I just want to start this blog post off by saying that Barbara Park is a genius.
My entire elementary school was filled with moments where I blocked everything out, because Junie B. Jones had me entranced. I have always loved to read, and to dive so deep into a book that everything around me fades away and I seems that I become a mute character I the story. Whenever it was Wednesday, which was the day my class and I went to the library, I headed straight for the books that were above my grades reading level. I don’t remember the exact day I found Junie B. Jones, but I do remember the first book of hers that I read; Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch. I remember how she talked about loving hoagies, and how I did not know what a hoagie was, and how she felt so important, because she had been assigned to work with the lunch lady. By the end of the book I myself wanted to go and help the lunch ladies at my school.
What made me fall in love with Junie B. was her sarcoma, her wittiness, but especially her smart mouth. She would always have something sassy to say, and I loved it. What made me fall in love with the writing was that Park wrote the way Junie B. talked, and as a beginning reader it was nice and easy to read books that didn’t have huge words in it that I couldn’t understand. Park didn’t write all her stories to have an underlying moral or message, sometimes the story was meant to just depict the life of a sassy elementary scholar. Although some of the stories did end up having a moral which we would find out whenever Junie B. was scolded by her mother. Her mother who I always thought, and still do, never really understood Junie B.
Barabara Park died on November 15, 2013. R.I.P Barabara Park.