Dear first-grade journal,
Yay! Yay! Hurray!
Today is the last week before winter break!
Winter break is the school word for I gotta get out of this place, I tell you! ‘Cause blabbermouth May is driving me crazy!
She is tattletaling on me every day almost!
That’s how come yesterday I chased her down on the playground. And I threw grass on her head.
It was very fun. Except I hope Santa did not see me do that.
That guy watches me like a hawk this time of year.
Junie B., First Grader
P.S. Hey! Wait! I almost forgot! Today all the first grades are going to sing holiday songs together! That will be a hoot, I tell you because
Just then, I quick stopped writing. ’Cause I couldn’t believe my eyeballs!
That snoopy-head May was stretching her neck across the aisle! And she was reading my journal page!
I slammed my book shut speedy fast.
“This is none of your beeswax, sister!” I said.
But May was already jumping out of her chair.
“Mr. Scary! Mr. Scary!” she hollered real loud. “Junie Jones wrote a bad name about me in her journal! She wrote that I am a bladdermouth! And bladder
is not a nice word!”
I rolled my eyes at that dumb comment.
“It’s not bladd
ermouth. It’s blabb
ermouth, May,” I said. “Blabbermouth
is spelled with b
’s . . . not d
Mr. Scary stood up at his desk.
“Girls . . . please
,” he said.
Then he was going to growl at us, probably. But the phone rang from the office. And he had to answer it.
I crossed my arms at May. “B
is the same letter that you always forget when you say my name, remember? And so maybe I should use B
in a sentence for you.”
I leaned close to her eardrum.
ermouth May: My name is Junie B
. Jones. How come you can’t remember B
’s? Huh, May? Huh? Are you a blockhead
May’s face got very puffery. Then, all of a sudden, she grabbed my journal right off my desk. And she started to rip out the page!
I tried to grab it back from her. But May would not
let go of that thing! And so, me and her got into a tuggle.
I pulled real hard.
Then May pulled harder.
Then . . . OOOMPHH!
I pulled and pulled with all of my might! And me and my journal went flying back to my seat!
I hugged my book all safe and sound. But something did not feel right.
I looked down.
During the tuggle, May’s sweater sleeve accidentally got hooked on my thumb.
And so, oh no!
Her sleeve got stretched across the aisle with me!
I quick untangled it from my thumb. But the sleeve did not bounce back.
Instead, it just stayed on my lap real longish and droopish.
I did a gulp at that thing.
Then—very slow—I looked over at May.
Her whole stack blew off!
She exploded out of her seat! And she hollered at the top of her lungs.
“MR. SCARY! MR. SCARY! JUNIE JONES WRECKED MY SWEATER SLEEVE! JUNIE JONES WRECKED MY SWEATER SLEEVE!”
Mr. Scary hung up the phone.
I quick wadded up May’s sleeve. And I tried to give it back to her. But she would not even take it. And so, the sweater sleeve unrolled itself to the floor.
May’s eyeballs popped out of her head.
“AAAAA! AAAAA! IT’S ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR!” she yelled. “IT’S RUINED! IT’S RUINED! MY SWEATER IS RUINED!”
I tapped my fingers very thinking.
“Um . . . well, the whole sweater isn’t ruined, actually. It’s just that one sleeve, May,” I said kind of quiet. “If you grow one arm to the ground, it will fit like a glove, probably.”
May opened her mouth to holler again. But Mr. Scary was already hurrying down our row.
He did not say a word to us.
Instead, he took May and me by our hands. And he rushed us into the hall. May’s sweater sleeve dragged on the floor behind her.
She picked it up real limp.
“Look at this! Just look at it, Mr. Scary!” she grouched. “Junie Jones wrecked my sweater! Junie Jones wrecks everything
I did a mad breath.
“I do not wreck everything,” I said. “And anyway, this wasn’t even my fault! You’re
the one who started it, May! You’re
the one who stoled my journal.”
Mr. Scary looked down at me.
,” he said. “The word is stole
, Junie B. Not stoled
I sucked in my cheeks. ’Cause now was not
the time for grammar.
“Fine. She stole
my journal,” I said. “She just grabbed it right off my desk. And she tried to rip a page out.”
May kept on arguing.
“But I only took her journal because she wrote a bad name about me!” she said.
I stamped my foot.
“But May wouldn’t even know
about that name if she didn’t snoop!” I said. “Snooping in someone’s journal is an invasion of their piracy.”
Mr. Scary did a little frown.
,” he said. “It’s an invasion of privacy
, Junie B. Not piracy
I threw my head back. “For the love of Pete! Can’t you just let it go? I’m trying to make a point here!” I said.
Mr. Scary glared his eyes. He said for me to calm myself down, young lady.
I jumped all the way in the air.
CALM!” I hollered back.
After that, I got marched speedy quick to the water fountain. And I had to drink some sips of water and settle myself. I drank and settled.
Then I wiped off my mouth. And I rocked back and forth on my feet kind of nervous.
“Sorry,” I said real quiet. “Sorry I got mad, Mr. Scary.”
I looked up at him.
“Sometimes grammar makes my head explode,” I said.
Mr. Scary smiled a little bit.
Then he took me back to May. And he talked to us in a calm voice.
“I really don’t understand your behavior lately, girls,” he said. “The holidays are the time of year when we try to spread peace and goodwill. But you two are treating each other worse and worse every day.”
Me and May quick pointed at each other.
fault!” we shouted together.
Mr. Scary shook his head. “I don’t care whose
fault it is,” he said. “If you two have another fight today, there will be no Holiday Sing-Along for either one of you. Instead, you’ll be parking yourselves in the principal’s office for the afternoon.”
My body did a shiver at those words.
’Cause I’ve parked at Principal’s before, that’s why. And there’s not a lot of singing that goes on down there.
“So what’s it going to be, girls?” said my teacher. “Do you want to shake hands and make up? Or do you want to spend the afternoon at the office?”
My eyes glanced over at May.
She was standing still as a statue. And her eyes were staring at the floor.
I waited and waited for her to shake hands with me. But she did not look up.
Finally, Mr. Scary tapped his annoyed foot at us.
“Well?” he said again.
I waited some more.
But May still did not budge herself.
That’s how come I did a big, loud breath. And I picked up May’s long sweater sleeve. And I gave it a shake.
“There. Fine. I shaked with her,” I said.
,” said Mr. Scary.
“Whatever,” I said.
Then I dropped the sleeve back on the floor. And I kicked it over to May with my foot.
She did a gasp.
Then she quick picked it up and swatted the dirt off on my pants.
“Hey! Quit it!” I yelled.
Mr. Scary snapped his loud fingers at us.
May stopped swatting. “I was just getting the dust out,” she said.
Mr. Scary filled his cheeks up with air. And he let it out real slow.
Then he took us by our hands again. And we walked back to Room One.
Peace and goodwill do not come easy.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Park; illustrated by Denise Brunkus. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.