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From the Junie B., First Grader series

by Barbara Park & illustrated by Denise Brunkus

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2001
ISBN: 0-375-80293-2
Publisher: Random House

Starting first grade proves to be a challenge for Junie B. Jones, Park’s enduring, irrepressible heroine. Junie B. is having a tough time. Not only is she nervous about starting first grade, but on her very first day of school, Lucille, Junie B.’s best friend from kindergarten, is distinctly aloof. Lucille coolly informs Junie B. that they have “already been best friends” and that now, in the name of fairness, “it’s time for Camille and Chenille to get a turn.” Then Grace, who sat next to Junie B. on the bus every day last year, throws her over for new friend Bobbi Jean Piper, which causes Junie B. to announce that her “bestest friends are dropping like flies.” Throw in “Blabber-lips May” the obnoxious tattletale in the next seat, and it looks to Junie B. like “first grade is a flop.” But Junie B.’s real problem is that she can’t see the blackboard. Luckily, her on-the-ball teacher diagnoses her problem right away, sending her to the school nurse for an eye exam. With good-natured wit, Parks demystifies the process of getting glasses, also paying attention to the embarrassment and self-consciousness kids often feel when they show up at school with a new pair of specs. Although not the most amusing book in the series, fans will be happy to know that despite Junie B.’s ascent to the rigors of first grade, Park’s feisty, funny heroine retains her trademark use of language, mirthful malapropisms, and essential larger-than-life personality. (Fiction. 6-9)