Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

by Judy Blume
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What does the main character do in the story Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing?

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Written by successful children’s author Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first novel in the “Fudge Series.” The main character in the book is nine-year-old Peter Warren Hatcher. Peter has a two-and-a-half-year-old brother named Farley Drexel Hatcher who is known as “Fudge.” The book is...

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Written by successful children’s author Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first novel in the “Fudge Series.” The main character in the book is nine-year-old Peter Warren Hatcher. Peter has a two-and-a-half-year-old brother named Farley Drexel Hatcher who is known as “Fudge.” The book is told from Peter’s point of view and is about his problematic relationship with his little brother, Fudge.

Fudge is a mischievous two-year-old and manages to outdo even the most troublesome toddler with his never-ending antics, driving poor Peter to the point of despair. Peter’s parents dote on Fudge, and Fudge hardly ever earns any punishment for his wrongdoings, which only adds to Peter’s frustration with his little brother.

Fudge is prone to temper tantrums, manages to ruin several of Peter’s activities, destroys Peter’s school projects, gets lost at a movie theater, falls and chips his teeth, and even gets his father fired from an important account. But one of the main problems Peter has is that Fudge won’t leave Peter's pet turtle, Dribble, alone.

When it is discovered that Fudge has swallowed poor Dribble, effectively ending the little turtle’s life, Peter is too upset about his pet to worry about Fudge. At the hospital, Peter realizes that perhaps he does love his little brother after all, and he tries to be more patient with Fudge. Peter does struggle with jealousy when Fudge is showered with attention and gifts after his hospital stay, still believing that his parents favor his little brother and neglect Peter.

His parents are pleased with Peter’s continued patience with Fudge and, feeling sorry for the loss of his pet turtle, decide to get him a dog. Fudge’s traumatic experience with the turtle has apparently taught him a lesson, and he is insistent that the dog is Peter’s, not showing any inclination toward swallowing Peter’s new pet! The relationship between the brothers improves at the end of the book because Peter’s parents appear to care about Peter as well, and Fudge is making an attempt at better behavior.

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