Lori's Reviews > Blubber

Blubber by Judy Blume
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Mar 07, 2014

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bookshelves: audiobooks, kids-books, re-read
Read in February, 2014

I read this back when I was the fat kid in the class, and decided to listen to the audiobook recently. It's really painful to listen to because of the bullying. As an adult with no children, I often forget how cruel kids can be to one another. Judy Blume was really ahead of her time. When you think about how so many books and tv shows aimed at kids during that time period were quite preachy- with obvious heroes and villains, you have to applaud Blume for a trailblazing approach to the subject of bullying. Spoiler alert.... The story is told from the point of view of one of the bullies. While Jill is not the ringleader, she is an active participant in the cruelty directed at Linda AND she is a vandal. The reader knows she is the sort of kid who only learns a lesson if something affects her when she states that she doesn't believe in smashing pumpkins because she once had her own jack-o-lantern smashed and it was awful. Yet, she thinks nothing of throwing rotten eggs into a neighbor's mailbox. So, of course, Jill doesn't get what is wrong with bullying until the bullies turn against her. Another anti-cliche that Blume employs is that Linda, the girl who is picked on for her weight, is not really all that sympathetic. As it turns out, if she is given the chance to be the bully, she'll take it. Very interesting and dark work by Judy Blume. It's really quite ingenious, but not the most pleasant thing to listen to- especially for a former "fat kid".
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