Someone recently purchased a box set of Junie B. Jones books for my 7 year old DD. They haven't arrived yet and I've never heard of them, so I looked up the books on Amazon and saw in the reviews that it seems to be a love it or hate it sort of series. A lot of parents complained about poor grammar, bad language, and about the books basically glorifying the main character's horrible behavior. Other parents said the books were hilarious. DD knows she has books coming and is looking forward to new reading material, and I'm starting to wonder if when I pick them up (it's a site to store shipment) maybe I should just go ahead and exchange them for something else. If you've read these books, what is your stance? Is Junie's behavior truly terrible? Do the books really glorify being unkind? Would you recommend them?
Junie B. Jones series?
Well, I have a son so we never really read them but Junie is all the rage with the 5-8 yr old age group(girls) Kids love her, parents don't really like her. They are quick read books.
I don't censor what my kiddo reads and he went through a captian underpants phase and others that made me .
I let my kiddo make his own decision about books so why not try out the books and if your DD decides she doesn't like them you can always pass them on to someone else.
I don't read them, but dd2 loves them. They're really a little below her reading level at this point, but she thinks they are hilarious. I let her check out an audio book version from the library one time for listening to in the car and after that I made a proclamation that she was welcome to read them on her own or listen to them on her own in her room, but I would not be reading them (we do a nightly bedtime story, usually a chapter or so) or listening to it again. I don't think it's harmful, but truly annoying to grown ups.
Other similar books I like better are the Ivy & Bean series and the Clementine series. Dd2 loves Ivy & Bean, too, and likes, but doesn't love, Clementine.
I guess my biggest concern is that DD is still "finding herself" so to speak, and is prone to emulating behaviors of those she likes (in real life and book characters) if she doesn't see said behaviors resulting in undesirable consequences. We have a lot going on right now, so the idea of handing her a stack of trouble is beyond unappealing. Basically, I have no problem with letting her have books I find annoying, but right now, don't want to give her books with a character who is truly setting a bad example. Just trying to figure out which category Junie B. would fit into.
I don't have any problem with Junie B. Jones. She does dumb or annoying things, but I think it's pretty clear even to a young reader that the way she's acting IS dumb or annoying and not something they'd want to try themselves. She doesn't do anything really horrible. She talks like a little kid, so she says things like "runned." I'm not sure why that bothers people so much. Your kid isn't going to suddenly forget all the grammar she already knows just because she sees an example of someone using incorrect grammar. (Though I must say, Junie B.'s speech patterns are highly contagious. It's possible your kid might adopt some of them for a while even if she knows they're incorrect.)
Yes, the incorrect grammar is part of what kids find funny and in my experience they do pick that up and use it to an annoying degree, but like the PP said that doesn't mean they forget the correct way to speak. They just choose to ignore it. I'm fine with dd2 reading Junie B, but I don't censor much. I think Junie B gets her comeuppance if it's deserved. Can you check one out from the library or look at one in a book store and skim it to see if it works for your family? Or just do the Amazon "look inside" feature and see what you think (http://www.amazon.com/Junie-Jones-Stupid-Smelly-Bus/dp/0679826424). You can pretty much see how some people think they're annoying right off the bat. Kids love 'em, though. My almost 11 yr old still laughs at them when dd2 tells her funny parts or points out a section in the book.
I heard one beginning on tape and it was about the "stupid, smelly bus" she took to kindy and my oldest was that age at the time and it felt really inappropriate. If my 7 year old dd wanted to read them now, I wouldn't say no. My sons loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kids books and they are very funny, but I had to point out that the main character is a complete jerk and a user. He is the "hero" because he's the main character.
IMO, there are so many better book series' out there that I would never choose that.
Both my girls loved Junie B. I saw no emulation or any thought that her grammar and spelling were correct. As a pp said, her nasty behaviour is obviously nasty, so the kids kinda learn how obnoxious it can be by their own reactions to her antics. I have no problem with these books, and to be honest, think it's a little restrictive to censor books this benign.
I'm reading the Romona books by Beverly Cleary with my children right now. I think it's funny that I discouraged my daughter from reading Junie B Jones but I'm reading Romona. . .they are very similar characters. I guess I had warm fuzzies about Romona since she was from my childhood? Now, I'm rethinking my decision on Junie B. . .
My DS loves The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and we've also had to chat with him about the main character not being a nice person at all!!