Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

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The book starts off when Peter wins a turtle at Jimmy Fargo's birthday party. He names the turtle Dribble. Peter introduces his family and the concepts of Fudge and his habits. When Peter's father's business clients stay at their apartment for the night, Fudge annoys them by decorating their suitcase with green stamps, prompting them to remove the account from the company. Then Fudge decides not to eat and later adds pretending he is the family dog and wanting to eat on the floor. A week later, the father’s patience is broken and he dumps a bowl of cornflakes over Fudge's head, leading to Fudge's new favorite phrase, "Eat it or wear it!". While being watched by Sheila Tubman on the playground in Central Park, Fudge jumps off the jungle gym, thinking he can fly, crashing to the ground and swallowing his top two front teeth in the process, and Peter gives Fudge a new nickname, Fang, which is not amusing to his mother. Peter is asked by her to supervise Fudge's third birthday party, which ends up with some amusing and disastrous moments. Then his mother takes the kids to some errands. First she takes Fudge to the dentist to check on how his teeth are progressing again after the accident. Then Fudge throws a temper tantrum in a shoe store, since he wants to buy loafers like Peter is getting. His mother is fed up when Fudge smears his mashed potatoes on the wall of a restaurant and dumps a plate of peas over his head.

In January, Peter, Jimmy and Sheila are grouped for a class project which they are constantly arguing over, but Peter then finds out Fudge has made the situation more difficult by scribbling on the poster part of their project work. Then Peter finds out Fudge has been spanked by his mother, who finds out about what Fudge did to the poster. Then when the project is finally finished, Fudge cuts off his hair (as he thinks of himself as a barber, and the next day Peter gets a lock for his door. Two months later his mom finds out about her sister's first baby, so she visits them in Boston. Peter's dad takes him and Fudge into work where they are trying to get Fudge to star in an advertisement on television. Everything goes wrong the next day when Fudge is taken to the movie theater and purposely makes himself almost lost. Then his father cooks a rather nasty-tasting mushroom omelet, which Fudge enjoys but then throws a tantrum when his father throws it away. The last straw is when Peter gets home from school to check Dribble. First he asks his mother, and then Fudge, who would not answer until Peter yanks pots out of his hand. The answer results in hospitalization because it was that he had swallowed Peter's pet turtle. It turns out to be dead when the doctors got it out of Fudge, so Peter's father gets Peter a dog to apologize about only giving attention to Fudge and not caring about the swallowed turtle. Peter names the dog Turtle "to remind him."

My Opinion

The best thing about this book is the humor. You cannot stop yourself from laughing at all the funny stunts that Peter’s younger brother Fudge pulls, or even at Peter’s reactions towards him. Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing really grasps the concept of the funny side of siblings’ relationships. What I didn’t enjoy so much was that the attitude of Peter’s parents towards him throughout the book. I felt sorry for Peter at times and wished that his parents would consider his feelings too. It can be very frustrating being up against a younger baby brother, and the parents needed to be a lot more attentive to Peter than they were. This book is different from the other books that I have read because it is light, and humorous. Other books I have read have been really intense, creepy, or even boring. However, this book turned out to be pleasantly entertaining and relaxing at the same time. Other books have taken me about 1-2 weeks to read, but this book was so enjoyable that I couldn’t put it down and so I ended up completing it...
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