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Kid Konnection: Blubber

December 28, 2013


When Linda, the “pudgiest girl” in her fifth grade class, gives a report on whales, Wendy, the class bully, decides that “Blubber” would be a good nickname for her.  The rest of the kids join Wendy and tease Linda, calling her Blubber, and their cruelty escalates from there.  A few of the students are uncomfortable with what is going on but are afraid to speak up and don’t know what to do to help Linda.  Jill is in the class and goes along with Wendy even though she really knows it’s wrong.  Jill’s best friend, Tracy, is in another class, but notices Jill’s behavior on the bus and tells Jill it looks like she’s afraid of Wendy.  This makes Jill think about her behavior.

Blubber, by Judy Blume, was published in 1974 but it is still very relevant today.  I think it does a wonderful job of showing the cruelty of bullying and encourages readers to think for themselves.  I’d like to thrust this book into the hands of every young person I know because it gives readers a lot to think about and begs to be discussed.

Both the characters and the plot of this book are very true to life.  Wendy is cruel but the other kids go along with her – probably because they don’t want her to turn against them.   Her mean ideas seem like fun unless you’re the target of her cruelty.  Readers can see just how hurtful her bullying is and will hopefully think before they join others in such vicious behavior.  Apparently this book is too true to life for some people – it’s been banned because Wendy was never punished for her behavior.  This is a terrific book for all young readers – hopefully it is used in schools.  (By the way, the book has been released with a more modern cover, but this is what the cover of the copy I read looks like.)

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2013 6:15 am

    I read this as a teenager and loved it and still remember it which just goes to show what a great author Judy Blume is!

  2. December 28, 2013 6:38 am

    I haven’t read this one but agree that it sounds timely and important for every young person to read.

  3. December 28, 2013 7:38 am

    I didn’t know Judy Blume had a book with a Jill protagonist! Must get this one!

  4. Patty permalink
    December 28, 2013 8:29 am

    Some books are always relevant.

  5. December 28, 2013 1:42 pm

    I remember reading this one back in the day, Judy Blume really is a genius when it comes to kids fiction.

  6. December 28, 2013 3:13 pm

    This brought back memories. I have a whole set of Judy Blume books from my teen years and look forward to sharing the stories with our daughter.

  7. December 28, 2013 5:47 pm

    it infuriates me that some of the most important and relevant books for youth to read are banned! where is the wisdom in that?!? I remembered reading this one when I was in school and yes, it still pertains to what our kids go through today. Love that you reminded us of it’s importance and existence!

  8. sandynawrot permalink
    December 28, 2013 6:11 pm

    I read this one when I was in grade school…it was relevant then and it is relevant now. Hey, we had a girl in our class that was bullied (she got the last laugh because she ended up being valedictorian). And the hard cold truth of bullying is that often there are no consequences for the one doing the bullying. This stuff happens in bathrooms and behind corners away from teachers’ eyes. It is sad when you have to teach your kid to stand up for themselves strategically in these situations.

  9. December 28, 2013 6:45 pm

    Love that you posted a review on this book!! It is very relevant…past, present and almost certainly will be in the future. I think I need to give this book to my granddaughter.

  10. December 29, 2013 10:34 am

    I remember how much I enjoyed this book as a kid — but I hadn’t really thought back to how relevant the story is now. This one really has stood the test of time!

    Thanks, Kathy, for a great year of reviews. I love reading your blog, and wish you another great year of reading and good times with your family in 2014!

  11. Caitie F permalink
    December 29, 2013 4:07 pm

    I read all of the Judy Blume books when I was younger and loved them. So glad they hold up for kids today.

  12. December 29, 2013 8:37 pm

    I loved this book in elementary school. Judy Blume is the best. Glad the book still holds up so well!

  13. December 29, 2013 8:41 pm

    I love all things Judy Blume! Fun fact – almost all of her books are on the banned books list – including this one 😉

  14. December 29, 2013 8:42 pm

    Ok… hee hee…. I am a dork – if I wouldn’t have been so excited to post before I read your full review I would have realized…. you know it was banned. 😉

  15. January 2, 2014 9:31 pm

    I remember reading this when I was younger. I was obsessed with Judy Blume’s books!

  16. Literary Feline permalink
    January 3, 2014 10:14 pm

    I remember being able to relate to this book when I read it as a child. It certainly deals with issues relevant today. I am glad you enjoyed it!

  17. bookingmama permalink
    January 4, 2014 9:03 am

    Loved this book as a kid and as an adult. Judy Blume is still one of my favorite authors.

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