Jill is an ostensibly innocent spectator to her friend Caroline and several others bullying Linda, a fat girl. This goes on for most of the book, with Caroline 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 in 3rd grade and absolutely despising it. It has the usual Judy Blume flaws; poor, clumsy use of language, with the convenient cop-out that she's writing from the first-person perspective of a semi-literate, pre-pubescent girl.
It's also peppered with irritating personal details about the narrators' lives that are supposed to be funny or quirky, but come across as lame, hokey, and forced.
However, the main sin of this book is much worse. One so vile that most of Judy Blume's other works actually manage to avoid it. Namely, it has no point.
What exactly are we supposed to get from Caroline bullying Linda? The book never makes any over-arching statement on the matter. Nothing about the mindset of the bullier, the victim, what to do, how it can change, or anything of the sort. Instead, all we get is a dry, boring account of the bullying.
Even the defense of "realism" doesn't work, because as mentioned above, Caroline is just so laughably unrealistic in her bullying ability. It's not that she's too mean either, but that she's far too smart and sophisticated with her tactics.
The bullies I've encountered in life were never subtle or intelligent. They were just nasty and relentless.
Which, incidentally, Caroline is not.
So what else do we have? The idea that bullying sucks? Well sure... and two plus two makes four.
So essentially, Blubber
is a poorly written book with lousy jokes and irrelevant trifles, fails at realism, has an awful conclusion, and possesses no real point.
Avoid it like the plague.