Yes, Are You There God? It's Me Margaret is on the list, courtesy of TIME Magazine's List of 100 greatest English language novels from 1923 to the present.
I read this when I was a kid (eight to ten - don't remember exactly) and it has really stood up to the passage of time. There's a reason Judy Blume is one of the most banned author in the United States. She deals with mature issues in a way that's accessible to kids, and some people don't like that. Because they're morons.
I have got to get this mad out of the way somehow, but the only way I think I can do that is to let it out. How stupid are people anyhow? This is a book that deals with, oh god, menstruation, and liking boys, and religion, and this is stuff little girls desperately need to know, so what the fuck is wrong with people that make this number 62 on the list of most frequently challenged books? Who thinks their child shouldn't be reading this book? Do they actually think their kid isn't going to have to deal with these issues? Isn't already thinking about members of the opposite sex? Isn't wondering about God? Will their child grow up in some perfect bubble world and burst into puberty on their wedding day? Newsflash: when Zeus gestated Athena in his head and she burst forth fully grown, that was a myth, not a parenting role model!
Note to people: stop being asshats. I hate that.
Judy Blume kicks ass. Rereading it as an adult I was kind of surprised to find out that this is a decent book with a lot more layers than I remembered. It's not just that Margaret is 12 and wants to get her period; she has just moved to a new neighborhood, to the suburbs of New Jersey from Brooklyn. Her parents don't toally get along with her father's mother (Jewish) and are completely estranged from her mother's parents (Christian). Margaret just wants to get along and fit in. But 12 is a lot harder than 11, what with a) boys b) periods c) bras d) school dances.
The writing is wonderful. Just reading the first chapter gave me the chills, the way she sets everything up. Blume just casually tosses in a mention of the fact that Margaret is an only child because her parents couldn't have any more kids. And if you notice it, that lays there underneath everything for the rest of the book, that extra bit of tension between her parents, one more in a set of immense pressures that their marriage has survived.
Further note: ha! This book has been updated. When I first read it Margaret used a 'belt'. I never got to see one of those until the magic of the internet (thanks, Museum of Menstruation!) Now Margaret uses disposable adhesive pads, the same 'equipment' a modern young person would be familiar with. It's a change that makes sense.