Is Blubber still imporant?

I am writing a paper on bullying in my tween literature class. One of the books I am using is “Blubber” by Judy Blume. I liked the book but one of the images that struck with me is at the end of the book. Throughout the book there are different targets of bullying and the last scene involved the children on the bus picking a new target to pick on. The narrator is matter of fact when she describes this scene. I had a problem with that image because at first it seemed like the author was saying bullying is a part of going to school. That it will not change and remain the same. I did not like that ending.

I was doing research for another project and I came across Judy Blume’s website. She wrote about her reasoning for writing “Blubber.” Her daughter had a bullying incident at her school and she was angry because she felt the teacher was not aware of what was happening her class. Her daughter’s  had their own version of “Wendy” who was controlling and manipulating the class. After reading that article, it changed the way I looked at the book. I started to notice how often adults were absent allowing Wendy to take control of the class. The students were not supervised that well during lunch. They were not supervised when they went to the bathroom. They were not supervised on the bus. The teachers did not seem to know what was going on with their students.

I think about the ending now and I think that Judy Blume is criticizing the adults surrounding the child characters. They are not stepping in when they should be. The reason the bullying continues is that the adults supervising them are not doing anything to try and stop it. I think she wrote this book for children but also for parents and teachers to make them aware of what was happening in their classrooms. To make them aware of how cruel kids can be. I think that teachers have to let their students know what is acceptable and unacceptable in their classrooms.

I think that “Blubber” is still important but as a warning of allowing a bullying culture to develop in a classroom. Bullying can become acceptable because the teachers allowed it to happen. I am a teacher now and I understand that it is hard to know everything that is going on in a classroom. But you do things to minimize the chance of bullying happening. You also let your students know what is acceptable and unacceptable. You try to do things to build community in your classroom and try to build empathy in them. This is hard to do but it helps your students.


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