Review From User :
My brother and I are "Irish Twins", so we were in the same grade throughout our whole school career. He got all of the awesome, tenured teachers, whose students loved them so much that they still continued to visit them well into their middle and high school years; their classrooms had epic decor themes like "under the sea" or "summer fun."
I was a straggler kid, looking in from the outside and always longing for what he had. My assortment of teachers were either (a) fresh out of college and trying experimental forms of teaching (ugh), (b) had extreme chips on their shoulders and were organizing unions to stick it to the man, or (c) filing for divorce. This equated to bare walls and zero pizza parties. The agony!
Worst yet, we didn't read any of the cool books all the other classes were reading! I remember getting sick and tired of hearing of this baby named "Fudge" (of all the crazy names), and all the trouble that he got into, from some friends in other classes.
So now, all these years later, I finally understand what all the hype was about, and for once it wasn't overstated. I LOVED Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing! Peter Hatcher, the 9-year-old protagonist, has a pretty great setup. He lives in New York City, close to Central Park, he's loving his 4th grade class, has nice friends...except his 2-year-old little brother, Fudge, keeps ruining things. He's a the cutest little monster you ever saw.
I would have loved to have read this as a child, especially when my little sister came into the world when I was 8. I didn't like her. She was a cutie, but she just disrupted everything. I felt like no one understood where I was coming from, least of all my parents, who could see no wrong in anything that she did. That's the beauty of this book, because while it is hilarious and cute, it's not patronizing and adult. I love the relationship Peter has with his mom--she's a bit of a sarcastic wit, and I like that.
One thing that made me laugh was when Peter was describing how cautious he had to be about walking in Central Park alone because of muggers and dope pushers. I thought to myself, this is not the NYC of You've Got Mail. This is the NYC of Klute in 1972! I will definitely be continuing with the series, and very soon.
P.S. The Kindle book $2.99 in case you too are late to the game. Wink, wink...
Life with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter Hatcher feel like a fourth grade nothing. Whether Fudge is throwing a temper tantrum in a shoe store, smearing mashed potatoes on the walls at Hamburger Heaven, or trying to fly, he’s never far from trouble. He’s an almost three-year-old terror who gets away with everything, and Peter’s had it up to here! When Fudge walks off with Dribble, Peter’s pet turtle, it’s the last straw. Peter has put up with Fudge for too long. Way too long! How can he get his parents to pay attention to him for a change?