Junie B. Jones

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Junie B. Jones
AuthorBarbara Park
IllustratorDenise Brunkus
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SubjectChildren's Literature
GenreComic novel
PublisherRandom House

Junie B. Jones is a children's book series written by Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus. Published by Random House from 1992 to 2013, the stories begin with Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, in which Junie B. is a fictional "almost six year old" starting her first day of kindergarten.

Aimed at beginning readers, the series centers on Junie B. Jones, a young girl who is just entering kindergarten in the first book in the series, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (1992).[1] In the opening sentences of that book, she declares, “My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all.”[1]

Books[edit]

Since the original book was published by Random House in 1992, twenty-eight other Junie B. Jones books have been published. Twenty-seven books belong to the Junie B. Jones Series and there is also a Junie B. Jones Journal. The Junie B. Jones series has also been translated into Spanish and French.

Characters[edit]

Juniper Beatrice "Junie B." Jones: The series' title character and main protagonist; a young girl with a friendly, bright, funny, and spirited personality. Junie B. lives with her parents, Robert and Susan, and her baby brother, Ollie. Her birthday is in June, making her either a Gemini or a Cancer in terms of the horoscope. Junie B.'s favorite foods are spaghetti and meatballs, lemon pie, and ice cream.

Family[edit]

Robert Jones: Junie B. and Ollie's loving father, whom Junie B. calls "Daddy." In Junie B. Jones is a Beauty Shop Guy, Junie B. says, "He has other names too. Some people call him Bob, and other people call him Bobby. Plus today Mother called him Ace."[citation needed]

Susan Jones (née Miller): Junie B.'s and Ollie's protective but caring mother, whom Junie B. calls "Mother." In Top Secret Personal Beeswax, Junie B. says, "Sometimes Daddy calls her Buttercup. That is ridiculous, I think."[citation needed]

Ollie Jones: Junie B.'s baby brother. He is born in the book Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. Junie B. often dislikes her brother, and they have somewhat of a sibling rivalry.

Frank Miller: Junie B.'s maternal grandfather. Grampa Miller, along with his wife, Helen Miller, babysits for her and her brother while their parents are at work.

Helen Miller: Junie B.'s maternal grandmother. Grandma Miller also babysits for Junie B. and her brother on occasion. Junie B. often calls her grandmother by her first name. Grandma Miller has a pet canary bird named Twitter.

Philip Johnny Bob: Junie B.'s beloved stuffed elephant. She brings him on trips with her.

Tickle: Junie B.'s dog of unknown breed. He has short yellowish fur. He has been around since before Junie B. was born.

Flo Miller: Junie B.'s aunt. She is only mentioned in "Junie B. Jones is (Almost) a Flower Girl", where she is getting married.

Friends[edit]

Lucille: Junie B.'s rich, beautiful, but spoiled best friend in kindergarten. She has a grandmother who pampers her and always gives her what she wants, except dogs. She always wears nail polish. She likes to wear lacy socks with bows on them. She also has an older brother.

That Grace: Junie B.'s athletic best friend in kindergarten. She has a baby brother and an older sister. Grace is a very fast runner and wears pink high-top sneakers. Unlike Junie B., Grace is well-behaved and she speaks with proper grammar. She sits with Junie B. every day on the school bus in kindergarten.

Ricardo: Junie B.'s "boyfriend" in kindergarten, until Junie B. Jones is (Almost) a Flower Girl. He likes monkeys, has freckles, and wears cowboy boots.

Crybaby William: A very shy and soft-spoken boy who Junie B. says would be easy for her to beat up. She refers to him as "Crybaby William" because he can be upset very easily. He also has stage fright.

Herbert (Herb): Junie B.'s best friend in first grade. In Junie B.'s Top Secret Personal Beeswax, he and Junie B. seem to have a crush on each other. He was in a different school before first grade.

José: Another one of Junie B.'s best friends in first grade. He is Hispanic and speaks both English and Spanish. He plays soccer. Sometimes, he greets Junie B. in Spanish.

Lennie: Another one of Junie B.'s best friends in first grade. He is quiet and almost always agrees with Junie B. Lennie has spiky hair. In Dumb Bunny, he and Shirley mention that they are Jewish.

Sheldon Potts: A good friend of Junie B. in first grade. He can be awfully shy in front of a crowd. He is shown to have blonde hair. Sheldon takes multi-vitamins, due to his many food allergies. His family is full of former criminals and otherwise strange people, such as his Uncle Vern, Aunt Bunny, and Grandpa Ned.

Shirley: Another good friend of Junie B. in first grade. She is shown to have short black hair. She has a dog named Stinky. In Dumb Bunny, she mentions that she and Lennie are Jewish.

Roger: A boy with freckles who is in the same classes as Junie B. for both kindergarten and first grade. He had his lunch money stolen by a boy named Jeff Hooks in kindergarten. He has an older brother named Rodney, who was previously in Mr. Scary’s class.

Jamal Hall: A boy in the kindergarten class. His mother is the art teacher.

Charlotte: A girl in the kindergarten class. She doesn't always get along with Junie B. She wears glasses.

Rivals[edit]

May Murkee (Tattletale May): A girl who sits next to Junie B. in the first grade. Junie B. does not like her because she won't say the "B" in her name and just calls her Junie Jones. Junie B. calls her "Tattletale May."

Jim: Junie B. and Jim are said to hate each other until Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime when he gives a nice valentine to her. He admits that he's always liked her but to keep it a secret because they have so much fun fighting.

Pink Fluffy Girl: A fellow student at Junie B.'s school who wears a pink jacket. She is known for stealing Junie B.'s mittens in Junie B. Jones is not a Crook.

Bobbi Jean Piper: Grace's new friend in 1st grade.


Lucille--she turns into Junie B's worst nightmare as the author describes in the chronicles of an interview with B.P.

Teachers and School Staff[edit]

Mrs.: Junie B.'s kindergarten teacher and in charge of Room Nine. In all of the Kindergarten adventures, Junie B. says: "Her name is Mrs. She has another name too but I just like Mrs. and that's all."citation needed

Mr. Scary: Junie B.'s kind and warm first grade teacher. She believes that he made up his name because he is actually very nice and "doesn't even scare her, hardly."citation needed

Principal: The principal at Junie B.'s school. She refers to him only as "Principal." Junie B. believes he lives in his office and is "the king of the school, only he doesn't actually wear a crown."citation needed

Gus Vallony: The school janitor. He helps Junie B. out when she is accidentally locked in the school in Stupid, Smelly Bus, where he was originally known as the "man with the can". He was born in an unknown foreign country.

Mrs. Gladys Gutzman: The school cafeteria lady. She brings cookies to the kindergarten students.

Mrs. Weller: The school nurse.

Mr. Woo: The bus driver who drives Junie B. and the other kids to school. He may be grumpy but, he still cares about the kids. He has already given Junie B. 2 pink bus slips: one for yelling for the bus to go faster and another for tickling another kid.

Grouchy Typing Lady: Principal's secretary who works at the front office.

Mr. Toot: The music teacher, who is also in charge of the annual Holiday Sing-Along.

Mrs. Hall: The art teacher. She has a son named Jamal.

Reception[edit]

The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009.[2] Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling and grammar.[citation needed] While Junie B. Jones writer Barbara Park appreciated being on banned lists with writers she respected (like Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison), she stopped reading information about her books because the comments were "too hurtful".[3] Park once wrote that some people "believe that the value of a children's book can be measured only in terms of the moral lessons it tries to impose or the perfect role models it offers. Personally, I happen to think that a book is of extraordinary value if it gives the reader nothing more than a smile or two. In fact, I happen to think that's huge."[4]

Adaptations[edit]

Plays[edit]

  • Junie B. Jones, theatrical adaptation by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, Theatreworks USA[5][6]
  • Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, theatrical adaptation by Joan Cushing
  • Junie B. Jones The Stupid Smelly Bus Tour, Random House,[7] Tour by Momentum Worldwide
  • 2008 Tour - Caitlin Thurnauer as Junie B. Jones, Jay Paranada as Mr. Woo. Tour Managed by Michael Barth
  • Junie B. Jones Top-Secret Personal Beeswax educational video game for the LeapFrog Leapster Learning System
  • Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, theatrical adaptation by Allison Gregory; Childsplay. Music composed by Rob Witmer
  • Junie B. Jones: First Grader: Shipwrecked, theatrical adaptation by Allison Gregory; Childsplay
  • Junie B Jones and a Little Monkey Business, theatrical adaptation performed at B Street Theatre.
  • Junie B Jones: The Musical

Film[edit]

The only mentioning of a theatrical feature film based on the books comes from a Q&A thread from Barbara Park where she stated that "Junie B has been pretty successful already living in the readers' imaginations, so I am happy with that."[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fox, Margalit (2013-11-18). "Barbara Park, Author of Junie B. Jones Series, Dies at 66". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  2. ^ "Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009". American Library Association. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  3. ^ Grossman, Anna Jane (July 26, 2007). "Is Junie B. Jones Talking Trash?". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  4. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (November 17, 2013). "'Junie B. Jones' author Barbara Park dies at 66". USA Today. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  5. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (2005-11-12). Irrepressible, Bespectacled Girl Tackles First Grade. The New York Times.
  6. ^ Welcome to TheatreworksUSA
  7. ^ Official Junie B. Jones site.
  8. ^ http://www.randomhouse.com/kids//junieb/author/author.html

External links[edit]