Saturday, January 19, 2013

The truly realistic fiction of Judy Blume

BlubberBlubber by Judy Blume
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every time I read Blume, I wonder if on some level most/many writers since her have chickened out. So many times I was pleasantly surprised by the very real world of Jill, a 5th grader I think, who, following the lead of the head bully, bullies a girl named Linda. The realism is stark: calling a teacher a bitch, adults having a couple of bloody mary's, Jill's friend squatting to pee saying, "Ah, it feels good" AND, of course, the cruel depictions of bullying.

It was a painful read; yet a story we must be more honest about. I wasn't a 100% sold on the ending. I get it that Blume didn't want to tidy everything up: have Jill become friends with Linda or have everyone embrace in a communal hug. But...I was left somewhat emotionally flat. Maybe that's my issue as so much fiction gives a forced emotional ending.

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