Spending Some Time with Junie B Jones

I have never met Barbara Park. To be honest, before this past weekend I didn’t even really know too much about her. What I did know was that kids are crazy about her Junie B Jones series. Junie B was the first chapter book that my son loved, and I have seen countless kids read and reread Barbara’s timeless series.

When I learned of Ms. Park’s passing over the weekend I felt sick. It really bothered me to think that the creator of such an important series is no longer with us. I decided that I wanted to tell my students about her passing. We had just read The One and Only Ivan, so I figured that they were ready to handle it emotionally.

The kids took hearing the news pretty hard. No tears were shed, but they were visibly shaken. As we sat together in a circle on the carpet, many of my students shared some of their fondest memories about Junie B Jones. We then spent 30 seconds in silence to honor Ms. Park.

After our little memorial, I asked my students if they wanted me to read them a couple of chapters from a Junie B Jones book. They overwhelmingly said yes. While reading Junie B I got a chance to hear my students laugh uncontrollably. They were so darn cute.

They voted 27-1 to take a break from reading Because of Winn Dixie so that we could finish reading Barbara Park’s Junie B Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth.

Yesterday we finished reading Junie B Jones. When we read the last page the class cheered. It was perfect.

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6 thoughts on “Spending Some Time with Junie B Jones

  1. I love that your class had a memorial for Barbara Park. I was shocked and so saddened by the news of her passing as well. Her Junie B. books are such favorites with me and my oldest girl (a member of the Junie B. Jones Book Club) and my nieces. Those are also the books that my sister read to her daughters after her husband, their father, passed away, and they brought the gift of laughter into a family burdened with such pain. What a legacy she has left us.

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  2. Well done! I love subscribing to your blog and getting updates about the latest and greatest in children’s books. As a third grade teacher for 15 years and now a PYP coordinator for my district, I use your book recommendations often. You are always on the pulse of books and reading and understand your smallest readers. I wish my own children could have a teacher like you to make them “Wild Readers”…but I will just work on inspiring and modeling at home. Our family is on night 392 of our Reading Promise journey, and The One and Only Ivan was one of our favorites! Thanks for blogging and sharing your journey with the world.

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  3. This made me tear up. Life is busy and I forget to sit and just remember sometimes. So I did that today. Our family of three daughters has so loved Junie B. From my oldest reading her in “secret” because she thought she was too old, to my youngest lighting up from finding a girl just like her. Thanks so much for your post.

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