When Blume writes works of young adult fiction, she often aims for a target audience between the ages of eleven and fifteen. Her books operate as problem novels, works which are associated with hot-button issues keyed to that audience and the protagonist of the novel, such as Margaret’s speculations on her own religion in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Karen’s all-consuming focus on her parents’ pending divorce in It’s Not the End of the World. The limited perspective allotted to the first-person internal narrative voice of her protagonists allows Blume to construct their struggle through each novel’s issue seemingly in isolation. Each girl works through the problems of her world in her own mind, as only the reader is given access to her thoughts, fears, and, more often than not, self-deprecating humor and embarrassment at the situation.
This narrative contrivance is a masterstroke within Blume’s stories. It allows her young protagonists the opportunity to speak almost directly to the audience, drawing the reader into a conversation as both try to understand the world as a sociocultural phenomenon they share. In effect, Blume’s books operate as a surrogate for the parents whom Blume feels may be ill-equipped to discuss sensitive matters with their children. She has noted that in her younger years, she tried to discuss sensitive topics, such as menstruation, with her father and found it confounding and...
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