Teen Librarian Toolbox
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YA A to Z: Maureen Johnson


Why I chose Maureen Johnson:

I got to meet John Green during his book tour for The Fault in Our Stars (shut up, this is relevant.) When I met him I thanked him for two things – one, everything he’s done to enrich the lives of teens, two, recommending that we follow Maureen Johnson on Twitter. Honestly, I feel it’s the best thing he’s ever given me.

On Twitter, Maureen lets her idiosyncrasies run rampant. One moment posting pictures of her adorable dog, the next going on about the Olive Garden on the moon, Maureen is nothing if not entertaining. But wait a few moments and you will get a brilliantly scathing take down of the latest article trashing YA literature. Or an engaging and convincing plea to assist in a great cause. Or a description of something or someone so unique that you feel that she must actually seek out these people and experiences in order to have material for her novels. In fact, I have often thought that the difference between Maureen and your average human is that when confronted with these people/circumstances, most of us work diligently to avoid them. Maureen seems to wade gleefully into the morass of humanity, delightedly exclaiming, “Oh! Look at this!” It shows in her novels.

Of everything she’s written, I am most fond of her Scarlett novels and the Shades of London series. Both feature characters you can easily imagine Maureen following down the street at a distance thinking, “That’s a little odd – I must see where this person goes!” Her plots are both lively and engaging, and her protagonists seem at once delightfully human and just a little bit ‘off.’ In the best possible way.

Brief Biography:

Maureen now lives in New York, but is a native of Philadelphia. She attended an all girl, Catholic high school and graduated from the University of Delaware. She has a graduate degree from Columbia University. She’s worked a variety of jobs ranging from the expected (editor) to the outlandish (working on a live tiger show in Las Vegas.) Looking for more detail? Check out her extended biography available at her website.


Shades of London series

  • The Name of the Star
  • The Madness Underneath
  • The Shadow Cabinet (upcoming)

The Ginny Blackstone Books

  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes
  • The Last Little Blue Envelope

The Scarlett Books

  • Suite Scarlett
  • Scarlett Fever

Stand Alone Novels

  • Girl at Sea
  • Devilish
  • The Key to the Golden Firebird
  • The Bermudez Triangle

And short stories in

  • Let it Snow
  • The Bane Chronicles
  • Vacations from Hell

You can find Maureen online:

If you like Maureen Johnson’s books, I’d recommend:

  • Stephanie Perkins
  • Justine Larbalestier
  • E. Lockhart
  • Rachel Cohn/David Levithan collaborations

Join the conversation!  Share a post about your favorite author OR tweet us your favorite author with the tag #YAAtoZ. While we’re sharing our favorite authors, we would love to hear about yours. We all might find some new authors we haven’t heard of before. And the more authors we share, the more comprehensive and diverse the list becomes. 

#YAAtoZ Schedule: Week 1 4: A ; 5: B ; 6: C ; 7: D  Week 2 10: E ; 11: F ; 12: G, H, I ; 13: J, K ; 14: L  Week 3 17: M ; 18: N, O ; 19: P, Q ; 20: R, S ; 21: T  Week 4 24: U ; 25: V, W ; 26: X ; 27: Y ; 28: Z


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