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Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (Junie B. Jones, No. 1) Library Binding – July 28, 1992

Book 1 of 28 in the Junie B. Jones Series

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Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (Junie B. Jones, No. 1) + Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth (Junie B. Jones 3, Library Binding) + Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business (Junie B. Jones 2, Library Binding)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 380L (What's this?)
  • Library Binding: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (July 28, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679926429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679926429
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

10 Top-Secret Personal Facts About Junie B

By Me, Junie B. Jones

  1. My birthday is Junie the 1st!
  2. My mother's name is Susan, Susie, Suz, Mommy, and Mother. Plus sometimes Daddy calls her Buttercup. That is ridiculous I think.
  3. My favorite food is yummy, delicious lemon pie. Plus also I like 'pasketti and meatballs and whipped cream in a can, and sugar cookies! I do not like peas. Or Tuna Noodle Stinkle  (that dish does not smell delightful).
  4. When I grow up I would like to be the janitor of my school. The janitor saves people from danger. And paints litter cans. And carry keys that unlock the bathroom. Without the janitor we couldn't even go to the toilet. I would also  enjoy being Beauty Shop guy, I think.  
  5. My grandma, Helen Miller has a pet bird named Twitter. (Only I hate that dumb bird).
  6. I am not actually a fan of roosters either. One time, a boy named meanie Jim said that roosters can peck your head into a nub. And that is not pleasant, I tell you.
  7. The name of my school is Clarence somebody or other Elementary School.
  8. I usually take the stupid smelly bus to school.  Only some mornings I accidentally spill cereal down the front of me at breakfast. And then I accidentally dance with Teddy instead of changing clothes. And so I accidentally miss the bus. Then Mother has to drive me. She is not pleasant when that happens.
  9. When I am scared in the dark, I grab my bestest stuffed animal named Philip Johnny Bob. And then both of us sing, "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" from the hit musical Annie.
  10. My favorite fruits are fruit loops, cherry jello, grape Kool-aid, orange popsicles, strawberry shortcake, blueberry pancakes, and chocolate covered raisins.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

One of the initial titles released under the First Stepping Stone imprint, chapter books aimed at newly independent readers and arranged in series, Park's ( Skinnybones ) jolly caper is the first installment to feature Junie B., a feisty almost-six-year-old who is not at all happy about riding the bus on the first day of kindergarten. In fact, she doesn't like a single thing about this vehicle: not the kids who get on it ("Loud kids. And some of them were the kind who look like meanies"); not the door ("If it closes on you by accident, it will cut you in half, and you will make a squishy sound"); and not the black smoke it emits ("It's called bus breath, I think"). Other equally candid, on-target perceptions fill Junie B.'s first-person narrative, which is peppered with reader-involving questions ("Only guess what?"; " 'Cause guess why?") that help to propel the story at a whiz-bang pace. When a classmate tells Junie B. that kids will pour chocolate milk on her head on the way home, the spunky child finds a way to avoid the dreaded bus. Park convinces beginning readers that Junie B.
- and reading--are lots of fun. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

And Junie is rude, bossy, and she name calls; again, not the behavior I want my child emulating.
Kindle Customer
I just want to say I held off buying these books, even though my daughter wanted them, because I wanted to read for myself first.
This book is great for kids starting kindergarten, but I would recommend it to any child, because its so funny!
Kindle Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 169 people found the following review helpful By DTG on September 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Because I don't get it. Schools seem to love them - is there some special highly-technical educational matrix that this junk fits into that I need a degree in education to understand? My 1st-grade daughter reads everything, and on her second day her teacher recommended this book. We read it together, and I had to stop every other sentence and talk about how we don't call people stupid, how we don't judge others by the fact that you can beat them up, how you don't deal with being afraid by calling everyone names and hitting them, and how you don't go rummaging through other people's belongings and taking whatever you want. It's ridiculous. Unless the point is to get parents to spend time teaching kids how not to behave - but we get enough of that from real-life. There will be plenty of time for our children to become discriminating readers who know when they're reading a fun book - but at this age,at this stage, they are learning how to behave around others. When these books are encouraged by adults, a 1st-grader can't be blamed for thinking this is encouraged behavior.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mamma Ro on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
There's no excuse for such terrible grammar. Children will develop good grammar and mastery of the English language if they hear it. This book begins with approximately one instance per page of "colloquial" poor grammar on the part of the child. I just can't read that aloud to my children. Even my 3-year-old has nearly perfect English grammar and I don't want her to start mimicking the low-brow lexicon of Junie B Jones.

The book makes reference to school being the place where you don't get to watch TV anymore. My kids watch minimal TV now so that doesn't even make sense to them.

And Junie B Jones says she could "beat up" some boy who seems timid and reserved. The child does not start off with an endearing personality. It's hard enough that kids are going to get exposed to "those kids" when they go to school; I don't need to introduce them to a title character who represents the worst of the worst that they're going to inevitably encounter upon starting kindergarten.

Sorry to be so judgmental but I'd prefer to expose my kids to books that do not cater to the lowest common denominator. Normally I'd give a book more of a chance but when the first chapter of the first book was packed full of objectionable content (grammar and snotty attitude), that's a red flag for me that the rest of the series is not likely to improve.
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52 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm delighted that my 5 (almost 6) year old daughter loves to read, and I was thrilled that my wife managed to find some books that are at her reading level and yet tell real, and to some degree, compelling stories.

But after my 16 year old daughter caught a whiff of the books and told me they may not be so great, I read "Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus" for myself. On the surface, it's no worse than what my 5 year old has seen in life before. But the fact is that literature does something to us, more than entertaining us. As I learned in graduate school in English literature and have been learning ever since as a father, teacher, and pastor, literature not only delights but (as Horace said) teaches by delighting.

So what does "Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus" teach?

1. It teaches that hating things is normal and even funny.
"That Jim I hate."
"I hate it in this stupid smelly bus."

2. She calls lots of things stupid.

3. Some of the pictures are pictures of how I want my kids NOT to act: going "Ta Da! Here I am, aren't I cute?", covering her ears and stamping her foot when she doesn't like something, and giving a sassy and pretentious turn of the head back to another child. I've seen this exact pose on my 5 year-old, and now I think I know where it came from!

4. The humor in the book comes mostly from Junie doing things like hiding in the supply closet, wandering the school at will, and invading the nurse's office and dumping out band-aids and playing with crutches and plays with the phone. And, of course, calling 911 and having a fire truck, police car, and ambulance arrive because of the "emergency" she claimed to be having.

The consequences of all of this?
Read more ›
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Warde on April 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I read on average about 6 books a month and I LOVE books but this is my first review. I have never been inspired to write a review the way I am with these books. My daughter is in kindergarten and I was so excited she was starting to read. We ran out to get chapter books and I picked up the first four of this series because I thought it would be great for her to relate to a character finally after reading things like Dr Suess and books about elephants in tutus her whole life. We got through the first two chapters of this book and I couldn't BELIEVE what I was reading to my daughter. I could have handled a little bit of attitude but holy cow. Junie B Jones is a brat in every sense of the word. I loved Ramona Quimby growing up and she had plenty of adventures and gave her mom a hard time but she certainly didn't call everything "dumb" and "stupid". She was a trouble maker but I like to think she had a good heart. Beverly Cleary should be offended that other reviewers are even comparing Junie B to her Ramona. Like other reviewers have said, I had to change much of the dialogue to more appropriate wording to get through these (we only made it through the first two). I have these books hidden and I'm just waiting for her to forget about them before I get rid of them. If unlike me you actually read the reviews before you purchase them, DON'T DO IT. I'm sure there are better books to introduce a child into the world of reading and I intend to find them!

And one last rant, why doesn't she know her teacher's name? She's 5. My daughter knew the names of her daycare teachers when she was 2 and 3 and there is a zero chance that anyone in her class now in kindergarten calls their teacher "Mrs". Throughout these books, Junie B acts as if she's just learning how to talk. I'm pretty sure every single kindergartener in the world is more well spoken than her. I wish I could rate this a ZERO!
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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.