Farewell, Junie B. Jones


I was saddened to learn that Barbara Park passed away recently. She had created a character in Junie B. Jones that my two daughters really enjoyed reading about. Whenever a character appeals to a child, that child wants to keep coming back for more. And so it was with Junie B. Jones.

When I was younger, I was a fan of the Great Brain Series by John D. Fitzgerald. I read several books in the series, and if there are some that I haven’t yet read, I’ll have to search them out and give them a read, too. All I know is that they made me want to read, and that feeling never really left me. I’m so grateful that it hasn’t, too.

My girls have several Junie B. Jones books in their rooms, and I think I’ll dig one of them out and read it to whoever is interested tonight. But I’m grateful that this character brought reading and laughter to my girls, and I hope it stays with them throughout their lives, as well. There may not be a better legacy for anyone leave behind.

Presenting a young poet’s first work

My eight year-old daughter simply loves to read. And one of the things that comes with reading, it seems to me, is a proclivity to write. Naturally, this is something that I’d like to encourage in whatever way I can.

When I came across this poem–buried in one of her folders at the annual end-of-the-school-year backpack cleanout–I knew that it had to see the light of day, somehow. And so, I proudly present my younger daughter’s first published poem (since there’s a “Publish” button that I have to click to share this with the world):

The Beach

by S.H.

It was a beautiful March night.

The wind was whirling around me.

I was doing cartwheels in the sand.

I was walking by the shore.

I looked down at the sand and…


A dead fish!

I’m out of here!

I’d call this a pretty promising start, but I admit that I’m a bit biased. And now it’s out there, for all the world to see. Others will follow, as they are discovered.