First sentence: Life was going along okay when my mother and father dropped the news. Bam! Just like that.
Premise/plot: Peter Hatcher has changes in his future. This book is about those changes. First, his mom is going to have a baby. And the baby is a sister they call Tootsie. Second, the family is moving--for a year--to New Jersey. His father wants to take a break from the advertising agency and write a novel. He also wants to not miss out on Tootsie's first year. So, Peter has to deal with a) an annoying little brother, Fudge, whose vocabulary is ever-growing, but his naughtiness is keeping up with it; b) moving away from all his friends; c) making new friends and starting a new school year as "the new kid;" d) Fudge and Peter will be going to the same elementary school; Peter will be in sixth grade, and Fudge will be in kindergarten; e) having a new unwelcome-to-him addition to the family. Will Tootsie be anything like Fudge?!
My thoughts: I liked this one. I definitely did. Fudge's adventures at school are something. I'm sure he's talked about by the whole school--the staff, I mean. I don't envy his first or second kindergarten teacher. But Fudge didn't just make me laugh. I found him obnoxious in a his-parents-really-need-to-handle-him-better way. I think his parents make way too many allowances for his misbehavior and don't hold him nearly accountable enough. They just laugh at his antics and encourage him to seek all his attention this way. One funny thing in this book, however, is when a guest speaker visits the school and Fudge steps up to be his assistant. He's to describe a person as this guest speaker draws him. And he ends up describing the principal in not so flattering terms.
Peter does end up making friends, as does Fudge. Fudge's friend is Daniel. He does NOT eat peas or onions. And Daniel seems to have issues of his own. When Fudge makes his biggest mistake yet, Fudge's dad punishes BOTH Daniel and Fudge. I'm not sure how I felt about that honestly. Does a parent have a right to punish someone else's child?
By the end of the book, the whole family--including Tootsie--decides that New Jersey is NOT their home, and, they definitely want to return to New York City.
© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews