Judy Blume didn't intend to write one of the most frequently challenged and banned books of all time when she penned Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. She just wanted to write a book that captured the trials and tribulations of adolescence, complete with girl talk about bras, periods, and boys. We wonder why the pretty tame discussion of puberty, and a storyline about an agnostic 12 year old figuring out her relationship with God, organized religion, and her family, continues to scandalize Americans who just keep challenging the book into the ALA Most Frequently Challenged lists every decade. We deconstruct whether the book holds up 50 years later and try to figure out just why feminine hygiene products still give some folks the vapors. We learn about some pervasive myths about periods, play historical women's health trivia, and chat with a Peer Educator about the importance of quality sexual education for adolescents.
These Books Made Me is a podcast about the literary heroines who shaped us and is a product of the Prince George's County Memorial Library System podcast network. Stay in touch with us via Twitter @PGCMLS with #TheseBooksMadeMe or by email at TheseBooksMadeMe@pgcmls.info. For recommended readalikes and deep dives into topics related to each episode, visit our blog at https://pgcmls.medium.com/.
We cover a lot of ground in this episode and used some books and articles as jumping off points. Here’s a brief list of some of them if you want to do your own further research: