Study Guide

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Family

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Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Most of the conflicts in Peter Hatcher's life in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing revolve around his family, and his little brother Fudge in particular. Fudge and Peter are far apart in age (Peter's in the fourth grade, and Fudge is two when the story opens), and they're totally different personalities. Peter's frustrated by the fact that his parents seem to always take Fudge's side, even when his little brother's the one who is wreaking havoc and making messes.

Peter loves his folks, but he's starting to feel like he doesn't count at all. He's the well-behaved, responsible one, but Fudge gets the most attention. It seems to Peter that they don't appreciate him one bit. It's never smooth sailing in families, even in one as close as the Hatchers. But living with a brother like Fudge brings its own special set of challenges.

Questions About Family

  1. How do we know that Peter really loves Fudge despite all the trouble he causes?
  2. What common "firstborn" characteristics do we see in Peter?
  3. Do you think that Peter's parents really side with Fudge over him?

Chew on This

Peter's a victim of his own good behavior.

Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher probably wish they didn't have to spend so much time on Fudge and his terrible twos.

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