Blubber - Judy Blume
Reading Challenge Category: A book published in the decade you were born
Bullying sucks, but true friendship is worth fighting for. Blubber is a thick layer of fat that lies under the skin and over the muscles of whales . . . When Linda innocently reads out her class project, everyone finds it funny. Linda can't help it if she's fat, but what starts as a joke leads to a sustained and cruel ritual of humiliation. Jill knows she should defend Linda, but at first she's too scared. When she eventually stands up to the bullies, she becomes their next victim – and what's worse, Linda is now on their side . . .
I do like reading a Judy Blume book once in a while; it makes me feel young again! They are really geared for the younger audience, but there are no rules to say a 41-year-old woman can’t revisit her youth and read them and smile along at the silliness of how kids act. I’m not sure how old Jill is in this as it doesn’t actually say. I’d guess between 10 and 12? She didn’t seem mature enough to be any older than this but did seem compos mentis enough with her own thoughts to be older than my niece who is 7. I’m open to being wrong about this guess though, as I’ve not had much experience with kids. Anyway, my heart broke for Linda the whole way through the story. I was that chubby kid who did a boring talk at school. Fortunately, I didn’t choose to do it on anything that could be a direct correlation to my weight! Although that didn’t stop kids finding a random fat name for me! Ten Tonne Tess, my name is Helen, go figure that one out!?! Kid logic! The protagonist, Jill, isn’t that likeable a character. She isn’t the main bully, but performs due to peer pressure and causes her to act in an unfavourable manner most of the time. She does get her comeuppance. For a book based at the younger audience, I think this would be an excellent gentle cautionary tale on bullying especially if you were one of the of the bullies that had the ability to be emphatic and not pure evil. The book was really well written, and you could really feel the angst, the squeals, the naughtiness and the huffs coming from the kids off the pages. It is only a short read at 193 pages. So it didn’t take up too much of my reading time, but I did feel like it did suddenly come to an abrupt end. However, I suppose the story had run it’s course and had nowhere else to go. Overall, a pleasant read but was slightly uncomfortable in places due to the subject matter.