Are You There, Buddha?

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 August 2021
Publisher:         Hachette Australia
Release Date:   July 2021  

Website:    https://www.hachette.com.au 

Grasshopper2
06/10/21

Author :  Pip Harry 

Many years ago, a fresh and hugely popular book, “Are you there, God, it’s me Margaret?”, came on the market. Young girls who had not grasped what growing up really entailed, were informed about changes to their bodies; not in a cold and distant way, but in a funny, real life story about a teenage girl. Are you there Buddha is in a similar vein, but Bee doesn’t want to have a period, and doesn’t want to have her body shape change and grow hair in other places.

Bridget Ballentine or Bee to her family and mates, is twelve-years-old, starting her first year at High School. Her Mother left several years before to spend time at an Ashram in India, to learn Yoga but never returned. Bee’s Father and Bee struggled on for a while, but then he met Kath, who is a thoughtful, honest lady. She has been part of the family for a few years.

 She enjoys her schooling as well as swimming for her local club, is competitive and strong, and is looking to be selected in the State championships.

There are many aspects of life, and fast approaching puberty, which mystify her. How will she swim if she has a period, how will she fit in at school, and why is her friendship with Leon changing? Her awareness of the issues of local bushfires, smoke haze and water restrictions add to the confusion.

The realistic portrayal of characters and the splendid writing style make this a book to remember. The free verse is immediate and powerful.

I know

 as a Buddhist,

I’m not supposed

To want things,

But I want to win

Pretty badly.”

Are You There Buddha is a magical, beautifully constructed story that exposes many concerns that young girls of this age face. A must read for any young girl.