Book Review: Blubber by Judy Blume

Blubber by Judy Blume
Publisher: Yearling
Publication date: 1974
ISBN: 9780440407072

Source: Library


When Jill joins with some of the other girls in class in teasing another student, Linda, she doesn't expect things to get out of hand.  Calling Linda "Blubber" was one thing - after all, she did her report on whale blubber - but the jokes get more and more cruel.  Little does Jill expect the teasing to backfire in the way it does.

Things I Liked:
It really felt like how elementary/middle school was!  While reading this, I remembered how mean the other kids in my class were to another girl.  Fortunately, I recall that I was not one of those.  At least for this individual.  I think I probably did at one point engage in making fun of at least one other person during that time (probably more).  It was really quite horrifying to see the things that other girls would do to one another at that age.  Very excellent at capturing the time and also at reminding us how quickly others can turn against us at that age (or really at any age).  It definitely made me think.  I read this for the Banned Books Challenge, and the only thing I can think people would object to is the fact that the teasing is so cruel.  But it isn't like they don't see that at school (unless they're homeschooled, I guess).

Things I Didn't Like:
I really wanted to believe kids would not be that cruel in fifth grade.  I almost starting crying a few times. There did seem to be some tangents that didn't quite relate to the main story - like their Halloween antics - but still I think it will have great appeal to kids today.  Even in spite of the quite aged cultural references.

Numerous other Judy Blume titles 

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

s-factor: !
a few

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
some rather disturbing teasing, but nothing truly violent

Overall rating: ****

I'm feeling pretty sad because there are so many Blume titles I didn't discover as a kid - were you a Blume fan during your tween years?

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.

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