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Junie B. Jones Series

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Junie B. Jones Series Book Poster Image
Junie B. Jones brings good fun and laughs to early readers.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 13 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Young readers get a funny, kid's eye view of what happens in kindergarten (17 books) and first grade (13 books and counting), including riding to and from school on the bus, doing desk work, and making friends. Note: The books are narrated by Junie B., and author Barbara Park often has her character use incorrect verbiage and grammar for humorous effect.

Positive Messages

Young children will see an exaggerated version of themselves in Junie B. Jones; they may even learn to laugh at themselves when they see what funny things happen when Junie B. makes mistakes. They'll see that adults are there to help, and problems often aren't as big as they seem.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adults in Junie B.'s world are minor characters, but they can still be steady, helpful, and kind. Junie B.'s parents may roll their eyes at her antics, but they are as patient and supportive as they can be. Her kindergarten teacher, "Mrs.," is fair and caring. Junie B. is also close to her grandfather, Grampa Miller, who dotes on her and lets her help with household jobs; he makes her feel valued and important.

Violence & Scariness

Junie B. Jones and her classmates sometimes chase or push each other on the playground or on the school bus. In the first book, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, Junie B. meets a fellow kindergartner and begins referring to him as the boy whom she "could beat up." But in general, kids in the series talk about fighting more than they actually fight.


Children call each other "mean" or a "baby," and say they "hate" each other.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones series has been a favorite with young readers since the first volume, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, was published in 1992. Junie B. is a kindergartner in Books 1-17, and then a first grader, beginning in No. 18, Junie B., First Grader (At Last!). She is funny, strong-willed, and prone to misunderstandings and mishaps. Junie B. sometimes loses her temper and acts out; she might say she hates another kid, and she and her classmates sometimes push or fight, but there's nothing outside of common childish behavior. One aspect of Junie B. that many parents do find objectionable concerns the character's use of poor grammar; for example, Junie B. will say she "holded it" or something was her "favoritest." A 20th Anniversary edition of the first Junie B. Jones book, published in 2012, includes bonus features from the author and illustrator.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 year old Written bynicolejh March 9, 2014

Reception of Junie B. Jones books

I agree in that these books can be entertaining for adults and children. However, after my daughter brought one home and she read it me, I was a little horrifie... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 year old Written byashley.camp July 9, 2016

Engaging and Fun for Family Reading

I am a teacher and a parent to a 5 year old little girl. I have heard some parents complain about the language and rudeness that the main character, Junie B. Jo... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 17, 2014

These books are hilarious!!!

These books are hilarious and VERY fun to read!!! They even get laughs out of adults!!! One day when I was six years old, my dad and I were reading these and la... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old September 7, 2014

One of the best book series ever made!

I used to have an obsession with Junie B. Jones when I was 5. Even though I'm 11 and a little old for these books, I still like them :)

What's the story?

The main character in Barbara Park's JUNIE B. JONES SERIES starts kindergarten in Book 1, Junie B. Jones and the Smelly Bus, and the series -- 30 books and counting -- follows her into first grade. In each book, Junie B., a funny, strong-willed handful of a girl, survives minor mishaps and navigates social and personal challenges. The character of Junie B. is in some ways similar to Beverly Cleary's Ramona, but these books differ greatly in approach as they are written for very young readers and are narrated by a 5- or 6-year-old. Junie B. repeats various amusing turns of phrase ("Wowie wow wow!" "Yeah, only ..." "Guess what?"); she also frequently uses incorrect grammar and verbiage, which is funny to first graders but sometimes objectionable to parents. A 20th Anniversary edition of the first Junie B. Jones book, published in 2012, contains bonus features, including background about the development of the series, an inside look at the way illustrator Denise Brunkus draws Junie B., and an "interview" in which Junie B. asks questions of Barbara Park.

Is it any good?

The Junie B. Jones books are vastly entertaining to young grade schoolers, who will see an exaggerated, slapstick version of themselves in Barbara Park's funny, sassy main character. These books are just the right level and length for new chapter-book readers, and they offer that quality sometimes lacking in "edutainment" for early graders: big laughs. Denise Brunkus' broadly animated illustrations add to the fun and help tell the story for new readers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Familes can talk about whether Junie B. Jones seem like a real kid. What about her seems real to you, and what doesn't?

  • Which is your favorite Junie B. Jones book? What happens in it?

  • In the first book in the series, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, Junie B. doesn't want to ride the bus home from school. What does she do to avoid taking the bus? What do you think she could have done instead?

Book details

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For kids who love humor and strong girls

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