Now the New York Times is taking on Junie B Jones (apparently they’re bored now that HP7 is out and in the hands of the readers).
The article seems to be primarily in defense of the series, which is vastly popular amongst those between the ages of 5 and 12 (at least at my library). While I find some exaggeration that seems to be par for the course from the NYT these days (a comparison to breastfeeding vs formula??)– it is certainly a hot topic. Barbara Parks is a highly challenged author and her books are best sellers and in tattered shreds at a library near you.
Personally, I dislike the series. The young Miss Jones doesn’t strike me as an exuberant child, she strikes me as a brat who is receiving discipline neither at home nor at school. Her parents “deeply sigh” and her teacher is seen to head for the Tylenol bottle, but consequences for actions seem few and far between. The language is choppy, poorly spelled and I have a difficult time reading anything with that much in ALL CAPS–as the child spends half of the day shouting.
I usually try to feed the JBJ kids into Beverly Clearly (famous for another bratty child I could never get into when young), Magic Treehouse, Time Warp Trio and other, slightly less insipid texts.
I suppose this puts me in the camp of those who believe children’s literature should be of better grammar. If something isn’t being deliberately written in vernacular, you bet. The JBJ series doesn’t strike me as vernacular, it strikes me as deliberate ignorance.
And considering how much of that I deal with on a daily basis, I don’t need it in the books I’m handing to the kids too.