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Funny, realistic family takes Fudge on vacation.

What parents need to know

Educational value

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.

Positive messages

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.

Not applicable

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.

Parents say

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What's the story?

In her fourth Fudge book, FUDGE-A-MANIA, author Judy Blume sends the Hatcher family on vacation in Southwest Harbor, Maine, along with their neighbors the Tubmans. Sheila Tubman, the protagonist in the second Fudge book, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, and Peter Hatcher are sworn enemies, and they are disappointed about sharing their summer vacation. Meanwhile, Fudge wants to marry Sheila because, he believes, a friend to sleep with will keep scary monsters away, Peter meets a beautiful girl and a baseball hero, and an older couple fall in love -- all part of an eventful three weeks in a small harborside town.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Peter and Sheila have such a hard time getting along. Why do these two struggle so much? Do you think they really hate each other?

  • How do you think this fourth book in the series compares with the previous Fudge books. Is it as good? Is it as funny? Do you look forward to the next one?

  • Do you think Peter is nice to Fudge? Would you like to have a little brother like Fudge?

Book details

Author:Judy Blume
Genre:Family Life
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:September 30, 1990
Number of pages:160
Publisher's recommended age(s):7 - 11
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged)

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMonkeyboo33 January 18, 2013

Very good

This is a very fun and thoughtful book. It is a easy but not to easy kind of book it will get you with a chuckle and I am sure you will enjoy it!!!!