Judy Blume, Author , read by Halley Feiffer. Listening Library $18 (
, unabridged, two cassettes, 3 hours, $18 ISBN ) ISBN 0-8072-1637-2

Youthful actress Feiffer's voice could easily be mistaken for a fifth-grader's, a circumstance that gives her performance an authentic edge. Linda has become an easy and favorite target for teasing by her classmates. When she gives an oral report on whales, many of the kids decide to begin calling Linda "Blubber," claiming it befits Linda's chubby build. Jill is in on the action with all the others, until the taunting reaches a boiling point and Jill finds herself on the opposite side of the fence—catching the brunt of her classmates' meanness. Unfortunately, Feiffer's reading occasionally lacks rhythm and often fails to capture much of the sarcastic and biting snap that characterizes Blume's story of cruel, pervasive bullying at school (and on the school bus). Though this book was first published nearly 30 years ago, its subject matter remains relevant and should easily hold the attention of middle-graders. To emphasize this sense of timeliness, listeners receive an audio bonus: a conversation between Blume and educator/librarian Pat Scales on the topic of bullying. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/13/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Genre: Audio
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