Barbara Park, (Junie B Jones) has always been an inspiration to me. I love her writing! My daughter and I read Junie B Jones when she was young. It was great to hear her laugh out loud at the antics of 6 year old, Junie. The language was just as if it were coming from a 6 year old, which made it relatable and funny. Thousands of children and parents alike love those books. I believe there are forty something to date.
I'm writing an early chapter book and was researching the word count of the Junie B Jones stories. I was heartbroken and shocked to read that Barbara passed away today from ovarian cancer. Young readers around the world have lost a gem.
I was also amazed to read the negativity surrounding Barbara Park's books. Some school libraries have banned them, and some parents have written vile posts about her stories. It seems some feel the language was not written correctly. Junie B says 'runned' instead of 'ran' and has called her friend a dumb bunny. So what? For perfect grammar, read a textbook. These books make children want to read. They improved reading skills. What more can I say? Don't we, as adults, read books that don't necessarily use English in the proper manner? Reading takes us away from problems we are facing, depression, pain, etc. Reading takes us to lands we may otherwise may never visit. Reading opens our minds to things we may never be exposed to.
I, for one, am a huge fan of Barbara Park. Through the years, she has made many people smile. I hope to be half the success she was.
Rest in peace, Barbara Park. You will be missed.