The Captain’s Log – a review of the entire fudge series (Judy Blume)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I was looking for short audiobooks that fit certain time restrictions.  I was having so much fun revisiting old books from me childhood that when I saw that Judy Blume herself narrates these I just had to give them a whirl.  And I am so very glad I did.  Judy Blume is a fantastically wonderful reader.  I almost wish I had been introduced to these books by listening to them on audio book.  Of course I only read books one and three when I was a kid.  Here are mini-reviews of all five of the books in the fudge series:

tales of a fourth grade nothing:

I absolutely utterly adored this book when I was a kid.  The Hatcher family is silly and wonderful and crazy.  I loved Peter’s trials and tribulations of living with a brother named Fudge.  This book certainly lived up to me memories of it.  I found meself both laughing at the details like the shoe incident and also marveling at how timeless the story seemed at the same time.  There is a sweetness to this book that can be missing in newer children’s books.  Also there are parents that are present and obviously trying to be good parents.  With quirky characters and lots of heart, I still absolutely love this one.  And of course the story of Dribble the turtle can’t be beat.

All the other guys got to take home goldfish in little plastic bags. I won him because I guessed there were three hundred and forty-eight jelly beans in Mrs. Fargo’s jar. Really.
― Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

otherwise known as sheila the great:

This book is sometimes considered book two of the series because it follows a side character from book one named Sheila.  The story is that Sheila goes on summer vacation with her family to Tarrytown and has to go to summer camp.  I had never read it before and have to admit that I didn’t like it.  Though it has some good parts, Sheila is a pathological liar who can’t admit when she is wrong or scared.  Also there is a sleepover with girl hatred going on in the form of a nasty quiz.  There is also a lot of fat shaming.  The good parts do not outweigh the bad.  Sheila comes across as a nincompoop.  She does not seem nearly as awful in the fudge books.  I think I will try to eject this from me noggin and go back to me milder version of Sheila from the other books.

I still didn’t go. Because all of a sudden I had the greatest idea of how to show the Tarrytown kids that I was an expert at something besides bandaging legs.
― Judy Blume, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

superfudge:

While book one will always be me favourite, this was also read a lot when I was a kid.  This tells the story of when the Hatcher family moves from New York City to New Jersey for one year.  Oh the horror!  Plus the Hatchers are going to welcome a new baby.  Peter already has horrible Fudge to deal with.  What in the world is he going to do with a new sibling, a new school, and no best friend?  Ye basically get the story of what happens to Peter in his sixth grade year.  The antics still made me laugh.  I particular loved the section with worms, the halloween night, and the best-friends-pact and how it resolved.

After drinking eight cups in a row, then walking home from school, then waiting for the elevator, then digging out my key and unlocking the door to our apartment, then dashing down the hall to the bathroom, I really had to pee. I mean, really. But Fudge was already in there, sitting on the toilet, turning the pages of Arthur the Anteater.
― Judy Blume, Superfudge

fudge-a-mania:

In this book Fudge is now five but Peter Hatcher’s life hasn’t gotten easier.  This summer vacation his family is going to share a house with his nemesis, Sheila Tubman’s, family.  This book was new to me but I loved it.  Basically all the favourite characters are thrown together in one place and shenanigans ensue.  I just still couldn’t believe how much these books make me laugh.  Fudge wants to marry Sheila.  Monster spray is real.  Baseball rules.  Uncle Feather is hysterical.  What a great book this is.  I loved that I had been to places in Maine discussed in the book.  I love watching the sibling dynamics between Peter, Fudge, and even Tootsie.  I just love this family.  Period.

Being a baby is so easy. Riding around on Dad’s shoulders, knowing he’d never let you fall.
― Judy Blume, Fudge-a-Mania

double fudge:

This may be me second favourite.  Judy Blume has a lovely author’s note for this one where she wrote this one for her grandson.  The odd part about this series is that Fudge stays the same age while Peter grows up.  Fudge is five in this one and his brother is twelve.  I didn’t really pay attention to the ages when listening and I don’t care.  All the elements that make the Hatcher family wonderful are present.  In this book, Fudge becomes obsessed with the concept of money.  He even starts his own bank.  I was laughing in delight and could listen to Judy Blume sing the money song over and over again.  Another great and crazy addition to the Hatcher family is the long lost cousins, the Howie Hatchers.  The two branches of the family run into each other in D.C. and their lives will never be the same.  I am so glad that I got to learn more of the Hatcher story in the later books.  Especially this one.

“I wanted them,” Fudge whined.

“I know you did. But we can’t buy everything you want.” [Mom]

“Why”

“We don’t have the money to buy…” I could tell Mom was having a hard time explaining this. She thought for a minute before she finished. “…just for the sake of buying. Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

“I know it doesn’t grow on trees,” Fudge said. “You get it at the ATM.”

“You can’t just go to the ATM whenever you want money,” Mom told him.

“Yes you can,” Fudge said. “You put in your card and money comes out. It works every time.”

“No. You have to deposit money into your account first,” Mom said. “You work hard and try to save part of your salary every week. The cash machine is just a way to get some of your money out your account. It doesn’t spit out money because you want it. It’s not that easy.”

“I know, Mom,” Fudge said. “Sometimes you have to stand on line.”
Mom sighed and looked at me. “Got any ideas Peter?”

― Judy Blume, Double Fudge

Writing the reviews for this series made me love it all over again.  If it ye be a grown kid who hasn’t read these then I suggest ye pick up the audiobooks and enjoy.  Arrr!

To visit the author’s website go to:

Judy Blume – Author

To buy the books go to:

the five fudge books

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

8 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – a review of the entire fudge series (Judy Blume)

  1. Great series review, Captain! haven’t done a series review before and I’ve been catching some tips from this and 3 Bells recently. I look forward to trying them out in the future. 🙂

    I vaguely remember reading these books as a kid. I was more of a Ramona Quimby girl, myself. 😉 Are your reviews above listed in series order or publishing order? I haven’t looked into this, but I wonder if the reason Peter grows up and not Fudge has more to do with when these books were published? This seems like a weird continuity error!

    How long are these books in audiobook form? Perhaps I’ll pick them up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I missed a slew of yer comments! Sorry for the delay. I prefer to do indivdual reviews for the books in the series but time, wanting to avoid spoilers, and laziness sometimes lead to writing about all the books at once.

      I loved Ramona as well. Did ye watch the tv series? I have vague memories of it and a slight hankering to see some of it again.

      As for the Fudge books, I am not sure when the Sheila book was written in terms of publishing order. But for the Fudge stories the publishing order and series order are the same. The author purposefully decided to keep Fudge’s age the same and change the others more rapidly. It is odd and I can’t believe I didn’t really notice when listening to them! The books are super short in audiobook form. The longest one is four hours. But remember I listen to them at double speed 🙂

      Lovely comment. Off to see if I missed anymore.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pft, don’t worry about it. Tis the season. I’m SO BEHIND on my blog hopping and my, well, everything. After all, this is just a hobby for us, right? 😉

        Haha. I like that your just call out laziness about writing a series review. Are there any thing in particular you do which is different when writing a series review like this, rather than individual books? Or something you’re trying to consider to make this work? (As you can tell, I’m a bit nervous about writing my first series review…)

        I didn’t know there was a TV series! I’ll have to check it out. I’m interested to see how they compare to these books. But it’s been so long, I might need to re-read the books first. XD

        Like

  2. Nice! I love it when the authors read their own books and do it well. Interestingly, reading your mini-reviews a lot of the elements remind me of Blume’s Are You There Go? It’s Me Margaret. I didn’t notice that before.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s worth reading Are You There God? at least once, but it doesn’t necessarily require a re-read. Especially since it sounds so similar to the Fudge books. If you want more in the same vein as those I’d say go for it, but if you’re done with that style then save Are You There God? for later when you want more nostalgia.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah. Then I will save it for another day. I do think I have a copy somewhere in the hold. I will be doing a book dump overboard at some time in the next year. So maybe I will find it then. Arrr!
        x The Captain

        Like

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