It’s bound to be a special Thanksgiving feast when Junie B. and her classmates are celebrating.
The school is holding a Thankful Contest, and the very patient Mr. Scary thinks his class is the one to win it. He calls them, “definitely the most creative first graders I’ve ever had.” When the class puts together a list on the board, he has second thoughts. Canned cranberry jelly, exploding biscuits, "Nipsy Doodles," rainbow sprinkles and especially item number five (toilet paper) have Mr. Scary frowning his eyebrows. While the class discussion of freedom (and why none of the first graders has it) is worth the price of admission, the rest of the story bounces from one out-of-control episode to another. While Junie B. still has her own irrepressible voice and worldview, it’s hard to believe that she is still using baby talk (bestest, hottish, sweatish) after 1 1/2 years in school and even harder to believe that nemesis May would engage in rough pretend play (with a stuffed elephant, no less) in November of first grade. It would have been fun to see Junie B. debunk some of the traditional Thanksgiving rituals: the questionable friendship feast, the silly Pilgrim costumes and the use of the word “Indian” (by the teacher).
Junie B. still brings a smile, but sometimes it’s an uncomfortable one. (Fiction. 5-8)