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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  23,857 ratings  ·  800 reviews
Blubber is a good name for her, the note from Wendy says about Linda. Jill crumples it up and leaves it on the corner of her desk. She doesn't want to think about Linda or her dumb report on the whale just now. Jill wants to think about Halloween.

But Robby grabs the note, and before Linda stops talking it has gone halfway around the room.

That's where it all starts. There's
Paperback, 152 pages
Published August 1st 1986 by Yearling (first published 1974)
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Lord of the Flies by William GoldingCarrie by Stephen KingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
55th out of 205 books — 142 voters
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel SilversteinZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. PirsigThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanCarrie by Stephen KingAll the President's Men by Carl Bernstein
Best Books of 1974
20th out of 69 books — 29 voters

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Community Reviews

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Alise Scheeler
If you were fat as a kid, and you didn't read this book, we can no longer be friends.
The genius of this book is not that it doesn't impart any moral, it does, but it does so subtly, without condescension. There's no comeuppance for the ringleading bully, no adult interference to save the tormented. Hell, the girl who is picked on isn't all that sympathetic. It's a dark little book, and the darkness works beautifully.
I was at the library with my children yesterday when I noticed the Judy Blume books. I loved Judy Bloom when I was younger. So I thought it would be interesting to reread some of them again. Blubber is the one I read last night. I remember when I read it the first time that I really related to the main character, Jill. It is about a 5th grade class who begins to pick on Linda who is overweight. This is day in and out teasing-harassing. Then one day Jill gets on the wrong side of one of the main ...more
Don't be a hater.

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My signed copy of Blubber is one of my most prized possessions. This is an honest and sometimes painful to read portrayal of bullying. It does not wrap up neatly, as few real-life bullying situations do, but it does have some important lessons. After reading this book, it is comforting to find Judy Blume's personal note about why she wrote it:
"I wrote Blubber because bullying is often kept a secret by the kids who see it happening, and even by the person who's being bullied. Being bullied feels
John Harder
What is a 46 year old man doing reading literature directed for 12-year-old girls? I could say that my girlfriend made me read it, but it was only a recommendation and I went along willingly. I am glad I did so.

In Blubber a middle school Nazi and her cadre of sheep persecute a marginally overweight girl (This book was written at a time prior to all children being fat. I imagine now they would pick on the slender child). This book confirms all my fears about children and makes me grateful that I
I did a long in-depth review of this - on my site - entitled Judy Blume's Blubber - Ballad of a Bully - as you can see by the title , I wasn't too impressed by the supposed lesson every reader out there, believes we've been taught. Jill is painted as an unremorseful heroine who blames just about everyone for her actions, most specifically - Wendy. While Linda a.k.a Blubber is a most pathetic victim - never is she given one ounce of dignity, everything associate ...more
This book repulsed me in so many ways. To have to watch (read) as an innocent child is torn to emotional shreds hurts my heart, even if she is a fictional character. Even though Blume tries to give her main character a chance at redemption, I felt like this character was flat, evil, and horrible to anyone who seemed weaker than her. I can't honestly say I loved this book however, I think it's important that kids and adults be taught about bullying. This book is a good conversation started, but t ...more
Jill is an ostensibly innocent spectator to Wendy, her friend Caroline, and several others bullying Linda, a fat girl. This goes on for most of the book, with Wendy constantly proving herself a more fearsome, expert bullier than anyone I've ever met in life. (Boys, teenagers, and TSA personnel included) Eventually, there is a major change in Linda's social status, and it's handled about as gracefully as a pregnant elephant performing ballet on a frozen lake.

I remember having to read this book i
Sweet on Books
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 Blubbe ...more
Lars Guthrie
Judy Blume has a lesson to teach in 'Blubber,' which could be the kiss of death in a children's book. Teaching a lesson often transmogrifies into an adult talking down.

But this novel about bullying is saved by Blume's attention to reality. While the bully--Wendy, one of the few characters here without much depth--gets a kind of comeuppance, Blume offers no pat solutions. Jill, her protagonist, is just as guilty of nasty behavior as Wendy is.

Jill's clueless fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Minnish, an
Amy Flink
I first read this book when I was 9 and loved it and laughed in spite of myself. I knew it was very mean and cruel. As I reached the climax I suddenly realized that what was happening in the book to the victims (Linda "Blubber" and later Jill) was happening to me all the time with my groups of friends from the time I started school! Even preschool and in neighborhood situations, sadly enough. I have been at the middle (like Jill) and bottom (like Blubber) of the pecking order in cliques so I kno ...more
CH_Emily Scholnik
Recommended in "Children's Books in Children's Hands."
Banned several times for the following reason, "The characters curse and the mean-spirited ringleader is never punished for her cruelty."
Grade Range 6-10

I think the "reason" this book has been put on many banned book lists is ridiculous personally. Kids curse, follow the leader and can be downright cruel. It is an unfortunate fact of life. If anything, this book should be used as a catalyst for discussion among pre-teen to teenage girls about
I hadn't read Blubber since I was in Elementary School, so my memories of the book were a little misleading for me. Reading it again though, as an adult, kind of shocked me. The four stars aren't because I liked it as much as they are for accuracy. Judy Blume captures the outright nastiness of little girls, and it just reminded me too much of ll the bullies I knew in school. The position of power could change easily, and one minute you could be on top and the next minute everyone hates you. My h ...more
Listed with Paige and Harper in the car. It was much more disturbing and much less funny than I remember it being when I was a kid. I really appreciate now Blume's realistic depiction of such scarring situations, as well as how she managed to have her anti-hero struggle herself, while still not wrapping up the solution and tying it with a bow. (In a modern day tale you would expect the girls to become friends in the end.) An interesting contrast to how my girls learn about bullying and bystander ...more
Emily Pier
This is a very inspirational story about a fifth grade girl who learns about the many trials of growing up. The title, Blubber, is because the main character is teased because of her weight. It was very easy to relate to when I read it, because I was around the same age as the main character.
In particular, I liked how Blume showed readers what happens on both sides of the bullying "fence." I feel as if this book is a must read, especially for adolescent girls. Blume does a superb job of portray
Hasini (Ink On Paper)
When I started this book, I was pretty upset with how narrow-minded Jill was. It frustrated me to no end and I really didn't like her character.

But it wasn't until Jill became victimised that I understood what Blume was trying to point out.

They're kids and their focus doesn't extend much past their own problems. It's the popular kid that's the focus point of all the bullying. And everyone takes part in bullying as long as they're not the victim. It's pretty sad to see how it just unroll from th
I knew Blubber was a book about bullying, but for some reason I didn't realize it was told from the perspective of one of the bullies. And despite the fact that there is no real resolution at the end, I think there's a lesson in that for kids just as much as a book that ends neatly. Sometimes in life the bullies don't get their comeuppance, so what other lessons can we take away from reading a book like this if that's the case?
Kristine Pratt
I finished this book days ago and here I sit, still not entirely sure how to review this. I didn't like the book...much. I hated Jill. I never found anything to like about her at all. She went along with the crowd and even when the tables were turned, she showed no compassion at all, with the attitude of "She shouldn't let other people get to her."

The bullying was traumatic to read about. I'd been bullied as a child in the 70s and this brought back a lot of bad memories. Things happened here tha
I think my main complaint with this book is that it is dishonest. It's fiction, of course, but I feel it's presented to the reader under false pretenses. It is presented as the story of Linda's torment as told by Jill, a reluctant participant in the bullying.
But Jill is not a reluctant participant. She didn't start it, but she was quite happy to go along with ringleader Wendy's schemes, and she never expressed any kind of remorse or reluctance, even to herself. She very obliquely mentions Linda
Allegra Hailey Green
I really enjoyed this read. This is one of the Judy Blume books I never read as a kid. The reason I picked it up was that I read "Everything I needed to know about being a girl I learned from Judy Blume" and a lot of the authors listed it as one of their favourites.

Judy Blume again manages to create a multi-dimensional main character with several quirks and interesting facts, including the neighbourhood and setting surrounding the story. It was a really interesting read, and made me think a lot
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This is one Blume book I did not read as a child, so this was my first reading. I don't even know how many stars to give this book. I didn't like the story, but yet it wasn't a one-star book. I didn't like it because there is nothing likeable about any of the characters. We see the story through the eyes of Jill, a seemingly normal 5th-grade girl who collects stamps and likes peanut butter. She lives in a nice home in a good neighborhood and has a group of friends. She is a very ordinary person. ...more
Having read and loved all of Blume's books when I was young, I didn't think twice about choosing this novel in audio form for my family to listen to on a recent road trip. My children, both girls, are ages 7 and 9. From Judy Blume I expected redeeming characters (though flawed) and social justice. What we got instead were painful descriptions of bullying, made worse, perhaps, because we were trapped by the audio version. I didn't put a halt to the story, though, because I saw the descriptions as ...more
This was a quick afternoon read & I was looking forward to seeing how I read it as an adult now compared to how my pre-teenage self read it. It definitely represents the grade school drama and makes my adult safe glad I am past those days. I am left with two sad feelings as a result of this book:

1. There is no particularly happy ending for the bullied child, Linda. Sure, you can assume she is no longer bullied, but who is her friend now? It's both hard to be a bullied kid and hard to be a lo
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My God, I remember liking this book and the protagonist when I was in 5th grade which is really ironic because that’s when I started getting picked on by so-called friends. As an adult? WOW. I don’t blame the moral guardians for throwing a fit over this book, so many broken aesops and family unfriendly aesops I don't even know where to begin.

I think if I read this book again now the only characters I’d like would be Linda (because really what did she ever do to these bitches) and Tracy (a loyal
Karly 8-22

The book Blubber is realistic fiction written by Judy Blume. The main characters Jill and Tracy are best friends that are inseparable in Mrs. Minish’s 5th grade class. They love to collect stamps and hang out.
When one of Jill and Tracy’s classmates, Linda who is very shy and doesn’t have many friends, give their report on whales she gets made fun of. She was talking about how whales have blubber and that a flenser is a person who strips the blubber. When a note gets passed around the classroo
Krista Ashe
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Oh, it was almost excruciating to read Judy Blume's brilliant description of childhood bullying, and how the children turn on each other for petty reasons. The evilness of the main bully almost made me gag several times; for example when she forces the victim to say "I am a big smelly whale" before being allowed to use the bathroom, to show her underwear to the boys or, worst of all, eat chocolate-covered ants. The narrator first joins in on the bullying of one heavy, passive girl who gives a re ...more
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Judy Blume 3 36 Nov 02, 2013 06:48PM  
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Reading log # 5 1 11 Apr 01, 2012 11:40AM  
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  • There's a Bat in Bunk Five (Marcy Lewis, #2)
  • Anastasia Again! (Anastasia Krupnik, #2)
  • Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You
  • The Long Secret (Harriet the Spy #2)
  • Baby-Sitters' Winter Vacation (The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special, #3)
Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fu ...more
More about Judy Blume...
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1) Summer Sisters Superfudge (Fudge, #3) Forever

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