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Fig Pudding by Ralph Fletcher
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Fig Pudding (1995)

by Ralph Fletcher

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This book is good for visualizing. Similar to the thought of the books/movie cheaper by the dozen, this story shows the aspects of coping with being in a large family dynamic. This story is for older kids, 3rd grade, due to heavier content and a chapter book.
  brittneye | Aug 22, 2017 |
“Fig Pudding” is about the oldest son in a large family. It starts out with him talking about the expectations that his mother has for him seeing as he is the oldest. He always has to take care of his younger siblings. It is close to Christmas time and grandma comes to visit. Josh, the youngest, gets sick and has to go to the hospital. While they’re all waiting for him to get better, the bake more goodies for the Christmas time with grandma. One day when they go see Josh in the hospital, they finally figure out that when he was saying yidda yadda, he was really saying little ladder. They stayed up all night building Josh a little ladder and brought it to him in the hospital. A couple days later Josh got to go home and they lived life on for another year. The next a little before Christmas, the family was struck with another tragedy. Brad had ridden his bike into an ambulance and severed his spinal cord. He died in the hospital later that night. The parents came home to tell the children and everyone was broken hearted. They made it through the funeral, but were all sad. For Christmas that year, the dad had suggested going away for Christmas, so they did. Although, they got away, the trip didn’t help much. Cliff finally cried after having a dream about Brad when they got home. A couple days later, the dad was making fig pudding to take to their aunt’s holiday party. Josh accidently stepped in the pudding, and dad just smoothed it over and waited to tell the story until after the uncle already ate it. They all sat around laughing. This book was really emotional and I think it can definitely help children who have ever lost a loved one. They can reach into this book and realize that they are not alone and that death is just a part of life and mourning is something that must happen, but that cannot dwell on it too long or it will destroy them.
Extension:
1. Write love letters to each person in the family
2. Make a time capsule of little trinkets that they love and save it for a later date like they put their trinkets in Brad’s stocking that Christmas.
  katiekinsey | Mar 20, 2013 |
Summary: In this book, Cliff is the oldest of six children. The book tells the story of Cliff and his family. It talks about the problems that Cliff goes through as a teenager and as the oldest child. One of the biggest things that Cliff is in charge of watching his younger siblings. During the book Brad ran into the back of a car while riding his bike which caused him to die. This made the rest of the year very difficult, but by the end of book the family had learned how to make the best of Christmas and they found ways to remember Brad even though he is not with them anymore.
Personal Reaction: This book shows that good can come out of any difficult situation. Even through hard times the family made it through and stuck together. It shows that we all have problems, but if we stick together we can make it through them.
Classroom extensions: I could have the class make Fig pudding. Another idea would be to have the children draw way that they remember a lost loved one.
  Catie.Huskey | Oct 20, 2011 |
A nicely written, easily read book, Fig Pudding is about Cliff, the oldest of six kids. It covers one year of his life, from Christmas to Christmas, with each chapter being one time frame. Much of the events in his life are very mundane - every kid will identify with Cliff. Toward the end, a huge event occurs that the family must deal with. The grief is dealt with in a variety of ways, all of them honored. ( )
  librarianrae | Jul 1, 2010 |
This book is about a boy that is the oldest of 6 children. Ciff feels like his life is a bowl of mush. Cliff wants to remember some things, but also forget things also. This story explains the challenges of growing up in a large family. One of the siblings dies in this book. This book is interesting way to see how a family copes with loss in a comedic way. ( )
  clshelkoff | Nov 23, 2009 |
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I dedicate this book to my remarkable mother Jean Fletcher and to Bob, in memory.
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My full name is Clifford Allyn Abernathy III, after my father and grandfather, but I leave off the III, the Allyn, and the ord.
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Book description
We Abernathys always overdo everything, but even for us this past year has been like nothing I'd ever though possible. Like five years crammed into one. With plenty of stuff I want to remember forever. And stuff I wish I could forget. That's Cliff Abernathy speaking. He's eleven, the oldest of six kids in a family that does everything in a big way-whether they're fighting, laughing, playing, eating, telling stories, or celebrating the holidays. His story of an uneventful year in the life of his family is full of warmth and fun. (0-440-41203-X)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044041203X, Paperback)

Eleven-year-old Cliff Abernathy shares his family's trials and tribulations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Cliff describes the excitement, conflict, and sudden tragedy experienced by his large and boisterous family during his eleventh year.

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