2005's Buckeye Children's Book Award winner for grades 3-5 was Double Fudge by Judy Blume -- a third win for the author, and second in the Fudge series. I'm not at all surprised at the multiple wins by various authors, as it only solidifies the view that those authors have fantastic writing and popularity, but it's always nice to see that kids enjoy books that adults find wonderful as well.
Double Fudge is the fifth book about brothers Peter and Fudge (and Fudge's crazy antics). Fudge has become obsessed with money -- he even makes up his own money, "Fudge Bucks" -- so the family decides to take a trip to Washington, D.C. so that Fudge can see the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. While there, the family runs into distant cousins visiting from Hawaii, and they invite themselves to stay with Peter's family for a while. Peter is not impressed with his loud uncle, his singing twin cousins Flora and Fauna, and his youngest cousin (who is Fudge's age) who acts like a dog, and coincidentally has the same name as Fudge (Farley). Peter is also dealing with his best friend moving to the other side of town. The cousins overstay their welcome and it finally reaches a peak when cousin Fudge (nicknamed "Mini") swallows Fudge's baby tooth. Fudge is furious, as he was planning on getting money for that tooth from the tooth fairy, and throws a fit to Peter. Peter brings up the time Fudge swallowed Peter's pet turtle (in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing) and how upset he was, which makes Fudge realize that he hasn't been very nice to Peter.
For me, this wasn't as good as Superfudge or Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, although it still had the same great sense of humor and over-the-top family anecdotes. It seemed as though the plot didn't quite get wrapped up, although I did enjoy seeing a bit of growth in Fudge, recognizing his terrible behavior towards Peter. But kids will still love the hilarious shenanigans of the Hatcher family in this book, which is probably why it won in 2005. I certainly support that choice!
I'm curious about my next book, as I have never read it before...but I love your next book, Jill!
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