Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume

My Copy: 051488005995 (image from readmekids.com)

I’ve signed up for a bunch of online writing classes and started remembering how much Judy Blume I read as a kid. And I didn’t hesitate to buy this old favorite…a VERY old favorite.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first story in the “Fudge” series of books, a story told by Peter Hatcher, who lives in a New York apartment with his mom, dad, and little brother Farley Drexel (aka, “Fudge”). The problem is, Fudge goes from age 2 to 3 and is an unholy terror, according to Peter.

I gotta admit, rereading this book made me close my eyes and be thankful that I don’t have kids yet. I don’t think I have a fraction of the patience necessary if I had to deal with a kid like Fudge every day.

Anyhoo–

Fudge is always messing with Peter’s things, even when told repeatedly not to by Peter and their mom. Fudge is willful, trouble-seeking, tantrum-throwing, annoying and makes you want to strangle him. Or at least, Peter probably wouldn’t mind doing it.

Peter feels like everybody pays so much attention to Fudge and all his needs that they don’t care if they’re inconveniencing Peter in the process. As an example, there are times when Fudge won’t eat, but will if Peter stands on his head for him. Peter finally has enough and says so.

But at the same time, one has to remember Fudge is 2 or 3 years old. That’s something many of the adults who interact with this family seem to forget and they get annoyed with Fudge’s antics, too.

It’s a short read, but a good one. I’ve had step-siblings before, but none were as young as Fudge, so I can’t say how similar some of these scenarios might be for some readers.

If you haven’t read it, or have kids wanting a good book to read, this is a great one. And for those who have, let me just leave you with a little reminder of what’s in store: Dribble the Turtle.

When you (re)read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, you’ll get it…and either laugh or shudder by the end.

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