Carlisle High School, Carlisle
I have been reading your Junie B. Jones (the B. is for Beatrice) series for years. I have read every, single Junie B. Jones book that has ever existed; they are a part of my childhood and then making them engraved into my memory. But that is not the point of this letter. I am writing this to thank not only you, but Junie for being there for me when I had no one else.
You see, when I was seven, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I, being a young, naive second grader, had no clue what cancer was but I knew it was bad. I have these painful, vivid memories that haunt me to this day. I can remember the day my mom had to shave her head because she was starting this thing called "chemotherapy" the next day and it somehow made her hair fall out. I can also remember having to watch my dad clean up my mom after she puked all over herself because that "chemo" caused her to be very sick. I also remember the time I walked in on my sister, who was in seventh grade, crying in her room after mom had had a bad doctor's appointment that day. All of these memories still bother me to this day, but back when they were really happening, it was worse.
I remember feeling as though things were never going to be normal again. I remember feeling as though my life would always be this constant struggle, with my mom being so sick all the time. I remember thinking that my mom was going to die, and that she was going to leave me forever alone. I was helpless, depressed, and only seven years old. That's where Junie comes into play.
See I was drawn to how fun-loving and brave Junie was in all of your books. No matter what she always looked at the positives as outweighing the negatives. Sure, sometimes she was scared or angry, but she always came out on top. I wanted to be like Junie. I wanted to look on the bright side of things, rather than on the dismal side of them. So one night, after my mom had her "chemo", I knew that she was feeling very sick and was lying in bed, so rather than leaving her alone; I climbed into bed with her. I had my absolute favorite book with me: Junie B. Jones has a Monster under her Bed. That night I read my mom the first three chapters of the book, and afterwards my mom felt so much better and she talked to me about what I read. I even got to see a smile from her (those were rare back then). I was so happy about reading my book to her, that I continued to read to her every, single night. And when I would finish one of your books, I would run to my room and grab another book off of my bookshelf. Next thing I knew, I had gone through your whole series. With every book I read, my mom started to become more and more enthusiastic about beating her cancer. She had been so sad for so long and I was turning that around. I was so proud that I could make my mom's life better, through something as small as reading to her.
Fortunately, my mom beat breast cancer and you know what that means: no more reading every night. I was a little saddened, but I knew I would always have those nights reading to her funny tales about the adventures of Junie B. Jones.
These books, with their witty charm and the delight of childhood innocence, helped me to become very close with my mother. Though it was a dark time in my life, my mom's cancer was also the best time of my life, because I got to bond with my mom in a way that was unlike any other experience I have ever had. Because of your Junie B. Jones books and their outlandish stories, I got out of my depression, I was able to live my life like any normal seven-year-old would, and (though it isn't scientifically proven) I believe your books helped my mom beat her cancer by giving her something to be genuinely happy and optimistic about. So I just wanted to thank you for helping me get through the most difficult time in my life. And thank you for strengthening the bond between my mother and me. One day, when I introduce my kids to Junie B. Jones, I hope your books can impact them the way they impacted me. Thank you!