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Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder (Junie B. Jones, No. 20) Paperback – August 12, 2003


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Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder (Junie B. Jones, No. 20) + Junie B., First Grader (at Last!) (Junie B. Jones, No. 18)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 350L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 81 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (August 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375822232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375822230
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The inimitable Miss Jones stars in Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder by Barbara Park, illus. by Denise Brunkus. Junie is the first in her class to have a loose upper tooth. But she wants nothing to do with the Tooth Fairy and fears she'll end up looking like her dentally challenged uncle. Ages 6-8.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-In this 20th book about Junie B., Parks hits on the universal theme of losing one's first tooth. As the first person in her class to have this experience, Junie B. worries that she'll look funny, but her teacher assures her that it is a momentous event in her life, and that she'll look more grown up when the new one comes in. This, of course, delights the child. However, she is convinced that the tooth fairy is really a witch. After all, what would a tooth fairy do with all of those teeth? This is an ideal read-aloud to first graders and a choice that they will enjoy reading independently as they move into chapter books. Humorous black-and-white drawings show Junie B. as she interacts with her classmates and family.
Jean Lowery, Bishop Woods Elementary School, New Haven, CT
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I grew up in Mt. Holly, New Jersey. It was a small town surrounded by farmland . . . the kind of town where you greet people by name on Main Street. It was only an hour's drive to the ocean. So every summer we spent family vacations on Long Beach Island. My brother and I would ride the waves during the day and play miniature golf at night. It's the kind of idyllic memory that stays in your head long after you've grown up and moved away.
After graduating from high school and spending two years at Rider University, I transferred to the University of Alabama where I met my husband, Richard. Eventually his job brought him to Arizona. We both fell in love with the desert and wanted to stay here forever. Still, during the heat of the Arizona summers, those ocean memories would come rushing back. So-after years of sweaty summers-my husband and I finally built a house on Long Beach Island, the same island where my brother and I rode the waves as kids. In the story business, that's called "coming full circle." These days, Richard and I divide our time between the desert and the ocean. In the words of Junie B. Jones, I'm a lucky duck.

Q. What inspired you to start writing?

In my case, it was sort of "reverse" inspiration. I got a degree in secondary education. My plan was to teach high school history and political science. But, because of a scheduling problem my senior year, I ended up doing my student teaching in the seventh grade. The word disaster doesn't really cover this one. I'll spare you the details. But as I ran screaming from the school building every day, I knew that I would never be a teacher. My husband and I married after graduation, and started a family. A few years later, when I was ready to go to work, I was still haunted by the memories of student teaching. So I was "inspired" to try my hand at writing instead.

Q. How did you go about getting published?

The first children's novel I wrote was Operation: Dump the Chump. As soon as it was finished, I bought a copy of Writer's Market, found some addresses, and started sending it off to publishers who were accepting unsolicited manuscripts. It was rejected three times. All three rejections managed to work in the classic industry one-liner, "It isn't right for our list."

The fourth time I sent it to Alfred Knopf, Inc. A few weeks later, they called and said it was exactly right for their list. I felt like I'd hit the lottery.

Q: You've written middle-grade novels, early chapter books, and picture books. Which do you like writing best?

I can't really say which I like best. But after all the Junie B. books I've written, those certainly come the easiest. The middle-grade novels are more of a challenge. But in some ways, that makes them more rewarding. The last two I've written (Mick Harte Was Here and The Graduation of Jake Moon) were both about very sensitive topics, so it took a long time to get them exactly right. But I think those two books have made me the most proud.

Q. Tell us about your most recent picture book.

It's called, MA! There's Nothing to Do Here! It's about a baby in utero who is bored out of his mind. The idea for it was born (so to speak) when my daughter-in-law, Renee, invited me to my first grandson's ultrasound. Although I had never had an ultrasound myself, I'd seen pictures of other babies in utero. But I wasn't prepared for how amazing it would be to see my own little grandbaby on that screen. I felt like I was watching the Discovery Channel.

Q. How much did you continue to think about the baby after seeing the ultrasound? How did this develop into the idea for the book?

A. On the way out of the doctor's office, I remember thinking, Okay, so now we're all going back to our busy lives. But the baby is still in there just floating around. Except for an occasional kick or hiccup, he's got absolutely nothing to do.

A few months later-when I was getting ready to give Renee a baby shower-I wrote this poem, framed it, and gave it to her as a shower gift.

Q. Of the characters you've created, who is your favorite?

A. This would be a bit like picking a favorite child. I don't have a single favorite character, but again, I lived with the characters Mick and Phoebe Harte and Jake and Skelly Moon for a very long time. So those four are the most dear to me.

The characters I've had the most fun with have been the little ones. Little kids are so free to say whatever is on their minds. They aren't silenced by peer pressure and the notion that they have to sound cool. Molly Vera Thompson in The Kid in the Red Jacket is six, and Thomas Russo in My Mother Got Married and Other Disasters is five. They both were such fun to write about that they led to the creation of Junie B. Jones.

Q. Is Junie B. modeled after you as a child? Did you ever do any of the things that Junie B. does?

A. I was sent to "Principal" in first grade for talking. There were lots of notes sent home that year, as well. My father was on the Board of Education. Not good.

Q. There's been some criticism of the Junie-speak in the series. How do you answer concerns that Junie's grammar is not good for young readers?

A. Honestly, most of the grown-ups I hear from are writing to tell me that Junie B. Jones got their reluctant readers to read. I have drawers full of letters from parents and teachers that are so meaningful to me, I can't bear to part with them. These are adults who understand that fictional literature plays a whole different role in children's lives than a book of grammar or a basic reader.

That having been said, there are always going to be a handful of people who denigrate books that speak in a voice other than their own. I've stopped trying to explain the concept of literature to people like that. Wasted time better spent.

8. What makes you laugh?

My sense of humor is a little bit off-center, I think. In the movies, I usually laugh at parts that no one else seems to think are funny. Then there are movies like Young Frankenstein where I laugh from the opening scene straight through to the end.

Lots of other things make me laugh, as well. My husband and sons make me laugh. My dog. My grandsons. Friends. The absurdities of life. My lopsided cakes. The list goes on . . .

What advice do you have for teachers that are aspiring writers? For kids?

There's nothing revolutionary in my advice, I'm afraid. It's the same old stuff. Write as much and as often as you can. Try different genres to find your niche. Then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. And-above all-be your own worst critic.

Customer Reviews

My almost 7 year old loved this book.
AMY J. STPETER
There's always something to learn and laugh about with Junie B. Jones.
J. Arena
My son laughed out loud reading this book and I enjoyed it myself.
Michelle Natalicchio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By JJsMommy on August 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
My 5 year old and I have been enjoying reading novels together and she loved Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary and so I was looking for something that might be similar. However, with this book...I couldn't get past the first 3 pages without having to omit the name calling and attitude so much that there was nothing left to read. I paused after a few pages, looked at my daughter and said "this doesn't seem like a very nice book does it? Should we start something else?" and she agreed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Wooley on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is definitely not a good choice for young readers. The Junie B. Jones character doesn't set a very good example to children on how to be polite and respectful to others.

My 6 year old daughter recommended this series of books to me when we were at the library. She told me that her teacher was reading a chapter to the class everyday. So, we checked out "The Toothless Wonder" since my daughter had recently lost her front teeth. We have read other books series about little girls and I was excited to try this one.

However, later that evening, I realized our mistake! Before bedtime, my daughter started reading the book to me. My daughter was uncomfortable using some of the words used in the dialogue and skipped over them. She showed me parts where Junie B. Jones called situations and people "stupid". Several times my daughter had to skip over parts she didn't want to read out loud. The next evening, the same thing happened and my daughter skipped over some parts of the book. So, I explained to my daughter that I didn't think this was a very good choice and we returned the book to the library without finishing it.

Now, if a young child knows better than to call other people "stupid" or "wierdos"...why does this series of books encourage it? I am trying to teach my children to be respectful to others and to be careful with their words, because it can be hurtful to others. So many children are rude and inconsiderate to others without really realizing what they are doing. And where do they learn it from? From a variety of places...parents, siblings, TV, movies and books.

So, I would caution parents about the Junie B. Jones books for children.
Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Denise on November 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
When books like this are highlighted (for our children), we are all worse off. Surely our educational standards have not fallen so low. Teach them proper English.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By I. Overman on October 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a grandmother of a 6-year old who just lost her first front tooth, I found this story to be as much fun to read as my granddaughter. We took turns reading it and she wanted to read it all over again right away. She is now reading it to Daddy and herself. Many parts left me laughing out loud (maybe not the ones she found funny). This book is really well written and tons of fun. Definitely "Show and Tell" material!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mbuna on January 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I can't imagine more inappropriate reading for a 5-8 year old. These books are loaded with poor grammar, individual words that are too advanced and, on top of that, they encourage bad behavior. Avoid this series.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just love the Junie B. Jones series. In fact, I have every single book. I have read them all about 20 times. Even being a 4th grader, I will still laugh out loud at Junie B. Back to Junie B. Tootless wonder. I gave it five stars because I like how Junie B. has "issues" with tooth fairy. There are also a few othe parts that stick out to me. What really made me laugh was that Junie B. thought that if she went into to the classroom with her tooth missing, that poeple would throw fruit at her. Junie B. makes me rember what I was like when I lost my 1st upper tooth.I also really like how Park liked tied together the beggening and end.She did this by at the beggening having a speaker come in and teach them about recycling.Then at the end when Junie B. finds money under her pillow, her baby brother Ollie gets a bit of his first tooth. Junie B. thinks that the tooth fairy recycles her tooth and gives it to her baby brother. To sum it up, I think that this is a great book for any age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 21, 2004
Format: Library Binding
(...). I was worried about loosing a top tooth. My dad bought me this book and I read it. It was very helpful. I say that this is a book EVERYBODY will like. I have a big sister named Jessie (...) and reads Junie B. She likes her and thinks that these are the best books. I do too. My teacher at school reads them to my class. He likes the whole series just like my class. Thanks, Junie B.! From, Karla T., of Naples, FL U.S.A.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 14, 2004
Format: Library Binding
I highly reccomend the Junie B. series to kids of all ages! Many parents complain about Junie's language skills. But twhen you listen to a 1st grader talk, they do say, "'Cause" and "Me" instead of "I", for example. Really listen to the kids. I'm a 6th grader, and my teacher still catches us every once in a while mixing up the "Me" and "I". Geeze oh man!!!! Parents rating this series a 1 star need to lighten up! GET OVER IT!!! Don't go telling other parents to not use this series. Junie's FUNNY!!!! That's what kids want to read! Using the improper language also makes this series unique. After reading Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder and the other First Grader's I was happy that Junie was improving her language talking. But her jorunal writings do relate to a 4th grader's. I doubt a 7-year-old could write like this. Overall, I reccomend this series to kids of ALL ages. And this book to kids nervous about loosing teeth and are worried about the Tooth Fariy.
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