#ThrowbackThursday: Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime Review

junie b jones

Day 11 of Valentime’s Day, according to Junie B. Jones.

Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime is the fourteenth book in the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. In the Mushy Gushy Valentime, Junie B. Jones class is celebrating Valentine’s Day. When Junie B. receives a special valentine, she tries to solve the mystery and discover her secret admirer.

People either seem to love or hate Junie B. Jones. Her incorrect grammar and crazy behavior drives some parents crazy. Some people think that she is a bad role model young children. If you agree with that side, this book probably isn’t for you. I fall on the other side of the argument and see Junie B. Jones as more humorous, even though as an adult some of the language can get a tad annoying and is pretty unrealistic for someone in kindergarten.

Like in the other Junie B. Jones books, a situation that could happen in kindergarten is amplified by her large personality. In this book specifically, the boy Junie B. always fights with ends up being her secret admirer. Throughout the series, the two call each other names constantly and she even dubs him “Meanie Jim.” I can see how this plot could be problematic for some parents. Even though it’s only kindergarten, this doesn’t really model a healthy relationship and could promote the idea that if you like someone, then it more socially acceptable to make fun of them than express your true feelings.

Even though Junie B. Jones hints that this “isn’t a good start” for a relationship, she ultimately agrees to keep Jim’s secret and continue fighting with him so none of his friends know that he likes her. Some people will say this is reading too much into the situation, that they are only children in kindergarten, and so they have no idea what they’re doing. On the other hand, some people will not enjoy this type of plot line. If you feel strongly either way, just remember that if you are considering to let your child read this book.

Overall, Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime isn’t my favorite in the series because I feel like it isn’t as humorous as some of the others and for some reason the language in this book annoyed me more than it did in the others. I rate this book a 3 out of 5 stars for being okay, but not my favorite.

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