Linda gets bullied at school and everyone, including the narrator, makes fun of her. Then the narrator gets bullied and suddenly, it’s not funny any more.
''Blubber'' was first published by JudyBlume in 1974 and was banned from many school libraries and reading lists because of violence and language.
!! This book provides examples of:
* ActualPacifist: Linda tries to solve the problem by dialogue. It fails.
* AdultsAreUseless: The teachers scold the kids occasionally for their antics, but never make a move to stop it. Jill's mother comforts her when the class turns on her, but doesn't step in to actually ''help'' her. When Jill and Tracy are forced to rake Mr. Machinist's yard as punishment for their prank, Jill's dad defends the girls when Machinist (rightly, at least in Jill's case) calls them "brats," and afterward doesn't disagree when Jill remarks that Machinist really ''did'' deserve the prank, thus ensuring that Jill hasn't learned a thing from this.
** Even when Linda actually tells authority figures about the bullying, the adults either pay no attention to her, don't believe her, simply don't care, or all of the above. Even when the principal addresses the entire class after one incident, Wendy cooks up an outrageous lie of a story to "explain", and the principal and the teacher swallow it hook, line and sinker. Part of it could be Mrs. Minish's refusal to believe that her kids could be so cruel (that line of dialogue is even the title of one chapter in the book).
** Worse yet, they blame the victim. Wendy trips Linda as she's walking down the aisle and Mrs. Minish tells Linda to "be more careful." When the class starts playing catch with Linda's apple at lunchtime and the apple ends up on the floor when the lunch monitor walks in, it's Linda who gets yelled at because it's her apple. And later, after Jill has become the victim of bullying and is attacked at her bus stop, scattering her books and papers all over, the bus driver yells at Jill for taking too long to get her things back together. Even Jill's mother suggests it's Jill's own fault she's getting bullied because she's "a pretty tough character".
** Probably the only adult in the book with any bite at all is Mr. Machinist, and to a somewhat lesser extent Miss Rothbelle.
** And probably the only adult in the book who ''isn't'' useless is the nanny, Mrs. Sandmeier, who seems to fill a role similar to Ole Golly in HarrietTheSpy in that she does more parenting than both of Jill's parents put together. It's telling that when the tables turn on Jill, the first person she tells about it (in a letter) is Mrs. Sandmeier (although, being on vacation in Switzerland, Mrs. Sandmeier isn't in a position to help).
* AllGirlsLikePonies: Donna actually wants to ''marry'' a horse when she grows up. She even has one picked out, his name is San Salvadore.
* AlphaBitch: Wendy is the de facto leader of Jill's class. Almost everyone in the class obeys Wendy, and even teacher would believe her words over everyone else's.
%%* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Kenny Brenner
%%* BerserkButton: Never call Jill's best friend Tracy a racial slur. Ever.
* BetaBitch: Caroline mostly, although Donna and Jill herself also fill this role. Jill actually calls attention to this near the end, calling Caroline out on being Wendy's lapdog when they corner her in the bathroom.
* BreakTheHaughty: Averted, because Jill doesn't really learn anything (or at least not the lesson she SHOULD have learned) from becoming the target of bullying herself.
* TheBully: Wendy is the one who started bullying Linda, and, later, had the whole class turn on Jill when the latter defied her.
* CreepyChild: Wendy and her followers are a borderline example. They ''write lists'' of new ways to torment Linda, including ''forcibly undressing her'' on two separate occasions. Later, Wendy and her gang attack Jill at the bus stop and throw her books on the ground.
* DoubleStandard: Touched on regarding overweight males versus overweight females. Jill notes that one of the boys gleefully tormenting Linda for her "blubber" is extremely overweight and is, in fact, fatter than her. Even better, he's jumping rope to a mocking chant directed towards the title character. Special attention is called to his undulating rolls of fat in the narration.
* HeIsNotMyBoyfriend: Warren Winkler is a creepy (so Jill says) kid whose parents are good friends with Jill's parents. It's implied that the kids' parents believe the two of them will become friends (or more) when they get older. Wendy later seizes on this as one of Jill's sore spots and uses it to torment her.
* InformedDeformity: Linda is apparently the fattest girl in the class, but on the cover art she doesn't look any heavier than the rest of the girls. Lampshaded in the book. Jill admits that she doesn't know why they all go after Linda to torment, as Linda really isn't all that big.
* KarmaHoudini: Wendy never received any punishments despite being the ring leader of two massive bullying.
* KeepAway: Played first with Linda's notebook, then later Jill's math book.
%%* KidsAreCruel: And ''how''.
%%* LonersAreFreaks: Poor Linda…
* MoralGuardians: The book was banned in a lot of places for its complete lack of sugarcoating, KarmaHoudini ending, and the use of curse words by young kids. Another, darker reason is that some claim it to be fuel for future bullies.
* MoralityPet: Tracy seems to be this for Jill, as she's the only one Jill has a consistent good relationship with.
* PickyEater: Jill doesn't like a lot of things, including Chinese food and the menu at Warren's Bar Mitzvah. It's possibly the reason she's so skinny, and she's actually called out for it a few times.
* SchoolBullyingIsHarmless: '''HELL NO.'''
* ShamefulStrip: After trapping Linda in the girls' bathroom, Wendy orders Jill (dressed as a flenser for Halloween) to "strip the Blubber" and not stop until she has to run down the hall "in her blubbery birthday suit." It never gets ''that'' far, but the girls do reveal Linda's undershirt and flowery underpants before letting her off with a lesser humiliation.
* ShutUpHannibal: Jill ''does'' eventually call Wendy on her bullshit, even if in the end it amounts to little. (All it does is cost Wendy her friendship Caroline.)
* TokenGoodTeammate: Rochelle, who is quiet and stays out of the class' bullying behavior. She becomes Jill's new friend at the end of the book.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Jill loves peanut butter sandwiches, to the point where she sneaks one to Warren's Bar Mitzvah to eat when she doesn't like the food provided. One of the starting points for her friendship with Rochelle is that Rochelle has a peanut butter sandwich too.