Book Review: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume

AR Level: 3.3

Recommended for 3rd through 5th grades

Themes: Little brothers, school, pets, family life

I remember liking this book when I was a kid. But I wondered…would it pass the Connor test? I mean, after all, this book was written in 1972 — in the dark ages before iPhones, before home computers, before cable TV even.  Worse yet, I made him read it. He really wanted to read Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day, but I insisted on Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Was I losing my mind? Forcing a book on a kid is a sure-fire way to get them to hate it. Well, this book proves that some books are classics with good reason. Connor really, really enjoyed reading about Fudge’s adventures, and as a big brother himself, could totally relate to Peter’s frustrations with his family and his crazy little brother. Due to travel and other “life” things it took us longer than usual to get through Fourth Grade Nothing, but when we finally finished it, Connor turned to me and said “I hope that Judy Blume writes some more books, don’t you?” He had no idea she’d written this one almost 40 years ago. What better recommendation could you hope for than that? I’m looking forward to introducing him to the rest of the Fudge series, and hoping for similar success.

What other books of this type would you recommend?

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2 responses »

  1. I love when books hold up over time!

    My kids love all of Beverly Cleary’s Henry and Beezus and Ramona books. I don’t think we have any Judy Blume titles on our shelf, though! Or Encyclopedia Browns either. I may need a trip to the bookstore…

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