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Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School (Junie B. Jones) (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) Spiral-bound


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Frequently Bought Together

Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School (Junie B. Jones) (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) + Top-Secret, Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B. (and Me!) + Junie B.'s These Puzzles Hurt My Brain! Book (Junie B. Jones) (A Stepping Stone Book(TM))
Price for all three: $27.25

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Series: A Stepping Stone Book(TM)
  • Spiral-bound: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Spi edition (July 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375838112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375838118
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BARBARA PARK is best known as the author of the wildly popular New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series, which has kept kids (and their grown-ups) laughing—and reading—for over two decades. Beloved by millions, the Junie B. Jones books have been translated into multiple languages and are a time-honored staple in elementary school classrooms around the world. Barbara once said, “I’ve never been sure whether Junie B.’s fans love her in spite of her imperfections…or because of them. But either way, she’s gone out into the world and made more friends than I ever dreamed possible.”

Barbara Park is also the author of award-winning middle grade novels and bestselling picture books, including Skinnybones, Mick Harte Was Here, and Ma! There’s Nothing to Do Here!

Barbara Park was born in New Jersey in 1947 and spent most of her adult life in Arizona, where she and her husband, Richard, raised two sons. Barbara died in 2013, but her legacy lives on in the laughter her books give to readers all over the world.


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

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 42 customer reviews
My 7 year old loved this book.
D. Jones
She kept reading this book for hours by herself and made the happy laugh all the time during the reading.
Sunny
My daughter loves Junie B Jones' books.
Waterchild

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Prentice on October 30, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound
I purchased this book for my rising first grade daughter for a long summer car trip. She read it for hours in the car, and now, months later, still reads it often. My son, a second grader, also really enjoys this book. We've read all of the Junie B. Jones books (well, many of them in audio version), so we were excited to find a new book, especially right before our trip. This book is typical Junie B. fare, with funny advice on being a student. Add to that the colorful pages, drawings, and Junie's own handwriting. It is visually interesting. My husband and I also think the stories are really funny, reminding us a lot of what it is like to be a kid. I have to admit I've laughed pretty hard at some of the passages. I highly recommend this book for early elementary school children. Many kids that age can read it on their own, or it provides and easy and enjoyable read-aloud for an adult.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Momnipotent on February 22, 2010
Format: Spiral-bound
My daughter got this for her 8th birthday, and she has enjoyed writing in it. I like the Junie B. Jones journal a little bit better, but she likes them both equally. It's a nice addition to the regular Junie B. Jones books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sandra L. Martin on December 28, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
My 9 year old sat by the Christmas tree and read the book in less than two hours. She loved it and thought it was very funny.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Jones on December 3, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
My 7 year old loved this book. I read through the entire book with her and have to admit it was a lot of fun to interact with the storylines and of course Junie B Jones offbeat track of humor. My daughter liked the fact she good draw or add-in her own customization to the book. We loved to read the lists and discuss them about whats right and wrong about them - with a tinge of humor. You either like the Junie B series or not - I recommend highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By swan7girl on October 16, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound
My second grader LOVES Junie B. and couldn't wait to get this. Loved the format in which its written from Junie B's perspective. Loved that it has places to personalize with your kids own writing and drawings - stickers too! This would be the perfect book for your child who maybe hasn't taken a liking to reading just yet. Laugh out loud funny and makes you relive your own days of elementary school. I'll be giving these as Christmas gifts!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Carolyn S. Craig on September 15, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I love Junie B and Barbara Parks has scored again with this book. It can be read to children in a group even though there is a lot of wonderful interactive activities for a child who is reading it on their own. A new feature in this book is the clear hard plastic cover. Great for children's books. definite 5 star rating.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BookLover on October 7, 2010
Format: Spiral-bound
This book was very good because it was very funny. I got this when I was younger, so I like to look back at what I wrote. The little problem about this book is that there is a plastic cover over it, and it's really hard to make it lie flat. But I could easily remove it from the spiral. It's spiral bound so when you remove the cover, it's easy to write in. It has colorful and funny dividers. I like how Junie B. is writing a journal in her own words. It also looks like she wrote it herself, because of the font, which looks like handwriting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Todd David Rudick on July 30, 2009
Format: Spiral-bound
Very impressed with the concept--the book appears to be a school "composition" notebook containing a "guide to school," hand-written (and illustrated) by a fellow first grader. Nearly every page is hilarious. For example, there's a page on "carpooling" that describes it as "one of the biggest disappointments of my school career," and includes an illustration of "happy happy children" bathing in a pool attached to a car (of course).

What a delight to see my child sit in a chair and read the book straight through, giggling every minute or so!
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