Fig Pudding

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Fig Pudding
AuthorRalph Fletcher
GenreYoung Adult
PublisherClarion Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)

Fig Pudding is a young adult novel written by Ralph Fletcher. It was first published in 1995. The novel was recommended as one of the ten best books of 1995 by the American Library Association.[1]

Plot summary[change | change source]

Cliff is eleven years old and the oldest of six children in his family who live in Ballingsford. As Christmas nears, Cliff's grandmother arrives for a visit. Cliff's baby brother is rushed to the hospital with a severe illness. While he is getting better in the hospital on Christmas Eve his family finally figure out that he has been asking Santa Claus for a little ladder like the one used to climb up to the top of a bunk bed. The whole family work together to build Josh a ladder and deliver it him on Christmas morning. Later, Cliff's first grade brother Brad, drives his bicycle into an ambulance and dies. The family spends the next Christmas at a resort trying to adjust to the loss of Brad but the trip does not seem to work. Their spirits rise during a New Year's party at Aunt Pat's house. When they arrive at the party Josh steps by mistake into Dad's special fig pudding. Dad removes the shoe, smooths down the pudding, and swears the children to secrecy. They all keep a straight face until Uncle Eddie says that the fig pudding is the best ever and asks Dad if he has added some new ingredient. They all laugh when the real story of the shoe is told.[2]

Style[change | change source]

Fig Pudding is written using an episodic plot style.[3]

Reception[change | change source]

Chris Sherman in his review for Booklist said that "Fletcher captures perfectly the humor, irritations, and sadness of life in a large, close-knit family and makes Cliff a sympathetic and thoughtful narrator, occasionally bewildered by his siblings' antics but always a completely believable older brother. The comedy in the final chapter will leave readers recalling hilarious family disasters of their own."[4] Elizabeth Devereaux in her review for Publishers Weekly said this novel "neatly blends the humor and frustrations of growing up in a large family."[5]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Judith S. Levey, ed. (August 1997). World Almanac for Kids. St Martins Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0886878122.
  2. Perkins, Agnes; Helbig, Alethea (2002). Dictionary of American children's fiction, 1995-1999: books of recognized merit. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-313-30389-4. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. Karnowski, Lee; Buss, Kathleen (2000). Reading and writing literary genres. [Newark, Del.]: International Reading Association. ISBN 0-87207-257-6. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Sherman, Chris (May 5, 1995). "Books for middle readers: Fiction". Booklist. Vol. 91 (Issue 18): 1645. ISSN 0006-7385. |volume= has extra text (help); |issue= has extra text (help)
  5. Devereaux, Elizabeth (April 24, 1995). "Forecasts: Children's Books". Publishers Weekly. Vol. 242 (Issue 17): 72. |volume= has extra text (help); |issue= has extra text (help)

Outside websites[change | change source]