By Barbara Schultz,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Funny, honest novel pokes fun at sibling rivalry.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Superfudge, the third in Judy Blume's series of "Fudge" books about the Hatcher family, includes information about family life in New York City, and about the difference between urban and suburban living. Each of the the Hatcher brothers, Peter and Farley Drexel (better known as "Fudge") has a pet, and readers will learn about the responsibilities that come with pet ownership. Fudge's know-it-all friend Daniel spouts fascinating facts about Fudge's pet myna bird. Also, sixth-grader Peter teaches 6-year-old Fudge vocabulary words (privilege, unanimous, catastrophe) that come in handy as the novel progresses.
In Superfudge, as in all of her children's novels, Judy Blume writes about family life with great humor and honesty; readers are never hit over the head with teachable moments or moral lessons. Her warts-and-all approach means that the love underneath the comedy and family squabbles is that much more believable. The truthful message is that family members love one another even when they argue or annoy one another.
Positive Role Models
Peter and Fudge's parents are realistic characters and strong role models. They occasionally change their minds about their own career goals, but they make decisions together and present a united front to the kids. They also share the load in terms of food shopping, childcare, and housework. Mrs. Hatcher is a particularly convincing character; she struggles a bit emotionally under the strain of managing her own life and caring for her children; her character shows young people a realistic view of what it's like to be a modern parent. It should be noted, however, that Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher spank Fudge twice (one or two gentle swats) in the book when the boy misbehaves.
Violence & Scariness
Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher spank Fudge a couple of times --not hard enough to hurt him, but to show they're angry about some very naughty behavior. When Fudge tricks Peter into waking up early on a non-school day, Peter chases his brother, and then holds him upside down till Fudge promises never to do it again. A girl in Peter's class punches a boy in the stomach. Peter's friend Jimmy Fargo talks about how much he loves hockey because the sport is so violent; he marvels that blood and vomit bounce on ice.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Peter hold hands with a girl once, and kisses the girl on the cheek. Fudge's parents use a book to teach their younger son where babies come from. The facts of life are not explained in the book, but readers are told that Fudge shares his newfound wisdom with anyone who will listen.
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When a girl punches a boy in the stomach, the boy calls the girl what Peter refers to as "the A-word."
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Products & Purchases
Peter and Fudge's dad works in an ad agency, and the family take special notice of commercials on television. A few fake brand-name projects are mentioned in this context. The only real brand-name mentioned is Lego.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Superfudge, the third book in Judy Blume's "Fudge" series, uses humor and honesty to offer an entertaining view of family life. Issues tackled, and poked fun at, in this novel include sibling rivalry, the arrival of a new sibling, balancing work and family, and moving and making new friends in a new town. It's essential to note that this book debunks the existence of Santa Claus. Parents who would like their kids to continue believing in Santa should not read or give this book to them. The book also includes a couple of mild spankings; they occur at an appropriate time to discipline a child and are not injurious. There's also one kid-on-kid punch, some hand-holding, and a couple of kisses on the cheek by sixth-graders, and one mention of what Fudge's brother, Peter, refers to as "the A-word.
Where to Read
Based on 4 parent reviews
Watch out for Santa Who?
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Great for the right age level
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What's the Story?
SUPERFUDGE is the third book in Judy Blume's "Fudge" series of comedic middle-grade novels. In this installment, the Hatcher family move from Manhattan to Princeton, N.J., for a year to find out how they enjoy suburban life. Amid his usual disagreements with his parents, and annoyance at his little brother Fudge's wild antics, Peter Hatcher has to adjust to some very big changes: making new friends, leaving old ones behind, and adjusting to the many ways in which his own family is changing.
Is It Any Good?
Like the other books in Judy Blume's Fudge series, Superfudge is a funny, smart, and honest novel about sibling rivalry. As always, Blume's characters ring true to life: loving parents lose their tempers, brothers fight, teachers aren't always nice. But the Hatchers' lives are always amusing, challenging, and "interesting," as Fudge's mom calls him. Young readers will find Fudge hilarious, and they'll feel Peter's pain as well. However, note that this book denies the existence of Santa Claus. Though Superfudge has a lot to offer, some parents will want to skip this one and go straight to Fudgemania.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about moving. Why is Peter so angry about moving to Princeton? How would you feel if your family moved to a new town and you went to a different school?
How do you think Superfudge compares with other books in the "Fudge" series?
Mr. and Mrs. Hatcher each spank Fudge in this book. Do you think they are right to spank him? Do you think Fudge learns a lesson?
- Author: Judy Blume
- Genre: Family Life
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Penguin Group
- Publication date: September 15, 1980
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 7 - 11
- Number of pages: 192
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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