|Book Reveiw 7-3
Sunday, March 2, 2008
By Denise Turney
Boss of Lunch is part of Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones book series. To date, there are more than twenty-seven books in the series. Each of the books is written at the early reader level. Boss of Lunch is the type of book that parents and children can enjoy reading and exploring together. The story opens with Junie B, a first grader, penning a note in her journal. Even at this young age, spunky Junie has learned the value of her own voice. She’s not one to be pushed around. In fact, Junie likes to call the shots. She put me in mind of Pippi Longstocking while I read the book. Her courage mixed with short sightedness and the drive to be noticed, create more than a few tight scenes. Her outright sense of humor makes for fun and good laughs.
At the start of the story, Junie B writes in her journal, “Hurray! Hurray! It came! It finally came! Yesterday the delivery man brought it right to my house! And today I carried it to school for the very first time! Right now it is sitting under my desk. I keep sneaking down there to see it closer.”
The note is penned in Junie B’s own handwriting, a visual that pulls readers closer to the character and the story’s plot. Junie B’s just like her readers, a youngster trying to have lots of fun without getting into too much trouble. But it’s hard for Junie B to stay out of trouble, real hard. In fact, the thing that arrived in the mail and that Junie B has taken to school with her and put beneath her desk puts her, her teacher and her friends through quite a few changes. If not for a sweet treat the kids at school received last year, Junie B might not have gotten out of the mess she gets in at the start of this new school day.
By day’s end her inquisitiveness and her penchant for being a leader find her smack dab in the school cafeteria. She’s working alongside one of the school’s main cooks. It seems like such fun to Junie B until she gets bossy. Any child, or adult for that matter, who has had to temper their drive to lead may laugh outright as they see bits and pieces of themselves in this lively story. Junie B learns a valuable lesson in a hilarious and honest way, a lesson that will stay with the book’s readers.
It’s been years since I was a kid. Yet, I connected and related to this story from the start. Barbara Parks has an innate ability to capture the child in each of her readers, regardless of age, and bring them close to Junie B. The writing is well paced, full of rich honesty and heart. Parents looking for a good book to read their children will enjoy this one. I can see young readers becoming so enthused by Junie B and her many exploits, that they make the book series one of their favorites for years to come.
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