Blubber

( 117 )

Overview

What happens when teasing goes too far? This classic middle grade novel from Judy Blume addresses the timeless topic of bullying and has a fresh new look.

“Blubber is a good name for her,” the note from Caroline said about Linda. Jill crumpled it up and left it on the corner of her school desk. She didn’t want to think about Linda or her dumb report on whales just then. Jill wanted to think about Halloween.

But Robby grabbed the note and before Linda stopped talking it had gone ...

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Blubber

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Overview

What happens when teasing goes too far? This classic middle grade novel from Judy Blume addresses the timeless topic of bullying and has a fresh new look.

“Blubber is a good name for her,” the note from Caroline said about Linda. Jill crumpled it up and left it on the corner of her school desk. She didn’t want to think about Linda or her dumb report on whales just then. Jill wanted to think about Halloween.

But Robby grabbed the note and before Linda stopped talking it had gone halfway around the room. There was something about Linda that made a lot of kids in her fifth-grade class want to see how far they could go…but nobody, Jill least of all, expected the fun to end where it did.

Jill goes along with the rest of the fifth-grade class in tormenting a classmate and then finds out what it is like when she, too, becomes a target.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Judy Blume's body of work returns to her original editor, Richard Jackson, with the rerelease of four classics in hardcover. An African-American family moves to all-white Grove Street in Iggie's House, to be released in April. The author's breakthrough title, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, about 11-year old Margaret Simon's struggles with puberty and religion, is now available in hardcover as well as in a Spanish-language edition, Estas ahi Dios? Soy yo, Margaret. Two additional titles came out last season: Blubber takes on preteen teasing; and It's Not the End of the World explores the effects of divorce. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
It is sometimes said that children can be cruel to each other. Recent books and movies have focused on the theme of classroom bullies. This book takes that theme and hits a home run with it. It doesn't sugar coat the ugly truth: bullies are relentless and their victims are left with scars. This realistic portrayal of a fifth-grade classroom in a Pennsylvania school will make some readers uncomfortable. They will recognize Wendy, the ringleader, and those other children who do her bidding. And they will recognize Linda, an overweight and unpopular child, who is their prey. When Wendy decides to pick on Linda, she calls on other classmates to help her do this dirty work. Soon, there is a gang of kids making Linda miserable. Wendy may not be liked, but she is feared. She wields this power of fear to do some heart breaking work. Although this book was originally published in the 1970s, its depiction of classroom bullies and the havoc they wreak on their victims will resonate with today's readers. It is a sad, but timely, topic. 2004 (orig. 1974), Dell Yearling/Random House Children's Books, Ages 9 to 12.
—Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.
Children's Literature - Jill Walton
Blubber is a classic. Once again, fifth grade girls are sharing this book with their friends. They recognize and know the characters; these are the people in their school, their peers. They know the teacher. The main character, Jill, is vulnerable; she is afraid not to follow the demands of a girl named Wendy who dominates her friends. It begins when classmate, Linda, gives a presentation about whales in front of the class. Wendy writes a note that she passes on stating “Blubber is a good name for her.” That note travels underground throughout the class and the persecution begins. Wendy and company demand that overweight Linda submit to calling herself names and commit demeaning acts. Jill is now a bully but she becomes a victim when she takes a stand against Wendy. Great humor, rich family portraits, and the harshness of daily life in a classroom are solidly presented. Stereotypes and Judy Blume have never met. Blubber is an unsentimental classic, a coming of age novel for the young person who is leaving childhood. Reviewer: Jill Walton; Ages 8 to 12.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781481410137
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 71,980
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy  Blume

Judy Blume, one of America’s most popular authors, is the recipient of the 2004 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of beloved books for young people, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and novels for adult readers, including Wifey, Smart Women, and Summer Sisters. Her work has been translated into thirty-two languages.Visit Judy at JudyBlume.com or follow her on Twitter at @JudyBlume.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York City and Key West, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 12, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Elizabeth, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.S. in education, New York University, 1961
    2. Website:

Reading Group Guide

BULLYING: A GUIDE
Macaroni Boy by Katherine Ayres
Blubber by Judy Blume
Spider Boy by Ralph Fletcher
True Blue by Jeffrey Lee
Feather Boy by Nick Springer

The books in this guide all deal with bullying. Use the questions to open discussion with your students on this important topic. Additional themes include challenges, friendships growing up, peer pressure, and self-discovery.

ABOUT BULLYING
Bullying isn’t a new problem in schools. Almost all adults will say that they either encountered or knew a bully in their childhood. Some will say they were victimized, and others will admit to being innocent bystanders. And, some may even reveal that they were bullies themselves.
No one wants to be called names or teased and taunted. No one wants to be left out of a ballgame or a school activity. No one wants their personal belongings ruined or their secrets revealed. New kids in school, and children who are different, especially mentally and physically challenged kids, are often the targets. These kids are already on the outside, and therefore vulnerable. Bullies are seeking attention and want to feel important. They feed their low self-esteem by being mean to others.
Newspapers, magazines, television and radio news are filled with incidents of schoolyard bullying. Why has bullying become such a worldwide issue in schools today? Is bullying the beginning of school violence? Whatever the reasons, schools and parents must develop ways of helping children cope with the local school bully. Children who are being bullied are often quiet about it. The bully may have threatened them if they “tattle” or they may feel embarrassed.

HOW TO RESPOND
Observant adults will notice if a child is quieter than usual, suddenly afraid of going to school, shows a drop in grades, and doesn’t want to play with friends or participate in after school activities. Ask questions. Engage them in conversation about the way they are feeling. Role-play a hypothetical incident. Encourage them to talk with someone they trust. Suggest they write about their feelings in a journal. Give them books to read.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 117 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(77)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 117 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2009

    Review for the book <Blubber> by Judy Blume

    I read the book <Blubber> written by Judy Blume. This book is based on girls named Jill and Tracy. They go around doing naughty things and bullying a girl named Linda Fischer the <Blubber >.

    I generally liked the story because it was hilarious, descriptive, and fun. However, there were things I did not like about this book. One part was that this book described bullying as a fun thing to do so in that case I was little bit disappointed by the fact.

    Second reason is that there aren't many loving but a lot of hate such as bullying and name calling. Like "Blubber" or "Smelly Whale". I was expecting a friendship between Linda and Jill but got even worse instead. So I would like it if there were more love and friendship in this story.

    Another thing that disappointed me was that there was no lesson I learned after reading the story. The story was itself was fun but it did not impress my heart at all. Instead it sort of gave me bad feeling because of the swear words that came out like "Bit-" or "Dumb a-".

    Third, some parts were very evil and gruesome. This is one of the part that made me very angry. The girls made Linda Fisher eat a big ant covered in chocolate and threw rotten eggs at the neighbor's mail box and etc. I think these parts will influence the kids in a bad way.

    As a result I would recommend this book to people with age over 14 but not to younger (especially not the elementary kids).

    24 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome book :)

    I loved this book, Judy Blume is a great author. I enjoyed Blubber really because it shows just how hard the 5th grade can be, it teaches a lesson: you always get back what you give out..sooner or later. Jill andher friends Bully the class "fatty" calling her Blubber and making fun of her, but they see its not so fun to be bullied when they become the targets. This book is funny, descriptive and i loved it.

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2008

    Blubber

    Give me ¿Blubber,¿ the children will scream as they tug for this book. This scene will probably be occurring at libraries were kids discover how great Judy Blume Books are. <BR/>Have you ever been bullied? If you have you definitely should read this book called Blubber! In the story, Linda, Jill, and Wendy are all fifth graders. Jill and Wendy make fun of Linda and call her Blubber. Linda did an animal report on whales so the kids call Linda Blubber because the report was about an hour long!<BR/>In the book, it¿s almost Halloween and Jill is hankering to find out what Linda¿s going to be for Halloween. Jill decides to be a whale stripper to annoy Linda. The day after Halloween, Linda brings in lettuce and salads for her school lunch. Wendy, Jill and all the other classmates chant and sing, Blubber¿s on a diet! Linda¿s was crying, as she was explaining that she¿s trying to lose weight so no one will make fun of her. <BR/>I have never been bullied or have ever bullied anyone, but I have seen bullying and tried to stop it. That day, the boy was secretly slapping the girl and I noticed that the girl¿s tears were falling like bullets! I felt horrible for her and I definitely told the teacher!<BR/>I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read funtastic books!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    ME

    UNDESCRIBABLE! BUY THIS ! YOU NEED TO READ IT!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Still relevant - a must read!

    Over 35 years after it was first written, Judy Blume's Blubber still delivers a relevant view of bullying, from the perspective of fifth grader, Jill Brenner. After pudgy Linda presents a classroom assignment on the whale, she is nicknamed "Blubber" by Wendy, the most popular girl at school, and so begins a daily ritual of abuse. While Jill isn't the leader of the pack, she joins right in, seemingly without any hesitation. Is it peer pressure? When Wendy first writes a note using the name Blubber, Jill smiles, not because she thinks it's funny but because Wendy is watching her. After that, she participates wholeheartedly.

    Over the next few weeks, most of the kids laugh at Linda, call her names, spit at her, and trip her. They even physically hold her down to mess with her clothes and later, to force her to eat something unappealing. Linda lets it happen, doing very little to resist or fight back. In the end, they lock her in a closet and declare that she's on trial. Of course, Wendy is the judge and this inquiry is anything but fair. Jill thinks that she'll never be in Linda's position, but she learns that popularity is fleeting and that her position in the classroom hierarchy only lasts as long as she is willing to go along with the crowd.

    These kids seem to feel no remorse. In fact, there is a general lack of respect for their neighbors, teachers and other students. They justify inappropriate behavior by claiming that the person gets what they deserve. They vandalize houses during Halloween and brag about it. Their teachers are oblivious and Jill's parents are distracted, leaving the action to play out without any supervision. In many ways these kids are still so young, dressing up for Halloween or collecting stamps, and left to their own devices they sink to the lowest level. While none of the characters ever seem to gain much in the way of compassion or feeling, Jill does show readers that they should never let "other people decide what's going to happen to you" and that there are ways to stand up for yourself. This matter-of-fact, true to life portrayal of classroom dynamics is a must read!

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Omg

    I am linda ( aka blubber) and i canot belive how many of u like this book it is so repetitive and not nice to ME!!! How dare u!! Its like all u gyz r bullying ME!!! I HATE U ALL!!!!!!!!!

    8 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2010

    Surprisingly Mean Spirited!

    I remember reading this novel when I was in elementary school. Now, I was a huge fan of Judy Blume then, and even still admire many of her books. But this book was not one of my favorites. The things that were done to Linda were appalling, like making her show the boys her underpants(!!) and making her eat a chocolate covered ant! And the girls, including the narrator of the story, were horrible. The girls get caught rotten-egging a man's house (bad enough) but then don't even feel bad for what they've done! And they urinate in his yard! And then when the bad guys are supposed to get their comeuppance, it never really happens. Linda herself merely turns nasty but passionless, and not even a real truce is formed with anyone. The book leaves you feeling empty and even sad, and it doesn't 'teach' one anything.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Blubber

    This book is so freakin amazing!!
    Read it if you love judy blume!!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2012

    JUDY BLUME STRIKES BACK

    Great book might influnce bullying to others teaches a lesson too

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    inaproprite

    if the reader is over weight at all or just a larger child and wieghs more you shouldn't read this book. one of my close friends read this book at the same age as the girls in the book and she is not fat just VERY muscular and she weighed 10 pounds more then linda. SO she had to see a doctor and she has never been the same!! so this book is a very un thought over book!

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    Must read !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Blubber is a girl named linda and everyone picked on her and clled her blubber. Then one day the shoe us on the other foot because wendy decided she would pick on jill and call here B.B and then she stood up for herself and everyone stoped pincking on her. Blubber teaches kids not to bully or watch people get bullied and to speak up.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Blubber

    This book gives people a good knowlege of things that can go on school.linda is great and strong.the other girl just follows

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Greatest book evea

    Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much awsome

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    Love this book!

    Just like all Judy Blume books, "Blubber" is a classic! I sure wish it were available on the Nook.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2001

    Not Your Average Outcast Book

    Like Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War before it, Judy Blume's Blubber defies the rules of how a book about a school outcast should end. Jill Brenner, the protagonist, thinks it's fun to join 'class leader' Wendy and the other fifth-grade kids in picking on Linda Fischer, who's NOT the fattest kid in the class but gets tagged with the nickname 'Blubber'. Do you think Jill will discover that Linda is really a sweet sensitive kid who's misunderstood? Think again! Blubber exposes the cowardice, hypocrisy, and even fickleness that lies behind peer pressure and constant teasing. Jill learns cost of standing up for someone's rights, and how surprisingly easy it is for ANYONE to join in the 'fun' of making another person miserable just to fit in.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    My favorite bok for 2014rs

    When i first read this couldn't put it down it is a very good book if there were a hundred stars that's what i would rate this book.I'm happy m

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Blubber

    Everyone has reccomended blubber! It'now a reccomendation from me!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    BLUBBER, BY JUDY BLUME

    This is a wonderful 97-paged novel about a girl named Linda who is always getting picked on because of her weight. One day, she does, from Jill Brenner's point of view, a boring report about whales. In the report, Linda talks about flensers, people who are payed to strip blubber off whales. A note goes around the classroom during the report that says: "Blubber is a good name for her!" The kids start to call Linda "blubber", kids start to really pick on Linda. Jill accuses Linda of telling Mr. Machinist that it was Jill and Tracy, (Jill's best friend,) who put rotten eggs in his mailbox. Jill and Tracy get punished severely. Jill and Tracy never found out who told on them. They even get some friends together to organize a fake court to see if Linda, or, Blubber, told on Jill and Tracy. The judge, bossy and mean Wendy, and Jill get into a fight during the "court" andthey never finish it.
    Read the book to find out what happened next!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    I'm an adult that bought this book for something to do. I find

    I'm an adult that bought this book for something to do. I find children's literature fascinating. I didn't particularly care for this book because I don't think it fulfills it's potential purpose. I thought this book was supposed to discourage bullying--I don't think it does. For one thing, I feel like the author focuses points the finger at the victim of the bullying instead of the perpetrators. If the story was from the point of view of the victim instead of a bully, it may be different. I feel that children's books should focus on teaching kids to reflect inwardly instead of criticizing others. I think Linda, the victim, may have had her faults but she definitely did not deserve the harassment she received at the hands of others.Jill, the protagonist, does many things that show a lack of moral fiber. Although she gets punished a little--both for her treatment of Linda and some of the other things she did--she doesn't honestly seem sorry for any of it. She never says, &quot;I bet Linda felt this way too; maybe I should not have treated her like that&quot;. I'm not saying kids books should all talk about perfect children--afterall, it is nice to be able to relate to people in literature. I just disagree entirely with the &quot;moral&quot; of this book. I think the author is trying to show that we shouldn't let others walk all over us. That IS a really good lesson--but I think based on the nature of some of the things in this book, she should have also talked about the importance of treating others like human beings.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Ummm

    Isit good?

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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