Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing: Summary & Characters

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  • 0:00 The Story
  • 2:00 Peter Hatcher
  • 2:21 Fudge
  • 2:49 Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher
  • 3:09 Jimmy and Sheila
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Molly Richards

Molly has ten years of middle school teaching experience and two master's degrees in teaching.

Judy Blume's 'Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing' tells the story of Peter Hatcher and his rambunctious, spoiled younger brother, Fudge. Everyone else thinks Fudge is so cute, but not Peter. He has had enough.

The Story

Peter Hatcher is in the fourth grade and lives with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher, and his younger brother Fudge. Peter comes home one day from his best friend Jimmy's birthday party with a turtle he names Dribbles. He is so excited because all of the other kids at the party won goldfish, but he won the grand prize! When he walks in the door, his mother is less than excited about having a turtle in the house, but Peter's younger brother Fudge is very intrigued. This is Peter's problem, Fudge.

Fudge is Peter's two-and-a-half year old brother, who gets away with everything. When his father invites important clients over to stay with them for a few days, they can't stop talking about how cute Fudge is. But all Fudge does is cause trouble. When Fudge won't eat his dinner, his parents treat him like a dog and let him sit on the floor. When Peter's classmate, Sheila, is supposed to be watching Fudge at the park, he wanders to the top of the jungle gym and flies off, knocking out both of his front teeth. When Mr. Hatcher and Peter take Fudge to the movies, he cannot sit still and gets lost. They find him on the floor trying to touch the bears in the movie.

But the worst is when Peter comes home to find his bedroom door unlocked, and Dribbles is missing. When he confronts Fudge about it, Fudge tells him that he ate Dribbles. Does Peter's mother seem to care that his turtle was just eaten? No. Fudge gets all the attention, from the ambulance to the hospital. Peter feels like he will never be understood, especially when Fudge comes home to presents waiting for him. But Peter and Dribbles are not forgotten; Mr. Hatcher has a special present just for Peter: a brand new puppy that is all his own. It seems his parents do love him as much as Fudge after all.

Now, let's take a closer look at some of the characters.

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