Barbara Park, Junie B. Jones Author, Dies of Cancer

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Barbara Park, author of the children's book series, Junie B. Jones, died on Friday at the age of 66. She fought a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer.

If you're not familiar with Barbara Park's works, simply ask a grade school student--preferably a girl over a boy--who Junie B. Jones is. You will likely hear tales about a child who finds her way into trouble when she most certainly doesn't mean to, as well as one who is fun and lovable. You'll probably also hear how kids clamor to read about her, too.

Park's titles in her Junie B. Jones series were like windows into the author's mind. Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth or Junie B., First Grader (at last!) came from somewhere inside of what she called her 'six-year-old head.'

Park enjoyed the best of both worlds in recent years, dividing her time, along with husband Richard, between homes in Arizona and Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

"These days, Richard and I divide our time between the desert and the ocean. In the words of Junie B. Jones, I’m a lucky duck," she said on the Random House website.

Fans of Park's books, which include young adult stories in addition to her Junie B. Jones tales, are taking to Twitter to share their grief over a favorite author's passing.

Barbara Park was beloved by children and parents alike. She leaves works that won't soon be forgotten. Park's legacy lives on in all her books, including the Junie B. Jones collection. For many years down the road, these wonderful stories will instill a true love of reading into the children who are privileged with enjoying them.

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Kimberly Ripley

Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and ‘Nana’ to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.