A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Fudge-a-Mania takes place in the small town of Southwest Harbor, Maine. Readers will get a feel for the climate and atmosphere of the town, where the Hatchers and Tubmans are vacationing, and will learn a little about sailing and baseball -- two of the Hatchers' summer activities.
Judy Blume writes about family life with great humor and honesty -- a warts-and-all approach that makes the affection between family members all the more believable. Her message is that siblings struggle and argue, parents aren't perfect, but there is much love and trust within the family unit.
Positive Role Models
Peter and Fudge's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher, try to be patient and fair with all of their children. In this novel, Mr. Hatcher takes a group of family and friends out in a rented sailboat, and sulks because his mother-in-law is obviously a more skilled sailor than he. He makes some foolish mistakes, but later apologizes to the group for his behavior, setting a positive example for his sons. Peter sets a nice example for his younger brother Fudge; he faces a couple of situations where he can choose to berate Fudge or encourage him, and he tries to be supportive.
Violence & Scariness
A couple of times, Peter loses his temper with Fudge and holds the younger boy upside down till Fudge promises to behave. Peter also pours juice over his little brother's head.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Peter develops a crush on a girl who works at the library and feels dizzy around her. An older couple share a kiss. Fudge, who believes that sleeping with a friend will keep monsters away, innocently suggests that his grandma should sleep with her friend Buzzy Senior.
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Products & Purchases
When told he should oil his new baseball mitt regularly, Fudge uses up an entire bottle of Oil of Olay.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fudge-a-Mania is the fourth book in Judy Blume's series of Fudge books about the Hatcher family: Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher; their oldest child, Peter; Peter's younger brother Farley Drexel (whom everyone calls "Fudge"), and 2-year-old Tootsie, who was born in the previous book, Superfudge. In this installment, the Hatchers share a Southwest Harbor, Maine, vacation home with their neighbors the Tubmans and some friends. With humor and honesty, Blume addresses issues such as sibling rivalry, adolescent feelings and moods, and a love relationship between senior citizens. The older folks kiss, and Peter has a strong attraction to an older girl, but nothing in either case is age-inappropriate or disturbing. There are a couple of slightly scary moments, when Mr. Hatcher does a poor job of sailing a rented boat full of family and friends, and when a pet goes missing, but any tension is quickly resolved.
Is It Any Good?
Fudge-a-Mania is very funny and always rings true, like the other books in Judy Blume's Fudge series. This novel takes a very amusing look at sibling rivalry, as well as at romance, for the young and old. With so many characters, conflicts, and amusing situations, the book moves along quite quickly. Fudge is a wonderfully entertaining character, and his long-suffering older brother is a wonderful foil for Fudge's childish antics.
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