Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

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Chapters 7-8 Summary

Chapter 7: "The Flying Train Committee"

When the fourth grade begins a group project on The City, Peter is assigned to work with Jimmy Fargo and Sheila on the topic of Transportation. Sheila takes charge of the group, because as a girl, she thinks she is smarter than the others. Sheila decides that Peter and Jimmy will create the required poster, while she will write up most of the booklet herself.

The group meets at Peter's apartment two afternoons a week, and Peter is pleased because his mother arranges for Fudge to stay at a playmate's house during their meeting times. Jimmy and Sheila arrive by three-thirty, and then, after having a snack and playing with Dribble for about half an hour, the classmates get to work. At five o'clock, it is time to clean up; all the project supplies are stored in a shoebox under Peter's bed.

Sheila, of course, has the neatest handwriting, so it is conveniently decided that she will copy over Jimmy's and Peter's written work in the booklet along with her own. The boys draw different modes of transportation on the poster board, and though the drawings are carefully thought out, the one of a truck looks slightly like a flying train. Peter is pleased when the group's project is almost done with a week to spare. At the end of their last Thursday session, he puts the completed poster under his bed for safekeeping.

When Peter comes home from school the next day, he finds that Fudge has gotten into his room and scribbled all over the poster. Irate, he shows his mother, crying, "How could you let him...don't you care about me?" Mother apologizes, and gets him another poster board. Uncharacteristically, she also gives Fudge a spanking. Peter asks his mother for a lock on his door, but she says it will not be needed, and promises that Fudge will not get into his things again.

Fortunately, Jimmy is a good sport about having to do the poster all over again. This time, when it is done, the poster board is stored on top of the refrigerator so that it will be absolutely safe. That evening, Jimmy finds Fudge in his room again, playing with his shoebox of project supplies. The little boy has colored his face with markers, and is using scissors to snip away his hair.

Mother takes Fudge to the barber the next day to see if something can be done about his hair, and Father comes home with a chain latch for Peter's bedroom door.

Chapter 8: "The TV Star"

Mother goes to Boston to visit her sister, leaving Peter and Fudge at home with Father in charge. Peter is excited, because he knows his father does not care about keeping things neat, and lets him stay up late at night. On Friday, Peter has no school, but Father has to work. He takes the boys to the office with him, and places them under the care of his secretary, Janet.

Mr. Hatcher works at an advertising...

(The entire section is 768 words.)