Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blubber by Judy Blume

Blubber is a young adult novel by Judy Blume first published in 1974. The protagonist is Jill Brenner, a Pennsylvania fifth-grader who joins her classmates in ostracizing and bullying Linda, an awkward and overweight girl. Linda gives an oral class report about whales and is hence nicknamed "Blubber" by her peers.

This book satisfied the Summer Reading Challenge Mini Challenge #1 for a book of 150-250 pages.

Here is my official Shelfari review:
Wow. What a painful book. It is well-written, but the truth of it really hits home. The school years can be excruciating, especially if you are a girl. Girls can be so mean! I was surprised by the harshness of the characters, but found it to be very accurate. There is very little remorse in bullying until you yourself are bullied. And the ease with which this mantle is swapped from girl to girl is extraordinary. Without a real beginning or ending, it is simply an account; a snapshot of time in the lives of a few students. A good book for younger readers.

Oh, this book was PAINFUL to read. The bullying was very real, and reminiscent of what many, if not all, girls endure at this age.

Interesting, too, that the one being bullied doesn't hesitate to bully others when the tables are turned. No lessons learned here, I was sorry to see. Judy Bloom delivers a true story, but I found very little redeeming about the story, and would not want to read another like it.

A little too much realism and not enough escape for me. However, it is written simply and would  be an easy read for a grade-schooler.

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