Mount Holly, NJ
Barbara Park (April 21, 1947 – November 15, 2013) is beloved by millions as the author of the wildly popular, New York Times bestselling Junie B. Jones series. She won more than 40 children's book awards and she was been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and Time magazine. Twenty years after the world's funniest kindergartner made her debut, Barbara said, "I've never been sure whether Junie B.'s fans love her in spite of her imperfections…or because of them. But either way, she's gone out into the world and made more friends than I ever dreamed possible."
"I don't have a problem being six years old in my head," Park once explained during an interview with barnesandnoble.com. "It's almost embarrassing; if I'm talking to librarians or teachers who know my books and they say, 'How do you do this?' It's not a stretch.
"I find that when I'm struggling to think of how a 6-year-old would feel about something, I just have to go right down to the common denominator, find the simplest way that you can look at an object or a problem, and not muck it up with all of the stuff that adults do and over-analyze," she said.
Barbara Park is also the author of award-winning middle grade novels and bestselling picture books.
Barbara Park died on November 15, 2013, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. Her survivors include her husband, Richard A. Park, whom she married in 1969; two sons, Steven and David; a brother; and two grandchildren.
Read a tribute to Barbara Park by Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Reading Club.