Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Main Page
Author List
Title List
New This Month
Interest Level
Subject List
Booktalking Tips
Book Review Sources
Reading lists
Nancy Keane's Children's Website
Blume, Judy
New York : Macmillan, 1990.
IL 3-6 RL 4.1 .
ISBN 0440904196
(4 booktalks)
Booktalk #1

Sixth grader worried about developing and turning out normal. Margaret gets involved with a secret club with three other girls. Margaret experiments with religions for her year-long project.

Booktalk #2

Pre-teen age years are rough and difficult. Margaret is no exception She has just moved to a new place with her family.  During her move Margaret begins to talk to God, which is unusual because she cannot identify with any religion.  Her mother is Christian and her father is Jewish. They practice neither religion, so Margaret explains to her friends she has no religion. This quiet a shock to each new friend she makes.  In this story Margaret learns to deal with the changes in her body as she emerges into puberty.  She also finds out that not all of her friends are as honest as she.  Margaret also begins a study of religion thanks to a school assignment.  This book is funny, informative and real to the experiences young girls face at the age of eleven.  (Darla Grob,

Booktalk #3

The book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret is a book that has layer after layer of storyline and literary genius.  It is a story of a young girl who's parents have decided that they want to move from the big city life of NYC to the suburban lifestyle of Jew Jersey.  Margaret Simon is a well adjusted child who makes friends easily and is very open and embracing to the impending physical changes puberty will bring.  She has loving parents and a grandmother whom she adores and who adores her.  The only indefinites in Margaret's life are when exactly these physical "changes" will happen and in the complicated issue of religion.  Her problems with religion stem from controversy with her parents and their parents from 14 years ago.  Mrs. Simon comes from a Christian family and Mr. Simon from a Jewish family.  Both families are very strong in their religios beliefs and had a difficult time accepting the union of Margaret's parents.  Margaret's parent's therefore have decided to lead a life of "no religion".  They have decided to let Margaret decide when she is older, exactly what religion she would like to be.  In Margaret's quest to find her way, she talks with God as she navigates through the typical life of a sixth grade child with both comical and touching moments.  What happens to Margaret? Does she find her true religion? Does she get her "changes" before her friends, or is she the last girl to get "it"? You must read to find out!!!  (Melinda Nuttle,

Booktalk #4

Margaret Simon is a twelve year old girl who is moving from New York to New Jersey and how she has to adjust not only to a new school and new friends, but not knowing the changes that are about to happen to her body.  It is a funny read that takes women back in time to when they were that age and an interesting read for girls that are on the verge of adolescence.  (Shannon Cyrus, Student of ACTC)

SUBJECTS:     Religions -- Fiction
                        Girls -- Fiction 


Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.