Journey to Juniper Junction! A Summertime Book Feature, Banoffee Pie & More Fun Activities!

Journey to Juniper Junction is the first book in the My Country Cousins series and is a fun-filled story that will have kids enjoying each and every entertaining adventure in this summertime read!

My Country Cousins Journey to Juniper Junction

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My Country Cousins Series: Journey to Juniper Junction


One of my favorite things in the world is when I find a book that draws me in and takes me along on a character's journey!


Feeling like you’re right there and seeing and experiencing everything as if you're one of the characters in the book is one of the best and coolest things about reading a terrific story!

boy reading book outside during sunset

That is exactly how I felt while reading Journey to Juniper Junction, the first book in the My Country Cousins series by Heather N. Quinn. A clever pen name for the two authors, Heather and Quinn are a mother and daughter team who set out to write and publish their own stories!

Heather and Quinn, authors of the My Country Cousins series
Heather and Quinn, authors of the My Country Cousins series

A fun, quickly-paced book with plenty of "Uh-oh!" moments and cliff-hangers at the end of the chapter, Journey to Juniper Junction will keep primary grade readers turning the pages to see what happens next!


Lighthearted and filled with relatable moments for kids, the storyline is filled with humor, friendship and adventures that go along with discovering new people and places!


If you’re looking for a great new summertime read for kids ages 6-10, Journey to Juniper Junction is a perfectly paced book that kids are sure to enjoy!

girl wearing hat holding suitcase standing on country road



Taking place in the 1990's, the story follows 10-year-old Gemma Merriman as she travels from England to stay with her cousins in Canada for the summer.


Even though Gemma is a bit nervous, she is also very excited at the prospect of spending the summer with her Aunt, Uncle and cousins that she hasn't seen since she was very little.

At every turn an adventure awaits! From Gemma's plane trip from England to her stay at Almosta Farm to spending time with her cousins and their friends, Journey to Juniper Junction is filled with good old-fashioned summertime fun!


Reuniting with her cousins, meeting friends and exploring new places on and around the farm give readers plenty of interesting plot moments and fun to keep them engaged and turning the pages!


red barn in the country

Each chapter has a standalone adventure and also does a great job of leading into the next chapter.


Journey to Juniper Junction is perfectly paced for kids 6 - 10 which really helps to keep readers engaged and is chock full with opportunities for activities to go along with the book!!

The motto on a plaque at Almost Farm, If you can't behave, be funny shows two bears holding a heart

The Family crest at Almosta Farm, "If you can't behave, be funny!"


There are plenty of funny moments throughout the story, which goes along perfectly with the Almosta Farm family crest and motto (above)!



One of our favorite ways to enjoy a book either while still reading the story or after finishing the last page is to do a story extension.

Story extensions are activities that go along with a book and really help bring the story to life! Journey to Juniper Junction is filled with plenty of inspiration for fun activities!


Without giving away too much of the story, here are some extension ideas that we thought of to go along with Gemma's adventures at Almosta Farm!


Activities to Go Along with Journey to Juniper Junction


1. Make Banoffee Pie!

Who doesn’t love dessert? Banoffee Pie (pronounced buh·naa·fee) is a dessert that Gemma talks about in the story! It sounded so good!


Give this Banoffee Pie recipe a try and be sure to take a photo and tag @mykidzbookshelf and @heathernquinn!


2. Keep a Journal or Diary

Gemma and her cousin, Sunny, find that they both enjoy writing things down. Gemma calls her book a journal and Sunny keeps what she dubs a diary; regardless which name you prefer, these books are a wonderful place to jot down thoughts, ideas and even include drawings or poetry.


Below is a fun journal that has prompts and plenty of inspiration to get the creative juices flowing! This Time Capsule: A Seriously Awesome Journal is a great way for kids to capture all of those fun day to day details that sometimes are forgotten! This journal has plenty of pages to write, doodle and record great memories in!

Time Capsule A seriously Awesome Journal book by Katie Clemens for kids

We really like going back and reading past entries for a fun walk down memory lane!


3. Go For a Bike Ride

girls going for a bike ride

Bikes are the transportation of choice for all of the kids in the story! Gemma, her cousin, and friend go for a bike ride in the country where another adventure awaits!

Getting outside and hopping on a bike is a fun way to connect with the story, get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air!

4. Learn a Magic Trick

Book Big Magic for Little Hands by Joshua Jay

One of Gemma’s cousins surprises her with his magical talent! Ever try a magic trick? Practice some slight-of-hand or illusion! Here’s a great book to get you started!

Love stories that include magic? Check out our post 15 Best Kids Books That Feature Magic!


5. The Secret Room!

One of my favorite parts of the Journey to Juniper Junction was the discovery of a secret room! Having grown up a serious Nancy Drew fan, I just love a setting that is ready for future adventures!


A secret room is always a fun addition to a storyline and makes for a fabulous writing prompt or artistic inspiration! What would yours look like?


6. Make a Painting

woman painting on a canvas in a studio with art supplies all around her

Gemma's aunt is an artist and has a studio filled with plenty of paintings and art supplies. Try your hand at painting!


Need some inspiration? Check out this site for some great step-by-step painting projects! See below for just one of the many tutorials available there!

painting of barn and sunflowers
photo: Step by Step Painting with Tracie Kiernan

There are so many ideas and fun activities that go along with Journey to Juniper Junction! It's such a fun way for kids to connect with the story and make great memories too!

illustration dog looking out at pond
Illustration: Back cover (partial) Journey to Juniper Junction by Heather N. Quinn

Here are Some More Ideas for Activities, Writing Prompts and Discussion:

  • Have you ever traveled by yourself to somewhere? If so, where? If not, would you want to? Why or why not?

  • What would you do if other kids were trying to make you go into a scary house, would you do it?

  • Make some pancakes! Gemma enjoys them while visiting!

  • Gemma calls it a 'journal' and her cousin, Sunny, calls it a 'diary.' What are some other words or phrases that you use that are different from either Gemma or Sunny?

  • Learn about how maple syrup is collected and processed.

  • Find out more about what a 'hobby farm' is and how is it different from a traditional farm? How is it similar?

  • Make a drawing or a map of what Almosta Farm looks like to you.

Want to find out more about Journey to Juniper Junction and the My Country Cousins series? Visit the website to read more about the authors, get a free download of the prequel and be the first to know about new book releases in the My Country Cousins series!

chickens walking around in the grass

Well, there you have it! My Country Cousins Book 1: Journey to Juniper Junction is a great book for kids that will make a terrific read and fabulous inspiration for lots of summertime fun!


Be sure to Pin this post so you can return to this fun book and its activities in the future!

Journey to Juniper Junction Pinterest pin shows book cover, barn and suitcase

Love books about family and summer? Check out our post of The Relatives Came! A classic picture book by Cynthia Rylant that also includes plenty of activities to have fun with!


If your reader enjoys a good mystery, then Three Times Lucky and the Mo and Dale Mysteries are the perfect choice!


I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Have a favorite summertime book? Let us know in the comments below!


Enjoy!

April

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