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'Junie B. Jones' Author Barbara Park Dies

5:02 PM, Nov 18, 2013   |    comments
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Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY

In high school, Barbara Park was voted the "wittiest" member of the senior class.

That sense of humor served her well when Park abandoned plans to become a teacher and turned to writing children's books.

Park, who died Friday at 66 of ovarian cancer in Scottsdale, Ariz., sold more than 55 million copies of a 28-book series starring Junie B. Jones, a funny, talkative, trouble-prone school girl.

The series did well on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list; the best Junie B. showing was Junie B. Jones Is a Graduation Girl, which hit No. 6 in 2001.

In a 2004 interview with USA TODAY, Park said as a elementary school student in Mount Holly, N.J., "I was a good kid, but I was just very chatty. Teachers were rarely entertained but occasionally a child was, which was enough for me. Everything was so urgent. I needed to say it immediately."

USA Today

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