If you have children who are aged five or older, then more than likely they have heard about the rambunctious and hilarious Junie B. Jones books, written by Barbara Park. We first meet Ms. Parks’ literal minded heroine in Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus on her first day of kindergarten. In this easy to read chapter book we are introduced to several characters including:

Mrs.-Her kindergarten teacher who has another name, but Junie B likes to call her Mrs

That Grace-The best friend who sits with her on the bus

Lucille-her friend who lives in a mansion with the rich nana

That Meanie Jim-her nemesis, and the boy who has a secret crush on er

Mr. Woo-the calm kindergarten bus driver who has to deal with her and her antics every day

Mother and Daddy-her patient parents who are more than likely very happy that she is in school

Grandma Helen Miller and Grandpa Frank Miller-two people who see Junie B’s humor and love her unconditionally, especially Grandpa Frank.  Theya re partners in crime.

These characters appear in all of the subsequent Junie B. Jones books. As their relationships develop in each book, children will read about the experiences Junie B. goes through.  They are the same ones many young children experience at this same age. Becoming best friends, not being best friends, teasing, crushes, "mean" teachers, getting punished, getting lost in school, and other familiar childhood situations are told in a way that engages the reader.

Junie B. Jones Controversy

One thing parents need to know about Junie B Jones is that, as seen in the title of her first book, she uses inappropriate language and at times acts inappropriately towards other people. Parents do not need to stay away from these books because of this. This is the perfect opportunity to teach your values and compare them to what Junie B. is saying. Many times she uses these words when she “gets frustration in her”. With your child, you can discuss what else Junie B. could have done instead of being fresh and using inappropriate language.

You can also remind your children that she is always grounded and sent to her room or sent out of the classroom and directly to the principal‘s office. Her friends even get frustrated with her and the behavior she exhibits.

Another problem some parents have with this popular chapter book series for young readers is that in order to make her sound like a five year old kindergarten child, Ms. Parks writes many malapropisms. As adults we can find these either amusing or annoying. Either way, they present another chance for parents to teach their children. Talking about what Junie B Jones should have said instead of the incorrect verbiage serves as a learning guidepost to the young reader.

Junie B. Jones Book List

Young readers follow Junie B. Jones and her adventures from kindergarten to first grade. Once you read one aloud, you are bound to complete the entire series.

The Junie B. Jones book titles, in order are:

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus #1

Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business #2
Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth #3

Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying #4
Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake #5
Junie B. Jones and That Meanie Jim’s Birthday #6
Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren #7
Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed #8
Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook #9
Junie B. Jones Is a Party Animal #10
Junie B. Jones Is a Beauty Shop Guy #11
Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy #12
Junie B. Jones Is (Almost) a Flower Girl #13
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine #14
Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket #15
Junie B. Jones Is Captain Field Day #16
Junie B. Jones Is a Graduation Girl #17

Junie B. Jones First Grader (at last!) #18

Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch #19
Junie B., First Grader Toothless Wonder #20
Junie B., First Grader Cheater Pants #21
Junie B., First Grader One-Man Band #22
Junie B., First Grader Shipwrecked #23
Junie B., First Grader Boo . . . and I Mean It! #24
Junie B., First Grader Jingle Bells, Batman Smell! (P.S. So Does May) #25
Top-Secret, Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B. (And Me!)
Junie B., First Grader Aloha-ha-ha! #26
Junie B., First Grader Dumb Bunny #27

There are additional resources for parents who have children who love Barbara Parks’ rambunctious character. If you go to the Random House website, there are online games and printable coloring pages and activities for your children to extend their literature experience.

Children love this smart and sassy little girl, and if you are fortunate enough to have the play come to your area, you must go and see it! It has all of the familiar characters and lots of great songs that will keep the kids humming.

Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park will leave a smile on your face and that of your children. Once you finish one book, you can’t wait to start the next one!