Blubber – Judy Blume

“My best friend, Tracy Wu, says I’m really tough on people. She says she wonders why sometimes how I can like her. But we both know that’s a big joke. Tracy’s the best friend I’ll ever have. I just wish we were in the same fifth-grade class.”
When everyone picks on Linda for being a bit overweight, Jill joins in. She knows deep down that its wrong but Linda deserves it right? Who would let themselves get like that? But when the tables turn, the bullies get bored of Linda and choose another target, just how will Jill feel then?

***
I’d never read a Judy Blume book until Blubber – I think they must have by-assed me when I was younger as when I was at the age to enjoy them the most I wasn’t interested in that type of book and Id never picked on up since. I’m so glad I decided to see what all the fuss was about because now I can see why Judy Blume is as highly regarded as she is.
Blubber is one of those books that highlight the things kids do, that people like to forget about. Kids are seriously mean at times, all that “Im not going to be your friend I’m going to be X’s friend” for no apparent reason thing… they are just plain mean and I don’t think I’ve read a book that shows just how mean they can be until now.
Jill is a sheep; she goes along with the bullies because she’s worried what might happen if she doesn’t. In a way she is worse than the bullies because at least they are mean, that’s ingrained in them and it usually stems from somewhere else. Jill though, is a nice girl but she’s mean because she’s a coward, even though she has no real reason to be.
Blubber has a lot of life lessons in it – most of it happens at the end of the book so I can’t go into it much but I was very glad how things turned out and what decisions were made. I think that the main overarching theme of the book is basically how would you feel if that happened to you or your friend? And that’s got to be something every youngster is taught! Judy Blume managed to put some very important lessons and a gripping story into only 127 pages and it was done so well that I’m really not surprised so many people love her and recommend her work so much.
The only small niggle I had with Blubber was that it may be becoming out dated. It seemed quite aged to me, not so much the story itself, everything that happened can be related to things that happen these days but the characters and their actions/hobbies? I think these could make the kids this book is aimed at feel very detached to the story.  However, I still think this book is a must read for any kids, or anyone with kids, between 9 and 13. I really hope it is still widely available it school libraries, even if it is over 30 years old!
Blubber was first published in 1974. My copy was published in 2006 by Macmillan Childrens books and it was obtained via amazon.
  • I know they sometimes update Blume. For example, in *Are You There, God, It’s Me, Margaret?* she has really old fashioned pads when she has her period in the print runs from the 70’s. I was like, “What? Why is there a belt? What’s going on?!” My mom gave me some insight onto the hygiene of the 70’s (yay for developments in that area!), and I checked out a more current version. Those details have been updated. I love *Blubber*! Great review!

  • Judy Blume was the only YA author I can remember from my teens! Not that I read one of her books, as I loved fantasy more than reality. Still do in fact – somethings never change!

  • God, I loved Judy Blume when I was younger. I think I read them before I was at the age they were aimed for, because I remember they seemed really adult and cool!

    I liked Paula Danziger too – she wrote really similar-style books.

  • Oh MAN I loved this book in the 90s!x

  • Judy Blume was one of my favourite authors when I was a teen, I loved this book so much. I think it’s a really valid point that you make about how well it’d still hold up, I’d like to think that today’s teens are still loving it.

  • I remember reading this book when I was a kid although that has been a long time ago and my memory of the book is kinda fuzzy. I do still to this day have a love of Judy Blume and her books. My oldest and I have been reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and he is really enjoying it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book!