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Junonia Hardcover – May 24, 2011

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1ST edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061964174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061964176
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Henkes knows that Alice, like many girls her age, carries plenty of things in her mind—and her heart—that she seldom speaks of. She mulls them over privately, and in Henkes’s hands, eloquently.” (New York Times)

“Very few writers have such a keen understanding of the emotional lives of children; here Henkes is at the top of his game.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“In this introspective story about a child’s search for a rare shell, Henkes again displays his ability to find profound meaning in ordinary events. . . . Readers will empathize with Alice’s frustrations and relish her moments of joy.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“With tender observations and sensory details, Henkes creates a memorable young individual whose arcadian growing up is authentic and pitch-perfect.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Alice balances between familiarity and novelty, coziness and independence, self-centeredness and altruism—the balance beam of turning ten. . . . A fully realized, respectful portrait of a childhood milestone.” (The Horn Book)

About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author of Junonia, Sun & Spoon, Bird Lake Moon, and the Newbery Honor Book Olive's Ocean. He also writes and illustrates picture books, and among his many titles are the national bestsellers Little White Rabbit, My Garden, Old Bear, A Good Day, and Kitten's First Full Moon, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Mr. Henkes is also the creator of a series of books starring mouse characters, including the Penny books for beginning readers, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysanthemum, and Owen, for which he was awarded a Caldecott Honor.

Kevin Henkes lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

More About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels--one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at www.kevinhenkes.com.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
I read this book to my 8 year old and we both LOVED it.
amazon mama
I didn't feel like there was much point to the story, either, and only kept reading because I was hoping for more.
Thank you Kevin Henkes for creating this sweet, memorable and realistic character.
M. Garrett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on June 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Every year in February, just when the weather is the bleakest up north and the summer seems a lifetime away, Alice Rice and her family pack up the car and head south to the Florida coast. Their destination is a beach cottage named Scallop that seems to Alice like "an enchanted house from a fairy tale --- the interior of a tree or an enormous worn-out shoe or a giant nutshell," and they join the adopted "family" of other vacationers who also arrive each year at the same time.

Like all good vacation spots, their resort is both utterly unlike their regular life and almost completely predictable, a comforting source of warmth and genuine joy for Alice. But on this trip, something is different --- Alice will be turning 10, her first double-digit birthday. Will she still feel the same afterwards? And what about her family's beloved companions? One set of playmates fail to show up (they're getting too old to miss schoolwork for a family vacation), one older woman is trapped in a New York City blizzard, and Alice's beloved "Aunt Kate" (actually her mom's oldest friend) will be bringing along her new boyfriend and his young daughter Mallory. Alice can barely contain her disappointment. If so much else has changed, can her birthday possibly fulfill its magical promise?

Alice is annoyed with Mallory's demands and her immaturity; she resents that old Mr. Barden finds Mallory beautiful, but his only remark on Alice's appearance is to point out the mole on her face. Can Alice find the perfect junonia seashell she longs for? Can she capture the perfect birthday she's imagined? Can she find happiness even in the midst of change?

JUNONIA is an almost achingly lovely novel.
Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lori Katz on May 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Each year Alice and her parents vacation in Florida and celebrate Alice's birthday there. Alice considers the guests in the other cottages and her mom's best friend (who stays in their cottage) her extended family as she really has no other relatives. She's hunting for junonia, a rare seashell and spends lots of time searching for it on the beach. This year not only does the junonia continue to evade her but some of the regulars do not come to Florida. Additionally Kate is joined by her boyfriend and his six-year-old daughter Mallory. Alice is worried that her tenth birthday will not be the best birthday ever.
Alice is a child on the cusp of pre-teen. Supported by attentive and very loving parents, they help her navigate and deal with a trying situation. It's very obvious that the other guests adore Alice but have little patience for Mallory. Henkes is spot on in how a ten-year-old thinks. From her jealous feelings and anger towards Mallory to the joy of her birthday gifts, from walks on the beach to the pitter patter of rain this is a delightful book and young girls in grades 3-6 will enjoy it.
Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Harper Collins via Netgalley (without the illustrations).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I think Kevin Henkes did a great job in writing this book. I have been collecting some of the best descriptive sentences I could find and
even added it to my own writing. I like the fact that Alice almost has the same personality as me so I am kind of on her side.
I also think Kevin Henkes does a fantastic job on convincing the reader to be determined to find the Junonia as much as Alice.
Next time I go on a vacation, I want to find a Junonia. At least when I am ten...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DL on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Alice accompanies her parents on their annual summer vacation to Florida but, as she celebrates her 10th birthday, she finds herself in the midst of change. The family friends she has become accustomed to are not in Florida this year and instead her "aunt" Kate has come with her new boyfriend and his daughter, Mallory. As Alice spends her time both with her family and combing the beach for the rare and highly prized junonia shell, she experiences the full range of pre-teen emotions from anger and jealousy at having to share her time with Mallory to the simple joys of summer with the family.

Henkes' writing is touching, all young girl reflection and emotion and his illustrations are gorgeous. He has once again written and illustrated a beautiful book.

Digital ARC copy courtesy of NetGalley.com.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Travis Ann Sherman VINE VOICE on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Seriously? I'm sorry, Alice Rice just seems to be a materialistic and uninteresting little girl, and very immature too for her ten years. Harry Potter was 11 when he was admitted to Hogwarts. Alice would never have measured up. Scout Finch was 5. Percy Jackson 11. Boy, I don't know how little Alice Rice, who cries when she finds out that her birthday is going to be less than perfect, would have handled it if she, like Will of The Dark Rising, were to be told that she was one of the Old Ones and was from now on expected to battle against the forces of evil, learn how to time travel, and control her new found powers. I work in a library near Sanibel, and thought that a book by a writer of Henkes' stature set in Florida would be a natural with the kids here. Not so. If they're going to read about a wimp they'll choose one with problems they can relate to, not finding a seashell.
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