Peter Hatcher has a problem, his little brother Fudge. He gets in the way, messes up everything and screams and kicks and bangs his fists when he doesn’t get his way. Fudge is two and a half. To make things worse, grown-ups (most of them anyway) think he’s adorable. As Peter’s mother tries to tell him, two and a half is like that.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume is a hilarious romp. Perhaps it is funnier now, when I have some distance from my children’s childhood than it was the first time I read it in the late seventies. There weren’t honest books like this when I was growing up. As the oldest of six, I would have appreciated Peter’s point of view as I had more than one cute but annoying sibling. Judy Blume was a leader in writing children’s books that told the truth about children’s real feelings about the business of growing up. It seems unremarkable now, but forty years ago, it was revolutionary. Kids still love the Fudge series for that reason.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first in a series that includes Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great, Superfudge, Fudge-a-Mania and Double Fudge. All the books are narrated by Peter, except the second one but all of them are laugh out loud funny.