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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Paperback – April 5, 2007
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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first of these entertaining yarns. Peter, because he's the oldest, must deal with Fudgie's disgusting cuteness, his constant meddling with Peter's stuff, and other grave offenses, one of which is almost too much to bear. All these incidents are presented with the unfailing ear and big-hearted humor of the masterful Judy Blume. Though some of her books for older kids have aroused controversy, the Hatcher brothers and their adventures remain above the fray, where they belong. (Peter's in fourth grade, so the book is suitable for kids ages 8 and older.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“As a kid, Judy Blume was my favorite author, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was my favorite book.”—Jeff Kinney, author of the bestselling Wimpy Kid series
Top Customer Reviews
There was Peter. And then there was Fudge. Peter Hatcher is nine years old and has the awful job of dealing with almost-three-year-old Fudgie at all times. Fudge is what a polite person might call a lively child. To Peter, however, Fudge is a holy terror. If he's not sticking green food stamps to full suitcases or refusing to eat until Peter stands on his head, he's leaping from large rocks (to fly) and throwing tantrums in shoe stores. Peter is understandably jealous of the amount of attention Fudge attracts but at least he has his pet turtle Dribble to comfort him. Each chapter in this book is a small story about the daily interactions and adventures of the Hatcher boys. The final tale (the most important day of Peter's life, according to him) is probably one of the most memorable episodes in children's literature to date.
What Blume does right with this book is put everything entirely within the first person perspective of Peter himself. His tone of voice is pitch perfect. You empathize with him completely. When Fudge goes into his older brother's room and destroys his poster for school, you're just as inclined to see him punished as Peter is. And when Peter must deal with an awful loss at the book's end, you know just how he feels. Somehow, Blume has taken that prickly mind of the fourth grade boy, and made it completely understandable to the rest of the world. This is no small feat.
There are some small dated elements to the book. Mrs. Hatcher is, suffice to say, your stereotypical frantic mama. You begin to wish that she would grow a backbone once in a while instead of sobbing "my baby" whenever Fudge misbehaves in a dangerous way. As for Fudge, he's great in that he's awful. The worst possible three-year-old to be trapped in a family with. If there's a way to screw something up, he'll manage it. The age difference between a nine-year-old and a three-year-old is immense. Blume bridges that gap adeptly.
I state here and now, as loudly as my little lungs can carry sound (or my little fingers can type a review) that this is one of the best children's books in American literature. It has everything you could possibly want. Humor, adventure, a hero with many troubles, and a happy ending. For kids that have a Fudge of their own, Peter's problems will speak to them instantly. For kids that ARE Fudge, the book will strike them as an amusing romp through a world that is both familiar and unfamiliar. A must read for any kid you know.
Mr. and Mrs. Juicy-O meet Fudge and love him, but when he shoves Peter's turtle in their faces, Peter's dad loses the account. Mr. Toddle-Bike thinks Fudge is just right for a commercial, but Fudge won't ride the bike until Peter does. When Fudge eats Peter's turtle, Dribble, Fudge gets all the attention, and Peter just loses his pet. In every "Tale" Peter plays the role of the good son.
Judy Blume knows her audience well. People this age have to deal with the fact that they are no longer cute, but they are still treated like they know nothing by most adults. I could identify with Peter when I was 10, and I can relate to him still now.
Parents, buy this book for your kids. Kids, read this book. It's funny, touching, and will stay in your head for the rest of your lives.
When I read this, all those years ago, I remember clearly that I felt a strong kinship to the main character. Today, I remember snatches of scenes and bits of dialogue, which proves that this book profoundly effected me!
Thank you, Judy Blume, for your wonderful work. "Tales..." and "Superfudge" were two of the absolute best books I ever read while growing up, and they led to many, many years of joy.
I highly recommend this book for children, and it wouldn't hurt if adults read it too. I think I'll re-read it now!
But some day he's going to be nine years old too. I can't wait until he is.
Then he'll know there's nothing so great about him after all."
Peter Hatcher is a 9-years-old fourth grader who has a younger brother (almost three) Farley Drexel Hatcher, or Fudge. To an outsider, Fudge could seem like a very lively child. To Peter, he is a walking terror. On any given day, Fudge is either throws a temper tantrum or meddles with Peter's stuff. And the worst part is - he always gets away with everything. Peter feels as if no one cares about him, and that he is just a fourth grade nothing. But at least Peter has Dribble, his pet turtle, to comfort him ... until one day even that changes!
Each chapter in this book is a small story about the daily interactions and adventures of the Hatcher boys, written as it's seen through the eyes of Peter. His voice is very believable, you know just how he feels, and you empathize with him completely.
There are many books out there that try sweet-talk older children to befriend their younger siblings. "Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing" by Judy Blume, on the other side, is a very honest account of all the difficulties an older child might be going through. But neither does it show Fudge as "all bad" - he is fussy, but most of the time he is just looking up to his older brother, trying to be "like Pee-tah".
This book is a true little gem - it's still popular with kids nowadays, just as it was in 1972 when it was first published. Great read-aloud book!
Author of "Power of Plentiful Wisdom". Available on Amazon.
For more reviews on children's books visit my blog "Julia's Library" at: ForwardQuoteDOTcom