Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

by Judy Blume

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Why is Peter upset in Chapter 10 of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing?

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In Chapter 10 of Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Peter is upset because he has just found out Fudge swallowed his tiny pet turtle, Dribble. Now, not only is Peter without the pet he has always wanted, Fudge is being showered with attention, once again, for causing mischief.

Fudge begins being showered with attention the moment Mrs. Hatcher realizes Fudge truly did swallow the the turtle. She quickly calls an ambulance and tells Peter to bring her some blankets to wrap Fudge up in. Peter can't understand what all of the fuss is about since "Fudge seemed just fine" (p. 70).

Once at the hospital, Peter's greatest concern is what will happen to his turtle; he really wants Dribble back, alive and all in one piece. When the doctor shows Peter the x-ray of Dribble inside of Fudge and assures Peter he thinks Fudge will pass the turtle just fine, Peter asks the doctor, "Will Dribble be all right?" (p. 73). Peter is crestfallen when his mother says he'll need to "get a new turtle" (p. 73). When Fudge finally does pass the turtle, all Peter wants to know is if Dribble is "alive or dead" (p. 74), showing us just how upset Peter is over the loss of his pet turtle.

However, the story ends on a positive note when Mr. Hatcher comes home with a puppy for Peter as a gift, as an effort to pay Peter the much-needed attention he has been lacking because his brother is a troublemaker who needs lots of attention.

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