by Judy Blume

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What happens when teasing goes too far? This classic middle grade novel from Judy Blume addresses the timeless topic of bullying and has a fresh new look.

“Blubber is a good name for her,” the note from Caroline said about Linda. Jill crumpled it up and left it on the corner of her school desk. She didn’t want to think about Linda or her dumb report on whales just then. Jill wanted to think about Halloween.

But Robby grabbed the note and before Linda stopped talking it had gone halfway around the room. There was something about Linda that made a lot of kids in her fifth-grade class want to see how far they could go…but nobody, Jill least of all, expected the fun to end where it did.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440907077
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 12/15/1977
Pages: 153
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.76(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Judy Blume, one of America’s most popular authors, is the recipient of the 2004 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of beloved books for young people, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and novels for adult readers, including Wifey, Smart Women, and Summer Sisters. Her work has been translated into thirty-two languages.Visit Judy at or follow her on Twitter at @JudyBlume.


New York's Upper East Side, Key West, and Martha's Vineyard

Date of Birth:

February 12, 1938

Place of Birth:

Elizabeth, New Jersey


B.S. in education, New York University, 1961

Reading Group Guide

Macaroni Boy by Katherine Ayres
Blubber by Judy Blume
Spider Boy by Ralph Fletcher
True Blue by Jeffrey Lee
Feather Boy by Nick Springer

The books in this guide all deal with bullying. Use the questions to open discussion with your students on this important topic. Additional themes include challenges, friendships growing up, peer pressure, and self-discovery.

Bullying isn’t a new problem in schools. Almost all adults will say that they either encountered or knew a bully in their childhood. Some will say they were victimized, and others will admit to being innocent bystanders. And, some may even reveal that they were bullies themselves.
No one wants to be called names or teased and taunted. No one wants to be left out of a ballgame or a school activity. No one wants their personal belongings ruined or their secrets revealed. New kids in school, and children who are different, especially mentally and physically challenged kids, are often the targets. These kids are already on the outside, and therefore vulnerable. Bullies are seeking attention and want to feel important. They feed their low self-esteem by being mean to others.
Newspapers, magazines, television and radio news are filled with incidents of schoolyard bullying. Why has bullying become such a worldwide issue in schools today? Is bullying the beginning of school violence? Whatever the reasons, schools and parents must develop ways of helping children cope with the local school bully. Children who are being bullied are often quiet about it. The bully may have threatened them if they “tattle” or they may feel embarrassed.

Observant adults will notice if a child is quieter than usual, suddenly afraid of going to school, shows a drop in grades, and doesn’t want to play with friends or participate in after school activities. Ask questions. Engage them in conversation about the way they are feeling. Role-play a hypothetical incident. Encourage them to talk with someone they trust. Suggest they write about their feelings in a journal. Give them books to read.

1. Wendy is the most popular girl in Mrs. Minish’s fifth grade class. Ask the class to describe Wendy. Cite evidence from the novel that Wendy is a “troublemaker.” How does Wendy misuse her popularity? Why does Jill fall to Wendy’s power?

2. Discuss why Linda is such an easy target for bullies. Describe her feelings when the girls do and say mean things to her. Ask the class to discuss what Linda could have done to help her situation.

3. Describe Jill and Tracy’s friendship. How is Tracy more perceptive about Wendy than Jill? Discuss whether Tracy would participate in bullying Blubber if she were in Mrs. Minish’s class. How is it sometimes easier to see through a situation from the outside?

4. Engage the class in a discussion about whether Mrs. Minish, the teacher, realizes what is going on between the girls. Find passages in the novel that indicate that Mrs. Minish is an “uninformed” teacher. What can teachers and school administrators do to eliminate problems with bullying?

5. Wendy tries to convince Jill and Tracy that it was Linda who squealed on them for putting eggs in Mr. Machinist’s mailbox on Halloween. Tracy doubts the accusation, and Jill suggests that Linda be given a trial. How is this incident the turning point in the novel? What are the lessons that Jill learns?

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Blubber 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 134 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Give me ¿Blubber,¿ the children will scream as they tug for this book. This scene will probably be occurring at libraries were kids discover how great Judy Blume Books are.
Have you ever been bullied? If you have you definitely should read this book called Blubber! In the story, Linda, Jill, and Wendy are all fifth graders. Jill and Wendy make fun of Linda and call her Blubber. Linda did an animal report on whales so the kids call Linda Blubber because the report was about an hour long!
In the book, it¿s almost Halloween and Jill is hankering to find out what Linda¿s going to be for Halloween. Jill decides to be a whale stripper to annoy Linda. The day after Halloween, Linda brings in lettuce and salads for her school lunch. Wendy, Jill and all the other classmates chant and sing, Blubber¿s on a diet! Linda¿s was crying, as she was explaining that she¿s trying to lose weight so no one will make fun of her.
I have never been bullied or have ever bullied anyone, but I have seen bullying and tried to stop it. That day, the boy was secretly slapping the girl and I noticed that the girl¿s tears were falling like bullets! I felt horrible for her and I definitely told the teacher!
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read funtastic books!
Sweetonbooks More than 1 year ago
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 Blubber, Jill smiles, not because she thinks it's funny but because Wendy is watching her. After that, she participates wholeheartedly. Over the next few weeks, most of the kids laugh at Linda, call her names, spit at her, and trip her. They even physically hold her down to mess with her clothes and later, to force her to eat something unappealing. Linda lets it happen, doing very little to resist or fight back. In the end, they lock her in a closet and declare that she's on trial. Of course, Wendy is the judge and this inquiry is anything but fair. Jill thinks that she'll never be in Linda's position, but she learns that popularity is fleeting and that her position in the classroom hierarchy only lasts as long as she is willing to go along with the crowd. These kids seem to feel no remorse. In fact, there is a general lack of respect for their neighbors, teachers and other students. They justify inappropriate behavior by claiming that the person gets what they deserve. They vandalize houses during Halloween and brag about it. Their teachers are oblivious and Jill's parents are distracted, leaving the action to play out without any supervision. In many ways these kids are still so young, dressing up for Halloween or collecting stamps, and left to their own devices they sink to the lowest level. While none of the characters ever seem to gain much in the way of compassion or feeling, Jill does show readers that they should never let "other people decide what's going to happen to you" and that there are ways to stand up for yourself. This matter-of-fact, true to life portrayal of classroom dynamics is a must read!
Black_or_Barrons More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, Judy Blume is a great author. I enjoyed Blubber really because it shows just how hard the 5th grade can be, it teaches a lesson: you always get back what you give out..sooner or later. Jill andher friends Bully the class "fatty" calling her Blubber and making fun of her, but they see its not so fun to be bullied when they become the targets. This book is funny, descriptive and i loved it.
Howard92 More than 1 year ago
I read the book <Blubber> written by Judy Blume. This book is based on girls named Jill and Tracy. They go around doing naughty things and bullying a girl named Linda Fischer the <Blubber >. I generally liked the story because it was hilarious, descriptive, and fun. However, there were things I did not like about this book. One part was that this book described bullying as a fun thing to do so in that case I was little bit disappointed by the fact. Second reason is that there aren't many loving but a lot of hate such as bullying and name calling. Like "Blubber" or "Smelly Whale". I was expecting a friendship between Linda and Jill but got even worse instead. So I would like it if there were more love and friendship in this story. Another thing that disappointed me was that there was no lesson I learned after reading the story. The story was itself was fun but it did not impress my heart at all. Instead it sort of gave me bad feeling because of the swear words that came out like "Bit-" or "Dumb a-". Third, some parts were very evil and gruesome. This is one of the part that made me very angry. The girls made Linda Fisher eat a big ant covered in chocolate and threw rotten eggs at the neighbor's mail box and etc. I think these parts will influence the kids in a bad way. As a result I would recommend this book to people with age over 14 but not to younger (especially not the elementary kids).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this novel when I was in elementary school. Now, I was a huge fan of Judy Blume then, and even still admire many of her books. But this book was not one of my favorites. The things that were done to Linda were appalling, like making her show the boys her underpants(!!) and making her eat a chocolate covered ant! And the girls, including the narrator of the story, were horrible. The girls get caught rotten-egging a man's house (bad enough) but then don't even feel bad for what they've done! And they urinate in his yard! And then when the bad guys are supposed to get their comeuppance, it never really happens. Linda herself merely turns nasty but passionless, and not even a real truce is formed with anyone. The book leaves you feeling empty and even sad, and it doesn't 'teach' one anything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gives people a good knowlege of things that can go on school.linda is great and strong.the other girl just follows
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i first read this couldn't put it down it is a very good book if there were a hundred stars that's what i would rate this book.I'm happy m
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blubber is a girl named linda and everyone picked on her and clled her blubber. Then one day the shoe us on the other foot because wendy decided she would pick on jill and call here B.B and then she stood up for herself and everyone stoped pincking on her. Blubber teaches kids not to bully or watch people get bullied and to speak up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful 97-paged novel about a girl named Linda who is always getting picked on because of her weight. One day, she does, from Jill Brenner's point of view, a boring report about whales. In the report, Linda talks about flensers, people who are payed to strip blubber off whales. A note goes around the classroom during the report that says: "Blubber is a good name for her!" The kids start to call Linda "blubber", kids start to really pick on Linda. Jill accuses Linda of telling Mr. Machinist that it was Jill and Tracy, (Jill's best friend,) who put rotten eggs in his mailbox. Jill and Tracy get punished severely. Jill and Tracy never found out who told on them. They even get some friends together to organize a fake court to see if Linda, or, Blubber, told on Jill and Tracy. The judge, bossy and mean Wendy, and Jill get into a fight during the "court" andthey never finish it. Read the book to find out what happened next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so freakin amazing!! Read it if you love judy blume!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War before it, Judy Blume's Blubber defies the rules of how a book about a school outcast should end. Jill Brenner, the protagonist, thinks it's fun to join 'class leader' Wendy and the other fifth-grade kids in picking on Linda Fischer, who's NOT the fattest kid in the class but gets tagged with the nickname 'Blubber'. Do you think Jill will discover that Linda is really a sweet sensitive kid who's misunderstood? Think again! Blubber exposes the cowardice, hypocrisy, and even fickleness that lies behind peer pressure and constant teasing. Jill learns cost of standing up for someone's rights, and how surprisingly easy it is for ANYONE to join in the 'fun' of making another person miserable just to fit in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great judy blume book execpt for the ending.This book keeps you hooked the whole way and has you hoping that the main character will learn a lesson. But instead gives you the unexpected. Wich is great but then you are expecting almost the whole class to learn a lesson and you peek and there is only one chapter left. I absolutley loved this book execpt for the ending AND the way the kids at her school treated eachother it was very frighting and scary to me. It made me happy that my school does'nt have kids like that! The main character in the book is so bad that you almost want to stop reading it but you are too hooked on tho the story you don't! Besides the behavior and the ending .This book is great I suggest you to buy it now!!!!! Happy reading!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Judy Blume, who is the author of this book, presents real-world conflicts and situations. Each situation and conflict are combatted with realistic resolutions. She also understands when humor should be included or not. Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not get it yet but the sample was great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best book you could EVER read. It is so sad but very meaning full. You MUST read it!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book for show a flaw in everyone that we often hide from ourselves: that sometimes we are just mean to people for no good reason. I did this in 2 nd grade to a boy named Alex at my daycare.I didnt rralize how awful I was untill just before I moved away. Then, all I could do was apologise. I also loved it because it showed how cruel kids can be. And how much it hurts when you get bullied. Especialy if they do it in a way that person will never forget and about things like obesity. I am chubby,and in 2nd grade, and 3rd grade the kids teased me and it really hurt. In third grade, it got worse. I can still picture theyre voices in my head two years later. This book showed me two sides of the stick that Ive been on, and made me look at things again. I felt even more remorse forAlex,and more remore for not alerting an adult when things got really awful for me,because it made me think:those kids in 2nd and 3rd grade werent any better. Though they never physically hurt me like the kids in the story, they said things that were partially true about my weight. The only thing I disliked was that no one ever thought: its not anyones fault or choice to be overweight. I know this from experience. I honesly have no idea if normal weight people think this in real life. BUY THIS BOOK! IT WILL MAKE YOUTHINK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone has reccomended blubber! It'now a reccomendation from me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this book I thought the way Linda aka blubber was being treated horribly and unfairly just because of her weight witch was personal and non of her classmates buissness but as I kept reading I realizef Linda was not to good herself so over all I think this book is unpredictable and interesting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All this talkes about is some real fat 5 grader. This book means alot to my fith grade doughter. She also is "over weight" like the book by the awwsome author Judy Bloom. -Elienn Walsh
SalTCBug More than 1 year ago
Great granddaughter assures me she will "love" this Judy Blume book as she has the others she has read. Blume books are good for keeping kids reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm an adult that bought this book for something to do. I find children's literature fascinating. I didn't particularly care for this book because I don't think it fulfills it's potential purpose. I thought this book was supposed to discourage bullying--I don't think it does. For one thing, I feel like the author focuses points the finger at the victim of the bullying instead of the perpetrators. If the story was from the point of view of the victim instead of a bully, it may be different. I feel that children's books should focus on teaching kids to reflect inwardly instead of criticizing others. I think Linda, the victim, may have had her faults but she definitely did not deserve the harassment she received at the hands of others.Jill, the protagonist, does many things that show a lack of moral fiber. Although she gets punished a little--both for her treatment of Linda and some of the other things she did--she doesn't honestly seem sorry for any of it. She never says, &quot;I bet Linda felt this way too; maybe I should not have treated her like that&quot;. I'm not saying kids books should all talk about perfect children--afterall, it is nice to be able to relate to people in literature. I just disagree entirely with the &quot;moral&quot; of this book. I think the author is trying to show that we shouldn't let others walk all over us. That IS a really good lesson--but I think based on the nature of some of the things in this book, she should have also talked about the importance of treating others like human beings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book might influnce bullying to others teaches a lesson too