so. I've had a soft spot in my heart for this book since then, but I had no idea just how much it meant to me until I re-read it this week. I was nearly brought to tears from all of the nostalgia I felt while reading it this time around.
One of the first things that I remembered was that I read this while at my grandparent's house one summer. It may have been a book that I checked out from the bookmobile? Maybe I borrowed it from a friend. I'm not sure where it came from. I'm just glad that it found it's way into my hands.
Did this book change my life? I'm a girl who loves to exaggerate and I really have to work on not making grand, sweeping statements like that. But! After reading this as an adult and being flooded with memories of the questions this book made me ask myself when I was a young girl? Yes, yes. It did change my life. I grew up in a small town with a non-religious family. This book opened my mind to so many things that I would never have been exposed to otherwise.
I know remember that Are You There God? was the first exposure I had to Jewish people. They were on a page, but still. I know now where a lot of my questions about puberty were answered. The questions I was too terrified to ask the adults in my life were answered right there, in this book. I remember now that it was Are You There God? that made me want to tag along with my cousin to church and Sunday school so I could learn more about religion.
This book informed my life and fired my curiosity for so many things. I can't believe that this is something that people wanted to take away from me. How dare they?
And who could forget the battle cry of a generation? We must! We must! We must increase our bust! That is just classic. Thank you Miss Blume. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Go forth my readers! Go forth and read all the banned books you can get your hands on!