This week, in honor of Banned Books Week, we’re sharing some of our favorite banned or challenged children’s and young adult books. Check back every day for a new favorite! Want to share some of your favorites? Check out these lists and share in the comments!
Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones series was challenged because of its poor grammar, punctuation and often disrespectful attitude. However, it is wonderfully told from the point of view of a kindergartner trying to figure out the world, often going about it the hard way. Each book is humorously told giving the reader a “what not to do” approach to the world.
A great example is the book Junie B Jones is Not a Crook. In search of her lost mittens, Junie B. finds a wonderful four color pen. She knows she should take it to the lost and found at school but she doesn’t want to. Instead she puts the pen in her pocket thinking of the phrase “finders keepers, losers weepers”. When she later tells her grandfather about the lost mittens, she explains to him that the Lost and Found doesn’t work very well since a lot of people do not return lost items. He tells her a story about someone who returned a lost wallet to him – the same special wallet he now carries which has a picture of Junie B. as a baby.That story makes Junie B. rethink taking the pen and she puts it in the lost and found at school.
The fact that the stories sound like they are told by a precocious Kindergartner is what makes them believable, lovable and funny.