Barbara Park, 1947-2013

Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Reading Club, shares the following about the passing of children's book author Barbara Park. Park passed away on Sunday, November 15; she was the author of many children's books, including the much-loved Junie B. Jones series.

Barbara Park was as important as any author to the Scholastic mission of getting kids to love reading. It goes without saying that Barbara broke the rules with her writing. She proved that first and second graders want to read about younger kids. She proved that boys will read about girl characters—if the girl is as spunky as Junie B. And she showed us all that grammar and spelling can sometimes take a back seat if those mistakes will allow kids to see themselves and their world in a book.
Kids want—and deserve—to read something wonderful. And book after book, that’s what Barbara delivered—wonderful reading!. Long after Junie B. should have graduated from college, kids will turn to these books and see their early elementary school lives reflected on the pages. And without question, young readers will share the books with their friends, laughing from cover to cover.

Barbara Park's truly unique gift and her genius was that she brought laughter to children who are just taking flight as readers. There is no better way for kids to see the magic of reading.