Barbara Park has written many books about Junie B. Jones. Junie B. started out in
kindergarten, and then at last, she graduated into first grade. Her first grade teacher,
Mr. Scary, is trying to get the class to concentrate and think about things for which they can be thankful. Yes, Thanksgiving will soon be here.
In the series Junie B, First Grader, the “thankful” book is Turkeys We Have Loved
and Eaten (And Other Thankful Stuff.) It is in the chapter book section of the Pine
Bush Library’s Children’s Department. I know it says “First Grader” but the book is written on the third grade reading level. Junie B. Jones and her classmates are writing in their journals. The school has a competition to see which class writes the best list of things, for which they are thankful. The winning class will be given a pumpkin pie. Problems develop immediately because first graders do not like pumpkin pie and aren’t afraid to tell you why not, in detail. Junie B. is never far behind in the telling-other- people-how-she-feels-department. The “thankful” list develops with such items as 1. Cranberry jelly in a can, 2. Exploding biscuits, and 3. Nipsy Doodles. Nobody is thankful for what Mr. Scary suggests, things like “Freedom.” When the kids bring in their Thankful Bags, to show what they are
thankful for, the rich girl in the class pulls out her pocketbook, turns it upside down and dumps paper money all over the floor. Chaos erupts.
I won’t tell you which class won the coveted pumpkin pie, or what happened afterwards.
You will just have to read the book, and the remainder of the unbelievable “thankful” list
for yourself, all in time for Thanksgiving. And be grateful. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.