We were all saddened to hear about the passing of Barbara Park - author of the wildly popular Junie B. Jones early chapter book series. We wish to honor her memory by sharing some of her thoughts.
Park described her famous first grader to Publisher's Weekly last year: "Within the first four sentences, I discovered I had a character who hated her middle name...By the second page, I knew she was a wild child, who — big surprise — had not yet mastered the Queen’s English. And when I finally finished the book, I thought maybe I could write one or two more. I was a little low with my expectations, apparently." Low expectations indeed! The Junie B. series comprises more than 30 books, has celebrated its 20th anniversary, has sold over 55 millions copies in North America, and has been translated into a dozen languages.
Park loved to share her life and thoughts with her young readers - she answered dozens of questions at the Random House website. Her are just a few of her words of wisdom...
Reader: What would you say if someone asked you, “How can I become an author? Park: I would say, 1) read, read, read, read; 2) write, write, write, write; 3) rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite; 4) and love what you’re doing.
Reader: Does it take patience to write a book? Park: Sure. But, then again, I can’t really think of a job that doesn’t take patience.
Reader: Do you have a hero? Park: To me, heroes are everyday people who reach out to others in extraordinary ways with no expectation of payback or recognition. I am in awe of people like that.