Why do school library stock Junie B. Jones books?

[deleted account] ( 20 moms have responded )

My 6 year old brought home a Junie B. Jones book from school and I had a quick look through and stopped her from reading the book as the English was quite bad. For eg: "She runned up behind me", "more beautifuller than me" "I holded my sides". I know that these books are fun and kids like them, but why do we need to expose our young children to the use of incorrect grammar. Most school libraries have these books. Not sure if any one else feels this way.

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Melanie - posted on 03/26/2009

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My sons enjoyed those books when they were young.  For me, I think at that age it's more important that they find the book entertaining, then learn anything from it.  The first step in reading for entertainment, not because you have to, is finding something you genuinely enjoy.  I think small kids can relate to Junie B. because she speaks like a child. 



I would rather read than do anything else, and the books that put me on that path were The Baby-sitters Club series.  They didn't teach me anything, but I discovered through them that reading could be fun, not just something you had to do in school.  I think any books that get a child interested in reading are great, regardless of how educational they are.

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Kelly - posted on 03/27/2014

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I don't have kids, but I have experience with the books. When I was in first grade, I thought chapter books would be boring and I refused to read them. My mom got me a Junie B. Jones book and by the end of the first page or two, I was hooked. After that, I only wanted chapter books!

Some of the concerns I am hearing are that Junie B. Junes uses incorrect grammar and that she uses inappropriate words. When I was in early elementary school, I had a speech impediment. I had trouble saying certain sounds, but that doesn't mean that I didn't understand how those letters were supposed to sound. As such, I understood perfectly when Junie B. Jones was saying words incorrectly, and I thought it was funny. I also realized that I wasn't supposed to speak in the same manner. Furthermore, in regards to her usage of inappropriate words, there are instances in the book when she makes reference to her parents, teacher, or other adults, correcting her. For example, sometimes when she says the word "stupid," she might make reference to something along the lines of this: "Then my dad pulled me aside and said that that wasn't a nice word to use," or she will make reference to her teacher making her sit in time-out. I think that is something a lot of kids can relate to, and it also demonstrates that other kids aren't supposed to say those words, either.

I'm sure you all understand your child/children best, and if you think Junie B. Jones books will have a negative effect on them, then by all means, don't allow your kids to read them. There are other great books, too. I'm just offering some insight from the perspective of someone who read the books.

Kathy - posted on 02/02/2014

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I am a first grade teacher, and I read several of Barbara Parks books to my students during the school year. Yes, the grammar in not always correct, but my student recognize it and they laugh at it! In addition, when Junie B uses some of the inappropriate words like moron or stupid, the children immediately recognize that is not how we are suppose to act or talk. One thing that we have to understand is we need to make sure that children get "hooked" on books at an early age. Once they are hooked on a series of books, they will begin to branch out and try other series that my have more meat to them. My students love the Junie B. Jones books and many students request them on their birthday and Christmas lists. That fact that children at the age of 5, 6, and 7 are requesting books instead of toys speaks volumes as to what they enjoy reading. I grew up reading Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and did not use the improper or inappropriate language that was in the text of his book. Even at a young age, with parents or teachers guiding book conversations, young children learn about grammar for entertainment and grammar for everyday use. I think Barbara Park was very into the mind of young readers eager to find entertainment in their first chapter books.

Chet - posted on 01/08/2014

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Sometimes characters in books are examples of what not to do. That's okay. It makes books more interesting.
Most Junie B Jones books are an early grade 2 reading level, but plenty of kids in grade 3 and up enjoy them. The humour comes from the reader being more mature than Junie and understanding things that she doesn't fully grasp. The idea is that a child reads the books knowing that Junie B Jones shouldn't talk or act the way she does, but that she does it because she's only in kindergarten or grade 1. If your kid thinks Junie B Jones is a role model they're not mature enough to read the books.
There is another series of books about a girl named Clementine where Clementine gets herself into lots of trouble in a Junie B Jones kind of way. Our oldest daughter wisely commented that the stuff she does is funny, but only because it's in a book.
All that said, I don't enjoy Junie B Jones. I don't read the books aloud to our kids. It's on the list of books you must read to yourself - like Rainbow Magic Fairies, Magic Treehouse, and Captain Underpants.

Tiffany - posted on 03/24/2013

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Reading can also be used for just plain enjoyment. I think sometimes we forget that

Marcella - posted on 12/31/2012

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I just received a volume of the books and my five year old sees the humor in the them along with the incorrect grammar. Every time she comes across a misspelled word or incorrect sentence structure, she points it out to me and laughs about it; I explained to her that the author of the book wrote it in the voice of a kindergartner. I looked online to find out the indented reader for the series and it said for six year olds and older. I think the books are intended for children who are already good readers with an understanding of grammer and are able to spell.

Gina - posted on 09/21/2011

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I don't like the language in this book "stupid" or "moron" for example. Why encourage this language by reading books that print this type of name-calling. I know some people may think it's a way to teach children how NOT to behave and speak to others but I believe there are many more books out there that can teach the same lesson without the disrespectful talk.

Daisy - posted on 03/29/2009

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I just read it the gramatically correct way when we're reading it together.  Or if it's an important part of the story and she gets corrected by her friends such as saying "valentime" instead of "valentine" we just discuss it.  Also - when she is naughty ... we discuss that too!

Dana - posted on 03/29/2009

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If you are like many parents, you probably think the importance of reading skills is only evident in language arts. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Of course, your child does need to have adequate reading skills to do well in language arts, but the importance of reading skills is noticeable in other subject areas, as well.

Tara - posted on 03/29/2009

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How nice that people can post here without being slammed...even if they have different opinions! :)

Diane - posted on 03/29/2009

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My twins loved those books when they were 6-7 yrs. old. I think part of the appeal was that they could relate to some of the things she went through as a kindergartner/1st grader, but Junie B. also did things that had my girls rolling around laughing.
Also, one of my girls hated reading so seeing her read anything was a big step. Now that she's in 3rd grade she absolutely loves reading (she can't stand Junie B. anymore) and her reading level and comprehension are at a middle school level. The speech problems that she had early on are a thing of the past. Junie B. certainly didn't make them worse.
I've also got a kindergartner and I won't stop her from reading these books. Those are just our family's opinions.

[deleted account]

Dawn, You might want to try the Magic TreeHouse series too.  



I have had 3 kids through speech therapy. The youngest is just starting now (he is 3 and nobody but me and his siblings understand him--and even that is tricky!) He is my most severe, my other 2, one spent 2 years in it and the other only one semester. My oldest talked well at 18 months--go figure!

Dawn - posted on 03/28/2009

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I am so glad I read this post. I was filling out a book order for my son, and there is a collection of Junie B. Jones books that he wants, along with the Magic School Bus. I've never read Junie B. Jones books, so I didn't know about the grammar. My son had his tongue clipped 13 months ago, he is now 7, and is going through speech therapy. He struggles to read and spell, so I don't want to introduce inappropriate grammar to him. I know he needs things that are fun, so we will stick to the Magic School Bus for now. I will find out what other series they read from his teacher. Thanks.

Tara - posted on 03/28/2009

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I agree with you, Noeleen. As a speech-language pathologist in an elementary school, I find the grammar in the Junie B. books to be appalling. Junie is supposed to be six years old and most six year olds don't yet use irregular past tense verbs (ran, held, etc.) correctly, but I think it's irresponsible to print books with incorrect grammar. I see Melanie's point, but there are plenty of other great books out there that can stimulate your daughter's interest in reading without exposing her to bad language structure.

Aloha!

Cathy - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Melanie:



My sons enjoyed those books when they were young.  For me, I think at that age it's more important that they find the book entertaining, then learn anything from it.  The first step in reading for entertainment, not because you have to, is finding something you genuinely enjoy.  I think small kids can relate to Junie B. because she speaks like a child. 






I would rather read than do anything else, and the books that put me on that path were The Baby-sitters Club series.  They didn't teach me anything, but I discovered through them that reading could be fun, not just something you had to do in school.  I think any books that get a child interested in reading are great, regardless of how educational they are.






I totally agree with you, Melanie.  My son is in grade 2, and he loves the Junie B. Jones books.  He reads them out loud and we laugh and laugh at all the silly expressions and the 'incorrect grammar' that she uses.  It is so important that kids enjoy what they're reading, as this encourages them to keep reading. 



 



 

Summer - posted on 03/27/2009

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IT DRIVES ME NUTS READING THEM BUT MY KIDS HAVE ALWAYS REALLY LIKED THEM. I JUST MADE A POINT TO SAY SOMETHING " THAT'S SILLY, THATS NOT THE WAY WE SAY IT.

[deleted account]

Noeleen, I have to say I agree with you. My daughter was reading them and she would correct the book while she read. She has enough trouble with LA in school so we cut them out. Also they use words that my kids aren't allowed to say (darn, stupid, ect)

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