To (Junie) B (Jones) Or Not To (Junie) B (Jones)?

EDUCATION, MY VIEWS | | May 22, 2012 at 8:22 pm

I have had a love-hate relationship with Junie B. Jone’s book.  I have early readers in my home (and I mean REALLY early readers) but not necessarily lovers of reading. My oldest kid dislikes the time it takes her from her play time and that amazes me since she is an incredibly good reader. We are a PBS home, I mean really. I am THAT parent who firmly believes children soak in what they watch (more on that topic soon)  so I follow the same moto for books. Introducing your child to good books (though I am no literature snob) makes a difference to introducing your child to a new world.

I was of course excited when we delved into chapter books and Junie B. Jones was our 1st introduction. My daughter loved them and occasionally she would ask us to pronounce a few words. Encountering a made-up words or some colloquial slang-type spelling was already testing my nerves. I grew up with British English in South Africa so have always regarded it important that the spelling you get exposed to should be good (and correct). I decided to get over it since her speech therapist mentioned her watching a few shows or reading a few books which had more “terms of speech” for her age which may help her in social conversation (an area we struggle with a lot) so I relented.

Since I am always helping my girls with pronunciation, I normally get them to spell the word to me or hubby or my 5 year old to ask her (almost) 7 year old sister. Imagine the look on my face when one day she spells out M-O-R-O-N! No kidding! Even dad who is a little less pain-in-the-butt parent than me was aghast. I debated again. I did not make a big scene and explained that those words are improper. While I tried to make a few of the Junie B Jones books disappear from the bookshelf (who am I kidding? Books are every single place in my home, except a bookshelf) she asked for one of her favorites for Show and Tell – and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out which one.

And then as if to rub it in I find this poster at my local Barnes and Noble:


Did I mention that that day is her BIRTHDAY??? Seriously fate you know when to rain on my parade. Even if I wanted to look the other side and picture the oodles of giggles I have seen pouring out of her while she read those books, the fact that the new book has the word “STUPID” in the title itself (yes it already made a debut in the book a while back) makes this still a dilemma. What’s a mama to do??


  1. 1
    PragmaticMom says:

    My oldest and I really enjoyed snort laughing together in first grade/second grade reading most of this series and indeed, many moms, did not approve of this series.

    She talks grammatically incorrectly and she’s very fresh, were the big two objections.

    But to foster a love of reading, especially at this delicate stage of first chapter books, I say follow your child’s lead. If you both enjoy these books, TRUST ME that no bad will come out of it.

    My oldest, a former reluctant reader, is now in 6th grade. She is not fresh. She does not speak or write like Junie B Jones. And she is now devouring books.

    I guarantee you that Junie B Jones is NOT EVIL and WILL NOT CORRUPT YOUR CHILD. However, I can promise you that there will be particular books (Barber Shop Guy comes to mind as does Fruit Cake), that you will save because just seeing the cover together will make you and your child snort laugh.

    This series is very, very funny! That is the charm of it. Just enjoy!

  2. 2
    Marie says:

    I feel the same way about Junie B. my daughter loves her. I don’t. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher actually introduced her (and the whole class) to Junie B! I have to edit like crazy when I read the books to her. She checks a book out a week from the school library, and it’s almost always a Junie B book…there must be a similar type of chapter book that uses better grammar and language. ??

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