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Author Barbara Park, creator of sassy young Junie B. Jones, dead at age 66

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The author of the million-selling “Junie B. Jones” children’s book series has died.

Random House Books for Young Readers says Barbara Park died Friday at age 66 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

The publisher says Park’s stories of the smart-mouthed young girl sold more than 55 million copies just in North America. She wrote dozens of books and received numerous awards, although parents and educators occasionally worried that Junie was a bad influence on her young fans.

Park helped found a charitable organization, Sisters in Survival, to raise money for women with ovarian cancer. Random House announced that contributions can be made to www.sistersinsurvival.org .