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Jean and Johnny
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Jean and Johnny (First Love #3)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  990 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Despite her family's warning about chasing the handsome Johnny Chessler, Jean Jarrett has to learn from experience the perils of a one-sided romance, in a bittersweet story of first love.
Hardcover, 284 pages
Published 1959 by William Morrow & Company
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(showing 1-30 of 1,464)
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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.
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,
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
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.
Javier Baez-flores
If you love reading Beverly Clearly books, then you should read Jean and Johnny that's about a girl who wants to go out with this cute boy.

The story takes place in Jean's house, a school and a live show. This main character named Jean lives in this house where she works on drying supper dishes while her older sister Sue, washes them. Later, Jean and her best friend Elaine go watch a commercial where this boy singer Kip Laddish sings awful and even dances awful. Jean's dad, Mr. Jarret dislikes
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.
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:
The Lit Lover
This books is so sad, and yet so heartwarming, that it was a favorite as soon as I read it. I'm not usually into chick-lit, but this one is so sweet, and so simple, that I couldn't put it down. I could really relate to Jean, even though I don't have all the problems of being short. I could see myself doing all of the silly, cute things before Johnny comes over, and I can see myself acting like a spy to find out his name and address.

I must admit, I find a certain aspect of this book just CHARMIN
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!
It took me a while to start enjoying this book back in freshman years because I think it had something to do with the fact that it's so...1950's! Jean and Johnny isn't a classic "first love" teen novel. Jean didn't end up with Johnny. The story didn't portray Johnny as Jean's love of her life either, which was a nice bit of perspective.

What was most interesting about the book was the glimpse it gave of American life in the late 1950s, and particularly the economic realities of a single-income, w
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.
Four stars for capturing so precisely the drama that teenage girls can create from the most insignificant word or look. This was me in high school (in the late 90's) though I didn't learn Jean's lessons until I went to college. I found it funny that I knew a Johnny exactly the Johnny character in the book. I wonder if I would have recognized the similarities and learned from the book had I read it in high school.
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.
A sweet book offering Beverly Cleary's usual sharp insight into human character and motivation. It's been a long time since I "chased" a boy, but I remember it well (with chagrin) and could relate so well to Jean's emotions! The family dynamics and Jean's friendship with Elaine were heart-warming yet genuine, and the ending was quite satisfying.
Wish I had discovered this series years ago!
This book is just fun.

Reading this book reminded me of the days when I had my first crush, as Jean had with Johnny.

I mean, how can I not sympathize? Jean was the overthinking and slightly desperate girl I once was. Her many experiences were sweet and entertaining.

Much more, how can you just not love the way they spoke in the 1950s? It was just so novel.
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!
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. :)
Old fashioned, but great lesson in self-worth. I can't help but try and add on to the story in my mind...what will happen to Jean in the future??
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"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
Pretty good, but pretty dated in terms of girls' behavior, etc. Enjoyable nevertheless.
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

First Love (4 books)
  • Fifteen  (First Love, #1)
  • The Luckiest Girl (First Love, #2)
  • Sister of the Bride (First Love, #4)
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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