Winifred (Winnie) Barringer is an eleven year old girl who lives in New Jersey with her parents and her older brother Matthew. She had a best friend who lived on Grove Street which wasn’t far from her house. Her friend’s name was Iggie. They were the best of friends. Winnie stayed over at Iggie’s house almost every weekend and if she wasn’t, Iggie was at her house. Then, Iggie moved away to Tokyo. When she did Winnie just stayed in her room. Once she finally got up she rode to Iggie’s old house on her bike and she realized that a black family was moving in from Detroit. She told her mom who already knew because of Mrs. Landon. Mrs. Landon lived in the neighborhood and she was furious that a black family was moving in on an all white street. She wanted to get a petition signed to make them move away. Mrs. Landon did everything in her power to get the Garber’s out of the neighborhood. They dealt with a lot of racism.
Winnie just didn’t understand why people didn’t like the Garber’s. They were nice people. She met the kids Glenn, Herbie, and Tina and their parents. Shortly after they all became friends. They even had a dog named, Woozie who was very fun to be around. Winnie wanted to support the Garber’s so she made her own petition. It was about feelings for black people. She went around with it at her Aunt Myrna’s swim club. She got one signature from Mr. Berger, the swimming instructor, who said he didn’t have a problem with black people. When she showed Mrs. Landon, Mrs. Landon just rolled her eyes! That very same day Glenn told her that the family was leaving. Winnie couldn’t believe it! Just because of a sign from Mrs. Landon put up that said that the Garber’s were not welcome there! Winnie had to take action and she had to do it fast. Then that night Mrs. Landon came over to the Barringer House to tell Winnie’s parents about the petition she made at the pool. Winne’s father ended up being on Winnie’s side! “Winnie’s petition is the same as yours. She is as much as entitled to an opinion as you are,” he had said. Mrs. Landon then announced that she would be moving. Winnie was so happy. She told the Garber’s who were even more excited. So, at the end of the story the new family ended up staying and the mean Mrs. Land0n moved away. It was perfect.
Book Title: Blubber
Author: Judy Blume
Blubber is set in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The main character is named Linda Fischer. She was a little chubby, but that was beside the point. She was giving her report on whales when a note was written by Wendy (the smart popular girl) and passed around Mrs. Minish’s fifth grade classroom. Jill Brenner left the note on her desk. But a kid named Robby stole it and passed it around the room. From then on Linda’s nickname was Blubber. Jill’s best friend, Tracey, was holding a seat for her when she got on the school bus. The bus ride home was terrible. Spitballs and paper planes flew all over the bus. They were directed at Blubber. Linda didn’t care that Wendy and her best friend, Caroline, made up a song about her. She didn’t care that the sixth graders were in on it. She didn’t even care that the kids played keep way with her jacket. She just looked out the window the whole time.
Since Tracey and Jill got off at the same stop and they lived down the road from each other they decided to trade stamps and talk about Halloween. Tracey was going to be Big Bird from Sesame Street. Jill hadn’t decided yet and when the topic came up at the dinner table at her house, she decided right then and there that she wanted to be a flenser (which was mentioned in Linda’s report). Her little brother, Kenny, wanted to be a witch and he thought it was dumb that his sister wanted to be a whale skinner. Jill thought the same thing about Kenny’s choice of a witch. Jill ended up making a pretty cool costume. Linda hated the idea but Jill didn’t care. She spotted Linda’s gray tooth and also got in trouble a few times by her teacher for talking. But that wasn’t going to ruin her day. All she cared about was winning the costume prize. Finally, the news came and it turned out….Jill didn’t win the prize. Tracey won. That made Jill happy, but she was still very disappointed that she didn’t win. Mrs. Minish even made Jill do all of her math problems over again! Jill’s day was going rotten. In the bathroom she told Wendy and Caroline. Then they spotted Linda/Blubber who was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. Wendy and Caroline held Linda down while Jill made fun of her. She took off her cape, and lifted up her skirt. They all threatened to strip her down. Jill was turning into Wendy and Caroline. On Halloween Night Jill and Tracey put rotten eggs inside of one of their neighbor’s, Mr. Machinist’s, mailbox. They put toilet paper all over Linda’s trees. They put Silly Sting all over her bushes. They even wrote, ‘Blubber lives here’ all over her driveway and sidewalk with chalk. They ran into Wendy and Caroline and showed them everything. In music class Linda farted and for laughing Jill got in trouble. By then, Jill absolutely hated Blubber and wanted to make her pay. Wendy, Caroline, and Jill made fun of Linda any chance they could get. Wendy wanted Jill to trip her, pinch her, and hold her nose when Linda passed. They were very mean to her. They had her show boys her underwear. They segregated her. They made her eat a chocolate covered ant. Jill had to go to a friend’s bar mitzvah and Linda was there! It was really weird. Jill’s brother, Kenny, really liked Linda and thought she was a great friend. When he announced that to Jill, she just changed the subject. Jill and Tracey ended up having to rake leaves at Mr. Machinist’s house for putting eggs in his mailbox. Jill was positive that Linda told on them! Wendy and Caroline agreed to make her pay. They decided to have a trial. Wendy took over. She locked Linda in the supply closet but still didn’t give her a fair trial. Jill unlocked the door and stood up for Linda. After that the next day Wendy turned everyone against Jill. They called her names and bullied her. Linda was now Wendy’s friend. She was in on it too. Jill now felt what it was like to walk in Linda’s shoes. They were about to strip Jill when she stood up to them, all of them, even Wendy who was Queen Bee. They ended up leaving Jill alone, but what was clear when the story ended was that none of the girls had a truly safe friendship with any of the others. They could turn on each other at any time for any reason.