Friday, November 6, 2015

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Most of my reading these days is actually children’s books at night with my kids.  I once upon a time feel asleep reading my own adult novels, but now fall asleep while reading novels with my kids instead.  I wish I could post on all of the books we read together, but I sadly don’t have enough time.

My nine-year old son, Kile, who is in fourth grade, recently read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume with me.  We flip-flop read, I’ll read two pages and then he’ll read two pages.  Reading out loud is fun, and good bonding time.  Kile used to also have a speech impediment and reading out loud helped with this.  He is no longer in speech therapy, but still loves to read out loud with me.  I’m going to keep with this until he no longer wants to as I love reading with him.

I received our copy of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing in Christmas of 1987 from my beloved Great-Grandpa and Grandma Kile.  Kile was named after my Great-Grandparents and he loved seeing the inscription from them at the start of the book.  I remember enjoying it when I was a kid and in fourth grade, but I didn’t remember much about the story.

Peter Hatcher lives in an apartment in New York City with his mother, father, little brother Fudge, and turtle Dribble.  Fudge is only 2 and a half and drives Peter crazy with his antics.  He also feels like a fourth grade nothing as he believes that his brother gets more attention from everyone then he does.  When Fudge disappears with Dribble, he has finally gone too far.

Even though this book was written in the 1970’s, the storyline is still fresh and relatable.  As a parent now, I found all sorts of things humorous in the book that I know I probably missed reading as a kid.  My husband even laughed on the way through at this quote:

“It must be interesting to have children.  We never had any ourselves.  But if we did,” Mr. Yarby told my father,” we would teach them some manners.  I’m a firm believer in old-fashioned good manners!”

“So are we, Howard,” my father said in a weak voice.

That still makes me laugh reading it. I love when people with no kids or people that have gotten older and have forgotten what it is like to have young kids say things like that.  Because if your child has a moment of not behaving or wanting to play instead of sitting still, you must not be teaching them manners.

Kile enjoyed the book as well, especially the part about being an older brother with an exasperating younger brother.  He found that relatable, although his younger brother is only two years younger than him.  He did get nervous about the naughtiness as times though.  Kile does not like to read or watch shows where people are misbehaving.

Overall, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was an enjoyable read for both Mother and Son.

Book Source:  A Gift from my Great-Grandparents in 1987

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