Review of Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

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Judy Blume’s Tales of a 4th Grade NothingTales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume is a classic and I recommend that everyone have their child read it when they are ready for it.

I had my fourth grader Beck read this book as part of his required reading. When we went to the library to request this book we found that the book was very popular and that all the copies were checked out and the wait list had some families on it too. That is when the Librarian, bless her heart, recommend I try a digital library rental copy.

So, for a change of pace I had him use the free Kindle App on my phone to read the library’s digital download version of it so that we could have the book now instead of waiting for the book request to process weeks later. He actually started reading it that day, on the way home from the library.

Judy Blume’s Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing image 2

Some of the positive aspects of this book include:

  • One of the key things to consider as you read through a book for a younger reader is whether or not it is at the recommended level. It is my opinion that this book is spot-on when it comes to the fourth grade level and kept Beck’s attention from the time that Peter got Dribble at the party to the time that Fudge tries to fly.
  • It is also important for a book for younger readers to challenge them, but not so much that it frustrates them. This book is great for this because whether it is Peter talking about his manners, when his father’s client is staying over, or how he feels about the way others treat Fudge and ignore him, it is presented in a way that flows from plot point to plot point. Beck was able to navigate through the pages with only a few ‘tough’ words and read the whole book by himself with ease.
  • I feel that the goal of reading is reading comprehension. The author presents the plot points in such a fashion as to relate to each other and repeats Peter’s thought at certain points because Peter is remembering them. This technique means that the young reader can see the importance of certain parts of the story. When I asked Beck some reading comprehension questions at the end of each chapter he had the answers and was able to demonstrate that he understood the passages he was reading in the book.
  • The last important part of a good book for young readers is if it has a plot climax. In this book Beck was able to see the Peter was growing up. Beck pointed out that he was constantly being pushed by the other characters to be the big brother and not until the turtle incident at the end does Peter finally realize that he is not a fourth grade nothing, but rather just a good big brother, even if he didn’t want to be. This conclusion to the story brings the entire book full circle.

Although I really liked this book and think that it was a good read for my younger reader, I would like to point out a minor negative aspect of this book too:

  • One thing that can be good for some readers, but bad for others is predictability of the story. I noticed that as I was reading this book I could almost always predict and expect whatever was special to Peter would be ripped apart by Fudge. From popping balloons and smearing potatoes on the wall to running away at the movies, it seems that no matter what, Peter got the short end of the stick and Fudge got all the attention. This could get repetitive for some readers and distract from the storyline. Although this book does teach perseverance in the end as Peter is eventually rewarded for doing the right thing, his road takes the entire book to get there and costs him one of his most favorite things (although he does get what some would consider a good replacement).

In my opinion, Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is perfect for just that, a fourth grade reader. The story flows in such a way as to entice young readers to not only understand the story, but also to want to read the next chapter. My young reader could relate to the story and had fun reading it, how about yours?

If you would like to get your own copy of this book you can find it at your local library in the Juvenile Fiction section, on Amazon, or in the Kindle Store.

This review is brought to you by Jill at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. You can read more about her or connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Clip art by: Revi Devi

About Jill @ Enchanted Homeschool Mom

Jill of Enchanted Homeschooling Mom is the homeschooling mother of 2 awesome children (Beck and Elizabeth), a loving wife, who brings readers along on her family’s homeschooling journey in their rural setting. She enjoys blogging about everything related to her homeschooling experience, from the daily happenings of Beck and Elizabeth, to the adventures in nature around them, to her family’s 4 rescue dogs, to just about anything that makes their homeschooling journey magical. Jill also takes the time to create printables for her homeschool classroom that she provides at her EHM Member’s Only Website. She has a wide variety of printables, curriculum, unit studies, and holiday related items that everyone is sure to find educational, useful, fun, and appropriate. You can follow with Jill’s magical homeschooling journey at enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. Don't forget to also have some magical virtual book club fun each month with Poppins Book Nook!

Comments

  1. Cindy Edwards says:

    Thank you for the book review will be picking this up at the library today for my son who is in the fourth grade. So glad I found this site through the pennington point post on the kindle contest.

  2. Very nice review!
    When my son was in 4th grade he brought this book home to read. He said I would like, too and I did.
    He is now 40. My 2 daughters read the book. Now 4 of 6 grandkids have passed the book on.

  3. I have joined you all over, now. I am looking forward to some more great reviews.
    Would you like to be a guest blogger on my blog. You could promo your site.
    I write about extended family issues.

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