Junie B. Jones (for those of you who don't have young ones currently in your lives) is a character by Barbara Parks in a series of books for first and second graders. Junie is in kindergarten and first grade as the series progresses. Well, anyway, I read an article in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday about these books and was blown away.
It seems that this series is one of the ones that is most frequently challenged in public libraries. Apparently, there are parents who are offended by Junie's improper use of language.
I have always read aloud a book, or two, from this series to my students. I have probably heard every book either from a student reader or from the audio versions my own daughter listened to all last summer as we drove on vacation. I have never had anyone complain about them.
Yes, she talks like a child but that's why kids like her. I guess I've never expected books to be perfect models of any language. Some of my favorite books use dialect and slang to create their sense of time and place. I'm thinking of the work of William Faulkner and To Kill a Mockingbird. I do agree that Junie is annoying and makes poor choices in the stories, but that gives me things to discuss with the kids. They know she behaves poorly, and, I think, they know not to do some of the things she does.
I wonder what anyone else thinks of this one. Does her inaccurate use of language bother you? Have you read them to, or with, a child? How do you feel as a parent or reader about this?
Thanks for any responses. I'm really thinking about this before the new school year starts because I normally start the year with a Junie novel.