Junie B. is a spoiled child with no respect for others’ boundaries. She shouts, she loves getting away with things she knows she’s not supposed to do, and she does not listen to her parents or teachers. When a classmate bothers her, Junie makes “a fist at him” and then gets into a “scuffle.” Her response is to be excited when she doesn’t get into trouble.
While Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying will no doubt entertain readers, the bigger question is whether parents want their children reading a story with a terrible role model. For instance, Junie says an apology “is the words I’m sorry. Except you don’t actually have to mean it. ‘Cause nobody can even tell the difference.” She also willfully disobeys her mother’s instructions to stop spying on people.
While Junie B. Jones is the main character in all of the Junie B. Jones books, readers do not need to read the books in order. Easy vocabulary and simple sentence structure make the story accessible to young readers. Black and white illustrations appear every five to ten pages and will help readers understand the plot.
Kids will be entertained by Junie B.’s antics. However, since Junie B. Jones fails to learn from her mishaps, this story’s entertainment value fails to outweigh the poor life lessons that it imparts. If you’re looking for an entertaining series with a kinder main character check out the Jada Jones Series by Kelly Starling Lyons.
- While spying on her teacher, Junie B. sees her “and the strange man did a big smoochie kiss!”
- When upset at her friend, Junie B. “made a fist at her. Except Mrs. saw me. And so I had to unfold it.”
- When her grandmother says “curiosity killed the cat,” Junie B. says, “Where did the curiosity kill it? Was it in the street by my school? ‘Cause I saw a squished cat in the street by my school. Only Paulie Allen Puffer said it got runned over by the ice cream truck.”
- When mad at Jim, Junie B. “made a fist at him. Then me and him got into a scuffle. . . Only guess what? I didn’t even get in trouble!”
Drugs and Alcohol
- When Junie B. is being difficult, “Grandma Miller . . . took an aspirin.” A few minutes later, “Grandma took another aspirin.”
- Junie B. Jones says dumb and stupid often. When sent to her room for shouting and stomping, she thinks, “I never even heard of that dumb rule before.”
- When angry at her mother, Junie B. “called Mother the name of pewie head” behind her mother’s back.
- Junie B. says darn several times. When the store has no free samples, she says “darn it.”
- Junie B. says, “Who the heck is that?” and “shoot” while spying on her teacher. She later says “shoot” when the principal finds her hiding place.
- Junie B.’s friend calls her “big stinky.”
- When the Principal calls Junie B.’s mother to tell her about the spying, Junie B. thinks, “Principal is a squealer.”
- Junie B. tells her classmate’s grandmother that she hates him.
by Morgan Lynn