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Junie B., First Grader: Shipwrecked by…
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Junie B., First Grader: Shipwrecked (2004)

by Barbara Park

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Junie B., First Grader, Shipwrecked by Barbara Park is the 23rd Junie B. Jones book. When my oldest was in kindergarten, he and I would read this series together. Since he's moved onto longer books, I haven't really given the series much thought. Then the recent death of Barbara Park, and my youngest receiving Shipwrecked as a hand-me-down, changed that.

Junie B. and her classmates are learning about Christopher Columbus in class. Mr. Scary decides to use the upcoming Columbus Day as an excuse to put on a class play. The children have to write the play, decide on their parts, and design the set and costumes.

As is the shtick, Junie's enthusiasm gets in the way. She wants to be the fastest ship and she wants to be the star of the show. As it seems Mr. Scary is incapable of maintaining order in his classroom, there's a lot of trouble with setting up the play, and the play itself is a bit of a flop because Junie can't behave or control her urges.

But Junie here is only half of the reason behind my lukewarm reception. The other is Columbus. When I was Junie's age, my school most certainly did make a big deal out of Columbus and the many other white, European or early American explorers who "discovered" bits and pieces of the "new" world.

Of course, that's all Eurocentric hogwash. Yes, Columbus's journey set into motion a whole series of events that forever changed the Western Hemisphere. But as much as I love my country and my home in California, it would be idiotic to say Columbus was universally a hero.

I'm not sure the Junie B. books with their situational comedy have the wiggle room to cover complex topics. But there seems to be a book for every holiday on the school calendar. These books are best when they cover simple things. ( )
  pussreboots | May 30, 2014 |
I really liked this chapter book. In my opinion, Shipwrecked is one of the best books in the Junie B., First Grader series. Barbara Park used many techniques to make this story cute, personal, and relatable. For example, the story is told from Junie B.’s point of view. Junie B. is a quirky, rambunctious first grade girl who wants to be the star in the class play, Christopher Columbus. The language Park used to write this text is very unique because it does not follow the grammar rules of Standard English. The story is written in the colloquial speech of a first grader, which offers not only a more personal relationship with the main character, but it also makes the story fun to read. This casual language is exemplified in the journal entries Junie B. writes in school: “I am going to say, Land! Land! We landed on Land! Only bad news. On account of Herbert is land. And today Herbert got sick with the virus. And so NOW what am I supposed to do? Just sail around and around the whole livelong day? Without Land, explorers are nothing.” Another reason I like this book is because of the characters. Junie B., and her classroom nemesis, May, are very well-developed characters that represent the average first grader very well. Some of the other characters, like Sheldon, Jos, and Mr. Scary are also very believable, relatable characters in the story, and the amount of vivid personality Barbara Park gave her characters made reading the book so enjoyable. Additionally, the plot included discussion of conflict that would be relevant to the target audience, (K-2nd grade), and I also felt the plot was paced well for such a small chapter book, and I found myself very engaged while reading it. The final feature of “Shipwrecked” that I found very likeable is that since it is a transitional chapter book, it does include a few illustrations. The illustrations are sketched in pencil, with no color, but the drawings are detailed. Each picture, like the one of Junie B. high-fiving her classmate Jose for having gathered the same number of facts, fits the written text perfectly and provides a small glimpse of how Barbara Park and Denise Brunkus visualize Junie B. Jones and her classmates. The teacher in the story, Mr. Scary, provides an insight into the main idea of the story: “This play is not about stars or winners. It’s about teamwork.” The big idea of this book is that not everything is a race, and sometimes it is better to work as a team. ( )
  kbrash1 | Apr 26, 2014 |
Columbus Day is fast approaching and Junie B. Jones’ first grade class is preparing a play. However, problems keep arising. Students in the class keep getting sick and Junie’s classmate, May, is trying to take over the show. In this humorous, engaging story in the Junie B. Jones series, Barbara Park presents a picture of school life that young readers will be able to relate to and enjoy. She also sprinkles quite a few facts throughout the book about Christopher Columbus and his sailing to America as well as about how to stay healthy when classmates are sick. The large font, short sentences, brief chapters, and occasional illustrations make this book appropriate for young readers just transitioning to chapter books.

Like the other books in the Junie B. Jones series, this book is written from Junie’s perspective and includes some examples of incorrect grammar, which parents and teachers may look down upon. However, it would be helpful for young elementary school students to read on their own or as a class to learn about Christopher Columbus, germs, and teamwork. This book is recommended for libraries that carry other books in this series and for Junie B. Jones fans. ( )
  CarolineBraden | Oct 14, 2013 |
no ( )
  hrwright | Jun 18, 2013 |
Junie B.'s class is putting on a play that keeps running into problems. Everyone keeps getting the flue and May wants to be the boss. Junie B. wants to take the spot light. Who knows what will happen? ( )
  bekeelen | Apr 27, 2013 |
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Dear first-grade journal, Today is the end of the week.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375828052, Paperback)

Everybody's favorite sass-mouth first grader comes back for her 23rd installment in this popular series . This time around, Junie B. fends off a stomach virus and earns a starring role in the Parent's Night play. The action starts with a bang--or rather, a "SPLAT-O!"--as one of Junie B's classmates falls victim to a stomach virus right there in class: "It was the disgustingest thing I ever saw. Also, the odor was not delightful." But only after everyone improvises their own virus defenses ("We held our noses tight with our fingers. And we didn't breathe for the whole rest of the morning") does the real excitement in Room One begin. Poor, put-upon Mr. Scary has planned a special event for Parent's Night--a play about Christopher Columbus. Junie B. lands a plum role ("I want to be the Pinta! Cause the Pinta was the fastest ship! And the fastest ship is the winner ship. And the winner ship is the star!"), but as with all Junie endeavors, expect a bumpy voyage.

The usual classroom crew is back, including Lennie, Herbert, and Jose, and Junie doesn't disappoint with her unintentionally hilarious asides ("Attendance is the school word for who isn't here") and trademark wisdom ("Glitter can turn your whole day around"). (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Junie B.'s journal entries start with Room One's stomach virus excitement, the first-grade Columbus Day play, and getting the part of the Pinta, the fastest ship.

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