Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus

junie b jones and the stupid smelly bus

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus

Barbara Park
Illustrated by Denise Brukus
Random House Children’s Books, 1992

Banned/Challenged 1998 – New Jersey – Challenged but retained at Harmony Township school after a parent complained that the book teaches extreme negative emotions (i.e., hate) are okay and the book never resolves the issues it raises or gives way to handle negative emotions.

From the back of the book: “It’s the first day of kindergarten! Only Junie B. Jones does NOT want to ride the school bus home. That’s because it smells on the bus. Plus also, there are meanies on the bus who might pour chocolate milk on your head. In fact, Junie B. is so scared of the school bus that when it’s time to go home…she doesn’t!”

Funny, funny, funny! This book is just too funny – and so familiar to anyone who’s been around kindergarteners’ who are angry and refuse to do something they don’t like! It’s like the author is inside a 5-year-old’s brain, listening to their thoughts. Junie B. has no filter or volume control on what she says so that’s funny, too. She’s also very bright and mischievous which is a dangerous combination.

Regarding the challenge against the books “extreme negative emotions”, rather than negating a kitten’s negative emotions, this book validates them. Too often kittens are admonished or shamed for being mad or not wanting to do something they’re told to do. Unfortunately, they learn early on to hide those emotions that are unacceptable to their parents, teachers and society, only to have them erupt in other ways.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws because of the validation of negative emotions before it became popular to do so.

Reviewer:

jack-loc

Jack, North Carolina Division Chief and Banned Books Librarian

 

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