I read in the CBR update emails that Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was up for discussion in the next Zoom call and I jumped into rereading it not only because I was behind on my CBR reading (and this was a sure quick read), but because I love this book! I was ultimately not able to join the discussion (time zones 🙁 ) but I’m so glad I read it again.
I loved Are Your There God? when I was in Grade school but I don’t remember reading any other Judy Blume books until I read Tiger Eyes, Forever and Summer Sisters when I was in high school. Then I gave birth to a boy. Five years later, another one. The eldest kid was a rule follower. Logical and practical just like Peter. Even before the new baby was born, I read a chapter or two at bedtime with the eldest kid, just to prepare him for what being an older brother might be like because being a single mother when I had him, he was a very adult kid and literally gave me no trouble. When the second kid became a toddler he turned out, God help me, very Fudge-like. The kuya (older brother in my native language) was a bit mystified and at a total loss at what to do with the hurricane of mischief that he was living with. I just reminded him about the book and it seemed to make him cope better. He even reread the book and all the other sequels, by himself this time.
When the middle child was around 5 years old, eldest child told me, “Mama, you should read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to my younger brother.” So I did.
I know this is not really a book review, but this book has such a special place in my family and I am thankful that it helped my kids to understand their life a bit better and approach it in a humorous way. It is a fun, funny and touching book and most kids will relate to it, whatever part of the world they are from.
But our story is not yet over. It turns out that it was a good thing I read the book to the second child because 3 years later, I had another boy. By this time, the second child had matured and turned out to be very much like the eldest child. And the baby, turned out to be even more Fudge like. He even lost his two bottom teeth when he fell in the playground (it was also bloody). Now the second child is the new Peter and we would always laugh about that when the baby was up to some mischief. . When the baby turned five years old just this month, the second child told me, “Ma, you should read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to the baby”.