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Jean and Johnny (First Love #3)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  910 ratings  ·  73 reviews

First Date

Fifteen-year-old Jean is astonished when a handsome Johnny whirls her ‘round the dance floor. She's never given much thought to boys before; now Johnny is all that's on her mind. Finally she finds the courage to invite him to a dance. But the excitement of a new dress and a scheme to take Johnny's photograph cannot stop Jean's growing uneasiness that she likes J

Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 29th 2003 by Harper Teen (first published 1959)
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Community Reviews

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My edition is hardcover, from the library and has the Joe & Beth Krush illustrations. When I was a child one of the few illustrator credits I knew and looked for was Krush. And when I was fifteen I would have loved this book. Jean had a loving big sister and a patient friend to help her see boys clearly - I had only books. If I'd read this then I'd have saved myself several messy crushes and dating experiences. The book is also lovingly written with Cleary's trademark charm, insight, and gen ...more
No change except a further appreciation of the Jarretts' tough economic situation.

4-3-10 review:
I take back anything I ever said about this being my least favorite of the Cleary YA books. It's certainly the one that makes me cringe the most, but that's only because it reminds me of my time wasted chasing after a not-good-enough. But good for Jean for learning her lesson and for wearing a killer dress to spend an evening with pigeons.

Cleary's books are always rich with home details that forever
Good for girls thinking about boys and dating. I love when she won't kiss him because it's their first date! Talks about what dating is for: getting to know people better. Also a good discussion of "being noticed" by a boy and how that's not always so fun.
I picked this book up last time I was at the house I grew up in. I'd first read this book years ago,(written in the cover was Teton Elementary 4th grade)but I remembered lots of things about it. I still think twice before returning a dish to the dish water (you'd have to read the first chapter to understand what I mean by that) and I have always wanted a breakfast nook. This time my reading was strictly for research purposes. I've always loved Beverly Cleary and was sure she could teach me somet ...more
You DON'T read a book like this for its action packed story line. You DO read a book like this for a slice-of-life look into the world of a teenage girl smack dab in 1950s America. In other words, it's literary time travel. For that reason alone, I found it worthwhile. And though times have changed quite markedly for a 15 year old girl, some themes from the book strike a chord even today.

Being a glasses-wearer since junior high, I loved that Jean wore them. I could relate to her insecurities ab

Jean and Johnny is the third of Cleary's novels for young adults. For me it did not have the magic of Fifteen or The Luckiest Girl. Even so, she captured pretty exactly the feelings of a 14-year-old girl who wonders whether or not a boy likes her. I especially could relate to the phenomenon of becoming completely tongue-tied when in the presence of said boy.

What bothered me was how passive Jean would be in any situation concerning Johnny. She was so blind to how much of a self-centered player he
Loved this book when I read it when I was in the 8th grade. At the time it was a large hard cover book and I stayed in my room all day reading it and wouldn't come out till the end.I think I was attracted to the book because I wore glasses, like Jean, (how do you hold your head when you are kissing a boy who also wears glasses????). I liked a boy named Johnny and my middle name is Jean.
Bought it a few years ago and found it to be a normal length book, BUT as soon as I started reading it again,
Read this book when I was in high school and I enjoy this one. This is an easy read for young adults. About first loves and learning that you don't need to compromise yourself just to be like by someone. I would recommend this to my future children especially to young girls. A nice summer read.
Katie Fitzgerald
If I had a teenage daughter, I'd absolutely want her to read this book, and I think girls like I was - shy, uncertain, and nerdy - will appreciate this portrayal of an average everyday girl experiencing what many girls go through at the age of fifteen. It's no wonder this book has been reprinted so many times - it's truly a gem.

Read my full review on my blog:
This was good. I like that it took in the late 50's in California. I like that Jean was short and she wore glasses and before Johnny, she never really noticed boys before. I like that he was a jerk to her and she finally realized it and knew that she deserved a guy who actually LIKED her. At 15 (heck, at any age) , that is a big understanding and realization to come to and I adore Jean for realizing that. Also her apology to her best friend for the way she treated her. Jean is a good character, ...more
Must have read this book 500 times. It taught me boys can be mean, but girls are tough enough to take it. Sue and Jean reminded me of Beezus and Ramona all grown up!
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Fifteen year old Jean is shocked when handsome and popular Johnny picks her out of a crowd at a dance and asks her to dance. Jean hasn’t given much thought to boys but ever since that dance, Johnny is all Jean can think of. As the school year progresses, Johnny pays more and more attention to Jean. Even though Johnny is a senior, Jean believes he really, truly likes her. Jean finally works up the courage to ask Johnny to a school dance and is over the moon when he accepts! But, doubts creep in a ...more
Aug 01, 2010 May rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pre-teen or teen girls, women who want to re-live angst that is being a 15 year old ordinary girl
Shelves: teen-ya
Fifteen was my first 'romance' book as a pre-teen, so it always will hold a special spot in my heart. When I realized that B.Cleary has others in this 'series' about first loves I decided to check them out.

Jean & Johnny is about a short 15year old girl living a very ordinary life with her parents and older sister. She gets asked to dance - at a dance she wasn't even really attending and thus begins her obsession with Johnny.

What I really like about these books is that while they're very ol
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It took me a while to start enjoying this book. I think it had something to do with the fact that it's so...1950's. I've read a couple books that took place in the 1950's, but those were more like the Outsiders then Jean and Johnny.

I'll start with what I liked about it: it was a cute story about first loves. I liked the ending a lot. And for the most part, I liked Jean. She was a bit obsessive, but it's understandable; Johnny's her first crush!

Now, for what I didn't like. First, I couldn't real
Stephanie Lucianovic
It's not going to rank with Fifteen or The Luckiest Girl for me, but that's possibly because 1. I read both of those books as a kid and grew up with them, so this can't really compete as a first-read in adulthood and 2. Since reading both of Cleary's memoirs, it's so hard not to have my reading affected by how hard her life was as a kid and teenager. She puts so much of herself and real events from her own life in her books, I can't divorce the two.
Celia Juliano
Beverly Cleary amazes me. She has a deceptively simple style, but her insight into people is profound. I wish I'd read this as a teenager, because it contains so much dating wisdom in a sweet story. One favorite quote: "It was Johnny who had noticed her, singled her out of the crowd, had made her feel she was attractive. In a way, it was Johnny who had made her aware of herself." (283)
Don't miss this book if you are a Cleary fan, or like sweet stories.
Another quick read. Of the three from this "First Love series" I've read, this is my least favorite. Really more of a 3.5 than a 3, it wasn't BAD it all, I just didn't LOVE it. It's about a girl falling for a guy who isn't really good enough for her, sort of chasing after him and realizing eventually that he's not worth it. It was nice, and it did remind me a lot of being a teenager, I just wasn't madly in love with it like the others.
Stephanie Perez
This book is absolutely amazing. It is very intriguing and it sends a message to teen girls that are unsure of themselves-you don't need anyone to call you beautiful or awesome. You're wonderful without anyone telling you so. It shows girls that they can be independent. I just love it!
Aug 01, 2014 Muff rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
On a Beverly Cleary kick. Given that these books are fifty years old or so, they are still compelling teen stories. J&J is my least favorite so far. Jean is too insecure and wimpy.
Dichotomy Girl
As much as I love Fifteen and The Luckiest Girl, this book just wasn't in the same league.

It might be possible that I am extremely biased, as I have read the other 2 countless times since my teens years, whereas this one some how managed to fly under my radar. But then again, I realized after I finished this, that I had read it before, it just honestly wasn't that memorable. Though it did make me want to go read the other 2 again. :)

"Fifteen-year-old Jean is astonished when a handsome Johnny whirls her 'round the dance floor. She's never given much thought to boys before; now Johnny is all that's on her mind. Finally she finds the courage to invite him to a dance. But the excitement of a new dress and a scheme to take Johnny's photograph cannot stop jean's growing uneasiness that she likes Johnny a lot more than he likes her . . .This high-school story, which is both funny and touching, is about a girl who lacks self
Libby Ames
I really don't know what genre this book belongs in. I picked it up because my 9-year-old checked it out and it seemed a little mature for her. It ended up being a very interesting insight into 1950s high school culture. The overall message of having self-confidence and the ability to avoid peer pressure is timeless. However, it is interesting to read about the social expectations of a lost era.

The story is fine for a 9 year old and everything is 1950s appropriate. I will be interested to see if
Karalyn Bromage
Childhood Favorite!
Recommended Ages: grades 7 and up

Fifteen-year-old Jean is astonished when a handsome Johnny whirls her ‘round the dance floor. She's never given much thought to boys before; now Johnny is all that's on her mind. Finally she finds the courage to invite him to a dance. But the excitement of a new dress and a scheme to take Johnny's photograph cannot stop jean's growing uneasiness that she likes Johnny a lot more than he likes her . . .

Apr 15, 2009 Melody rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melody by: Wendy
This romance is dated in a lot of ways but none of them really matter. Jean is every girl- we've all been in love with someone disastrous, haven't we? I could certainly identify with Jean's towering structure of rationalization, and what comes after. Sweet but not cloying. Realistic characters. Well done. Thanks go to Wendy for strong-arming me into this kicking and screaming.
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Have I seriously not rated this before? In the past, I would have given the book a much lower rating -- too many painful memories of my own "Jean" days. I reread this recently because Wendy told me to and found myself charmed. Perhaps enough time has passed for me to appreciate this one, instead of cringing in remembered horror...
This is not the type of book I mostly read. I happened to pick it up at the bookstore where I work and read a phrase that intrigued me enough to make me read it.
I was pleasantly surprised. The book is nothing remarkable, but it was a charming story about a girl's first crush that made me smile. :)
Sweet and cringey all at once. I can deal with Hartley as a name in Luckiest Girl, because at least it's unique, but I don't know that I can get past Homer. Even when he's seriously adorable and the dance scene was pretty damn funny. (Note: How have I not read this one before? That's pretty surprising.)
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Beverly Cleary (born April 12, 1916) is the author of over 30 books for young adults and children. Her characters are normal children facing challenges that many of us face growing up, and her stories are liberally laced with humour. Some of her best known and loved characters are Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice ("Beezus"), Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.

Beverly Cleary was born Beverly At
More about Beverly Cleary...
Beezus and Ramona (Ramona, #1) Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Ramona, #6) The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Ralph S. Mouse, #1) Ramona the Pest (Ramona, #2) Ramona the Brave (Ramona, #3)

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“He seemed grown-up, compared to the boys at school, and although he was not handsome, or even particularly good-looking—there were still some scars on his face from the skin trouble he had when he was younger—his face was agreeable because it was so. . . . What was the word? Kind, perhaps. Or gentle. But strong, too. He was genuinely glad to see all of Sue’s family, and when Sue entered the room and he helped her on with her coat, Jean thought he acted as if her sister was someone precious to him.” 3 likes
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