When it arrived in 1970, there was no coming-of-age book quite like Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. One of Judy Blume’s most controversial novels because of its exploration of female puberty, the book follows a sixth grader who deals with her stress by frequently praying to God. Though Margaret is decidedly not affiliated with any religion, she’s desperate for answers about the various problems in her life. Chief among them: she’s anxious about not yet getting her period. Margaret’s quest to fit in and grow up is uncomfortable, joyful and timeless, and plays out in a tender narrative that never takes itself too seriously. It’s a seminal text that has taught generations of young people about the inner workings of growing up, and it remains funny to boot. Never shall we forget Blume’s famous refrain: “We must—we must—we must increase our bust!” —Annabel Gutterman

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