Blubber is the story of a girl who must decide whether to follow the crowd or not.
We begin in a town in Pennsylvania where our storyteller is Jill Brenner. She is in the fifth Grade and is part of a clique that includes the most popular girl in the class named Wendy. Wendy and her clique bully a quiet girl named Linda. They make fun of her weight and force her to say horrible things about herself.
One day Linda tries to speak to Jill about what the bullying is doing to her and threatens to tell someone about the ongoing torment, but Jill dismisses Linda’s feelings. Jill believes that because she is friends with Wendy, she is safe from any classroom reciprocation.
Jill also has a best friend named Tracy. As best friends do, they do everything together. Of course, this includes trick or treating. Jill dresses up as a Flenser, which is a person who strips the blubber from a whale (or so we are told) Tracy dresses up as a giant yellow bird. Along their trick or treating journey they decide to play a prank on Jill’s neighbour, Mr. Machinist, who is disliked by the other children in the neighbourhood. They decide to stuff rotten eggs in Mr. Machinist’s mailbox.
They are found out by the photo Mr. Machinist takes of them. One of Tracy’s yellow feather’s is barely visible underneath her puffy jacket (most everyone in cold climates has had to play Halloween costume Jenga with winter jackets) so as punishment they are asked to rake the leaves in Mr. Machinist’s yard. While they are raking the leaves, both girls realize they suddenly need to use the bathroom. Neither one of them wishes to ask Mr. Machinist, so, they take matters into their own hands.
Jill believes that it was Linda who told on them. But Tracy thinks it was Wendy and her clan of friends. Jill refuses to believe her friend would turn her in. The next day at school a mock trial is held to determine whether Linda is “guilty”. Wendy locks Linda in the closet and won’t let anyone defend her nor will she let Linda defend herself.
Jill becomes exasperated by this treatment and tries to tell Wendy she’s being unfair. Suddenly Jill finds herself the victim of bullying with Linda joining in to torment her tormenter.
Friendships are tested and new friends are made.