Banned Book: Junie B Jones

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Park, Barbara. (2009). Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School. New York: Random House Children’s Books.

Banned/Censored Book, Children’s Literature, Fiction

Grades 1-3

I remember reading Junie B. Jones books as a child and loving them because of her sassy attitude and hilarious situations that she would always get herself into. I was really surprised to learn that they have been banned. After looking it up it seemed like they were banned because of some language and misuse of grammar. Another suggestion said it might be because women or girls are very rarely depicted as independent and sassy without stirring up some kind of controversy. I loved this book because it was like one of those magazine articles that gave you life advice but it was for children. Junie B’s sense of humor is easily translated through her daily school routines and helpful information and facts. I thought it was really cute how she described how a bad grade made your backpack heavy while a good grade made your backpack light. I feel like that would stick in children’s mind and be a great incentive for them to do their best with every assignment.

I thought the book was laid out in a really cute way like a journal that Junie was writing in. The advice she gives in each chapter are also surprisingly helpful and still funny, especially for younger kids. My favorite word of advice was to wear clothes that matches what you’re eating so no one will ever know that you spilled on yourself. There’s something very special about Junie B. Jones books because they are extremely relatable to children as well as adults. It would be really fun for students to create their own guides or diaries like Junie B. It would be a good way to encourage creative writing in the classroom which is often looked over.

Objective:

After reading Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School, think about the best advice that you received from reading it. Is there anything you would add to her essential survival guide?

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is Junie B’s personality like?
  2. Do you think her personality reflects the type of advice she gives?
  3. What is her best piece of advice that she gives in her book?

Activity:

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Create an essential guide of your own. It can be on any topic, including school. Be creative and make sure your personality is shown through your writing.

http://www.gardearts.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Junie-Bs-Essential-GUide-to-Surviving-School-studyguide_1609.pdf

http://juniebjones.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJI33GTe-R8

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