Reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume was a walk down memory. I read this for our Cannon Book Club Young at Heart meeting in April since it was the shortest! Alas, it took me a ridiculously long time to listen to the audiobook. I made the mistake of listening in bed when tired from work. I went right to sleep!
Tales kicked off this popular book series about Peter and his little brother Fudge. Peter wants to hang out with his friends and have some peace. Their mother is doing the best she can with the over-active Fudge. Peter wants his parents to dote on him as they do for his brother. Everywhere they go, Fudge seems to make a scene like a shoe store or their father’s tv commercial set. Peter loses his temper when Fudge eats his turtle Dribble. I mean, who wants their pet eaten? The book closes with the parents realizing how much things have gotten carried away.
The audiobook is delightfully narrated by Blume. I realized that I had forgotten much of the story. I knew that it was about two brothers. However, I blanked on how rotten some of the Fudge hijinks were. The book is very relatable to anyone with younger siblings. I didn’t have any younger siblings. I have two nephews, which I babysat in junior high and high school. The youths always get more spoiled than you. Reading this as an adult, I’m more concerned for Fudge. I kept wondering why he isn’t getting some professional help. He’s not just out of control once in a while. Back in the day, I think parents chose to give those types of kids more attention and categorize them as hyper. They rarely took any recourse for mental health support. Somehow as a kid, I didn’t think it was wild that a kid would eat something weird. Today, I’m a bit horrified about it. I can’t believe how light and fluffy I remembered it as.
Although not my favorite Judy Blume, this book is well worth reading, especially if you have kids. It honed in on the emotional state of a fourth-grader well. It reminded me to have empathy and patience in the face of meltdowns. I highly recommend reading (or rereading) as an adult to reminisce about grade school.
Read more of my reviews on my blog.