Our current fourth grader, who is definitely something.
We finished The Mark of Athena (finally!—it went on forever) and are on to Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. This is in honor of our own fourth grader, Will. We’ve read the book twice already (for Andrew and Lexie) and their teachers read it to them in fourth grade, too, but no one minds because we like it so much.
Mrs. Chapman read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing to my class years and years ago. That’s what I remember most from fourth grade. Well, that and the fact that Mrs. Chapman was a direct descendant of John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed. We kids were very impressed.
After Fourth Grade Nothing, I read all the other Peter Hatcher books and Blubber and Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great and Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself. And, of course, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. What an eye-opener. Do you remember the exercise the girls did? “We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” I swear we do that move on my Vivica Jenson Piloxing DVD. Maybe they read Judy Blume in Sweden, too.
Back in seventh grade, someone managed to smuggle a copy of Forever into our parochial school classroom and we tried to pass the book around without the teacher noticing, looking for the naughty parts. I’m pretty sure we got caught.
I think my favorite Judy Blume book is Deenie. Have you read it? Deenie is diagnosed with scoliosis, so she has to wear a brace and deal with her looks-obsessed mother. I really liked the character of Deenie—maybe because she was beautiful and sophisticated and headed for model-dom, but then was brought down to earth with the rest of us!
Now that I have a 12-year-old daughter of my own, I’m feeling a little divided. Part of me wants to hide Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret and other books like it in the back of the closet because, you know, that might help keep her little forever. But the other part is curious to see what she thinks of these books, if the issues are still relevant.
Did you read Judy Blume’s books when you were growing up? Did you have to sneak them under your covers at night or could you read them in the open? Have your kids read any of the books?