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141 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING Book Series
Junie B. books have propelled my 6 year old daughter into the wonderful world of reading chapter books on her own. She loves them so much that she can't put them down, and she recently started a Junie B. "library" collection. In her words: "I love Barbara Park (the author). She's SO good at writting the way kids talk and think. Barbara Park and Junie B. rock."...
Published on February 14, 2004

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1,293 of 1,480 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm sorry, but I just don't get it...
This is apparently a minority opinion, but I think these books are horrible for children in the 1st or 2nd grade. 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 "The Dirty,...
Published on September 14, 2003 by DTG


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1,293 of 1,480 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm sorry, but I just don't get it..., September 14, 2003
By 
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
This is apparently a minority opinion, but I think these books are horrible for children in the 1st or 2nd grade. 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 "The Dirty, Smelly Bus". 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. Not only is this behavior normal for the title character, there are no negative repercussions - it's considered "cute"!!. Perhaps 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. I think it's disingenuous for the literary review to flippantly say "don't try this grammar at home!" -- there's much worse in here than bad grammar for children of this age. Save the books for older readers, when they can actually understand the joke. Avoid the incorrect assumption that many adults (myself included at times)sometimes make that their young children have a higher level of sophistication than they really do.
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141 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING Book Series, February 14, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
Junie B. books have propelled my 6 year old daughter into the wonderful world of reading chapter books on her own. She loves them so much that she can't put them down, and she recently started a Junie B. "library" collection. In her words: "I love Barbara Park (the author). She's SO good at writting the way kids talk and think. Barbara Park and Junie B. rock."
As a parent, I was skeptical at first. About a year ago, a neighbor (who is very heavy-hearted and serious about life) said she didn't like the books because she thought Junie B. had too much of an attitude. She loaned us one (The Stinky Smelly Bus) so that I could see for myself. I was hesitent, but read the book to my daughter. In summary, although Junie B. is far from perfect, she is surrounded by very clever, compassionate adults, she always learns from her mistakes, and she has a big heart. Additionally, the interest in my daughter's eyes and the big belly laughs she let out during the reading convinced me to buy a second book in the series.
I'm now a full force supporter of Junie B., and I enjoy seeing my daughter trade the various books in the series with her friends at school. Junie B. Jones books are their (and my) FAVORITE BY FAR! Thank you Barbara Park for lighting up my daughter's reading world and keeping it fun and interesting!!!
A final note: I do NOT recommend these books for children under six; they may misinterpret the wonderful messages Barbara Park is conveying, and focus only on Junie B.'s "spirited" personality (just as some of the other reviewers here have done!).
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98 of 113 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is not good for children..., September 30, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
Speaking as an English teacher who fights bad grammar habits daily, I say this book is not fit for small children. It is only fit for older children who have a firm hold on grammar and will not be affected by "She don't" and "I thinked" sort of phrases. Truly, the grammar errors in these books nauseate me because they imply that children are simply stupid and incapable of good grammar.
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166 of 197 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars best way to spoil a cozy evening of reading with a child, January 23, 2009
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
I bought the `Junie B Jones' set through The Scholastic Books Program with such high hopes.
Settling down for book time before bed, my seven year old boy started to read to me "Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth." The title of the book should have warned me. On the very first page I was incredulous to hear about a kindergarten discussing head butting. 'Maybe just on page one' I thought. Then on page two, Junie B. is talking back to the teacher and using language even my child was shocked to find in a children's book. I took over reading the chapter - editing out the bad language and grammar unfit even for three year olds.
The rest of the chapter continued with inappropriate language - "bashing in brains", "heck" and "dumb" and the five year character talking back to the teacher who she refuses to referred to by any name other than "Mrs."

I find these books offensive and degrading to parents who are going to the effort and expense to buy the set in hopes of reading with their child a set of books full of funny stories about a little girl with a vivid imagination and some misconceptions of how to behave. The Junie B. books are just about an insecure little girl with a horrible, aggressive attitude.

I was absolutely amazed to read in the author's bio that she has children. The book seems more like a detached childless person's attempt to imagine what a child's viewpoint of life might be like - without first spending anytime around young children herself. The editor and publishers must also never spend time with young children.

The story's character sets a bad example with her freakishly aggressive behavior. The stories not at all funny or entertaining - just disturbing exchanges weirdly twisted together with very grownup concepts and ideas.

Reading Junie B. books is the best way to spoil what should be a cozy evening of reading with a child. Tomorrow night we will go back to reading stories like 'Henry Huggins', 'King of the Wind', 'Mouse and the Motorcycle' and 'Jack Black and The Ship of Thieves.' - Stories with adventure, humor, something to learn, humanity and no bad language.

The other books in the Junie B Jones box set? Unread and into the trash. Sigh...
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61 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buy this only if your kid won't copy the title character, March 9, 2006
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
I gave this series the lowest rating possible. I have read a dozen of these stories myself, and they just have nothing to offer to my kids. The title character Junie is at best a bad mouthed, obnoxious brat whose behavior probably irritates most parent readers to the point that they would almost commit child abuse to stop her. From the kid readers' standpoint, it might be enjoyable to live vicariously through Junie, since she's completely unrestrained and never really gets punished for what she does. I can certainly see how some young children would find that very appealing, though others might be distressed if they empathize with Junie's classmates.

Before making this series part of your child's reading experience, I suggest that you think about whether your child tends to copy the characters or language from the stories that she reads. If the answer is yes, then save your family from years of therapy, and DO NOT BUY JUNIE B. JONES. Buy Beverly Cleary's Ramona books, Barbara Robinson's Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the Pippi Longstocking series, and even Curious George. These have naughty behavior, but they are much more balanced. If you are trying to wean your child from picture books, try Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series of chapter books.

Even if you don't think your child will copy Junie, first read a few pages yourself, so you know exactly what you are passing along. Do NOT select this for a gift unless you know that the child in question enjoys the series AND the parent/guardian does not mind.
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63 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Have to go with the Nays on this one...., September 3, 2005
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
These are such popular books, we decided to give them a go with our seven year old. After quitting the first by the second chapter, we decided to try one more. That too was filled with so much poor behavior, we tossed them. Some reviewers seem to indicate that we shelter or inhibit our children by not exposing them to these books or that we should use Junie B. to teach about bad behavior. My view is that we should teach children to be kind and genrerous; in this way they will know when things are not. I do not instruct in sassiness and selfishness and then instruct them not to do likewise. These books offer little to help your child grow in character and there are plenty of other books to help them in their literacy. Put garbage in and you get garbage out.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who needs the bad grammar?, January 6, 2003
By 
Sarah Sweedler "sweedler" (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
The story line is indeed amusing, but who wants to teach their young readers with a heavy dose of bad grammar? My five year old uses English with more precision, and although she giggles at Junie's antics, I am disappointed that every other sentence is incorrect. "Grandma says I'm gonna get runned over by an ice cream truck." "After that, I got sended to my room." Who needs this? I don't think it adds any value, nor does it make Junie more believably 6 years old to have her unable to conjugate a verb. And no, I'm not a grammar teacher, nor a librarian.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Junie B. Jones and Ramona Quimby, May 20, 2005
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
These books are funny and above all interesting to the age group they are intended for. And it is not painful for the parent to read these books to their children like it is for so many chapter books in this age group.

I personally enjoy these books as they remind me of the Ramona series of books by Beverly Cleary. Ramona often did things that were not necessarily nice. In fact, many of Cleary's characters didn't always behave in the best way possible. Ramona was often mischievous and somewhat of a pest in the books and encountered the same sort of problems that children her age have to deal with. Much like Junie B. Both are written very well from the perspective of a child at that age, regardless of the age of the writer.

As for the arguments against the books, my first grade daughter has roughly a third grade reading level. She knows proper grammar and English and knows when Junie is saying something incorrectly. However, the fact of the matter is that first graders are often just learning grammar. Grammar rules are difficult at that age. If almost every word you encounter you ad an -ed to create the past tense, first grade logic dictates that the past tense version of "run" would be "runned".

On the name calling and attitude issue, my daughter also doesn't use those words. Once again, she is able to tell the difference between right and wrong. Books often present right and wrong. I agree with the reviewer that perhaps they wouldn't be appropriate for a toddler, but a first grader just entering chapter books generally is very able to understand what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. My daughter knows that just because other children hit, it does not make it okay for her to hit. By the logic presented by some of the reviewers, the average child should run right out and start calling everyone stupid because they will all of a sudden decide it's not wrong anymore.

These books are written as entertainment. They are written to appeal to your child's sense of humour and occasionally the parent reading the book to their child. Junie B. Jones is not meant to be a "Book of Virtues". It is meant to be reading material for your child who is just discovering the joy of reading and what she can experience through books. If every book a child had to read was supposed to teach some sort of moral lesson as opposed to simply being enjoyable it would make reading a very boring place.
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65 of 81 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Give Junie B. a Break, April 18, 2005
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
Sometimes, my eight-year-old's dance teacher will repeat the mistakes that my daughter and the rest of her classmates make. When she does this, the girls all giggle. She looks so silly when she dances like that!

When my eight year old reads a Junie B. Jones book, much of her laughter comes from knowing that Junie B. does not know how to speak proper English. She sounds so silly when she talks like that!

I would not read this series to a 3-year-old who is just learning to form sentences. (Duh.) But it's time to take a chill pill about J.B.'s improper grammar and hijinks. My children (6 and 8 years old) read these books, and they are at the tops of their classes in reading. They understand grammar rules, and are excellent spellers. Doesn't it seem even slightly unrealistic that one book series will corrupt a child's speech and manners, when that child is also exposed to other good literature?

Reading is supposed to be fun. Exposing children to many different kinds of characters in literature will only benefit them.

These books are innocent. Junie B is not overly sexualized, like some of the TV characters aimed at our young children. She doesn't worship the devil. And she does visit the principal's office regularly for her bad behavior (contrary to the statement that Junie never faces consequences for bad behavior.)

If you are really concerned about your child adopting Junie B's behavior, read a book aloud with your child. When Junie does something wrong, point your thumbs down. When she does something right, point your thumbs upward. Guess what! You will be surprised at how often you can give a thumbs up to Junie... when you are looking for something good instead of something to complain about.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where Have All the Adverbs Gone?, February 27, 2006
By 
This review is from: Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) (Paperback)
After hearing glowing recommendations from the parents of my children's peers, we bought this set to as readers for our daughter later this year, and my son a year or so later. Upon reviewing it, my wife and I were absolutely horrified that *anyone* could, in good conscience, suggest these books for young readers - except out of some perverse desire that we teach our young to grow up speaking like a dimwitted version of Frankenstein's monster. At least when the aforementioned monster yells "Fire bad!!" he's got his noun and adjective in agreement. Ms. Parks has either never heard of the adverb, or she's saving them up for a sequel to Schoolhouse Rock's "Lolly Lolly Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here!"

Further, as discussed in detail by other reviewers, Junie is hardly a model of decorum and good behavior. Needless to say, we won't be presenting this set of books to either of our children for reading. About the only thing positive I can say about these books is that they've presented me quite a challenge when reading aloud to the kids, correcting the abysmal grammar and outrageous behavior as I go.
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Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4)
Junie B. Jones's First Boxed Set Ever! (Books 1-4) by Barbara Park (Paperback - May 29, 2001)
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