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Junie B. Jones Series

Junie B. Jones brings good fun and laughs to early readers.

What parents need to know

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

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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Author:Barbara Park
Illustrator:Denise Brunkus
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication date:July 28, 1992
Number of pages:80
Publisher's recommended age(s):6 - 8
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of Junie B. Jones Series was written by

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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 horrified. As college educated parents, regularly encouraging proper grammar, I found this book encouraging of poor grammar. Also, my child's school (as do we) discourages the use of words such as "stupid" and "dumb." My daughter actually stopped reading when those words came up and said she didn't want to say them. The particular Junie B. Jones book she brought home presented Junie spying and humiliating her teacher. There did not appear to be any consequence or repercussion of her actions. My daughter was instructed not to bring home any more Junie B. Jones books.
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 :)
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 laughing so hard, that tears were coming out of our eyes. Junie B. Jones is a fun and silly character. I just love these books!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models