Poor Peter Hatcher. Not only was he branded a Fourth Grade Nothing in Judy Blume’s 1972 bestseller (and staple on virtually every kid’s reading list in the 80s), but he also had to deal with Farley Drexel Hatcher, his seven-years-younger brother. Of course, we all know his kid brother by his nickname… “Fudge”.
Published in 1980, Superfudge told the story of Peter and his family’s move from New York City to Princeton, NJ, following the birth of baby Tamara “Tootsie” Roxanne Hatcher. (What is it with this family and the horrendous nicknames for their children?)
The cast of characters from Nothing were still there—Peter’s friend Jimmy Fargo, his nemesis Sheila Tubman, dad Warren, mom Anne, and trusty dog Turtle. Plus, Peter met a whole new crew of colorful kids in Jersey, including buddy Alex Santo, cute girl Joanne McFadden, and Fudge’s new friend (and bird-lover) Daniel Manheim.
Superfudge was Diary of a Wimpy Kid for the 80s generation. Full of real-life moments (Fudge calling his teacher “Rat Face”, bringing his bird, “Uncle Feather” in for show-and-tell, Peter writing a pretend letter to Santa, to humor Fudge) it gave us kids a real sense that there was someone else out there dealing with the same things we were.
The books were turned into a TV series in the mid-90s, but by that time, we had grown up, and our days of reading about the trials and tribulations of Pee-tah were all over.
You can bet, though, when our kids are old enough, we’ll put Superfudge at the top of their approved reading list.
We ♥ Superfudge.
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