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4L Novel Study: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
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4L students read Judy Blume’s book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing as a novel study. Judy Blume is an award-winning author of children’s and young adult literature with over 80 million copies of books in print.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing tells the story of fourth grader Peter Hatcher and his little toddler brother Farley Drexel ‘Fudge’ Hatcher. As a big brother, Peter always has to help his little brother Fudge, who seems to get all of the attention. This makes Peter feels neglected by his parents. Peter feel like a fourth grade nothing! This book is filled with more interesting characters such as Mr. Yarby, Sheila, Jimmy, Sam, Jennie, Dr. Brown, Mr. Vincent, Dr. Cone and of course Dribble, Peter’s pet turtle.
Judy first got the idea for the book when her children’s babysitter showed her a newspaper article about a toddler who swallowed a turtle. This quirky story inspired Judy to write the story as a picture book titled “Peter, Fudge and Dribble.” Many publishers rejected the idea until several years later when it caught the eye of an editor who wanted the story to be told as a chapter book, and the novel was written. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first book in her Fudge series.