Barbara Park, a former class clown who channeled her irreverence into the million-selling mishaps of grade schooler Junie B. Jones, has died. She was 66.
The author died Friday after a long battle with ovarian cancer, according to a statement released Sunday by Random House Books for Young Readers. Park was a longtime resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., where she lived with her husband, Richard, and raised two sons.
Starting in 1992, Park wrote more than 30 illustrated chapter books about the smart-mouthed girl with an ungrammatical opinion of everybody – her parents, her teachers, her friends and her classmate and enemy for life, May, who is so mean she won’t even acknowledge Junie’s middle initial (which stands for Beatrice: “Only I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all,” Junie warned).