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About Varian Johnson
Varian Johnson's books for young readers include THE PARKER INHERITANCE, which was named a 2019 Coretta Scott King Honor Book and a 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book; THE GREAT GREENE HEIST, which was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014 among other accolades; and TWINS, his first middle-grade graphic novel.
Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is honored to now serve as a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.
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Titles By Varian Johnson
Split between two worlds, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan are four young heroes who are racing to stop an ancient evil. Even the spirit animal bond, the sacred link between humans and animals, is on the brink of destruction.
The friends face an enemy with the power to enslave others to its will-and to steal spirit animals away from their rightful partners. With their own allies falling to this darkness, the four must look to their bonds to light the way forward.
But one of those lights is about to go out. Briggan, Uraza, Jhi, and Essix. Before their journey is over, one of these legends will be lost.
Branded as traitors, the four must uncover the plot against them, all while unraveling the mysteries of a set of powerful relics tied to an ancient secret.
Their search brings Conor home to Trunswick, where there will be no hero's welcome. They find the city transformed: the castle burned to ground and the townsfolk poor and desperate. With a handsome reward offered for their capture, who can the heroes trust?
"A political heist page-turner set in middle school? Is that even possible? Varian Johnson shows us how it's done." - Gordon Korman, author of SWINDLE
"Do yourself a favor and start reading immediately." - Rebecca Stead, author of WHEN YOU REACH ME
Jackson Greene swears he's given up scheming. Then school bully Keith Sinclair announces he's running for Student Council president, against Jackson's former friend Gaby de la Cruz. Gaby wants Jackson to stay out of it -- but he knows Keith has "connections" to the principal, which could win him the presidency no matter the vote count.
So Jackson assembles a crack team: Hashemi Larijani, tech genius. Victor Cho, bankroll. Megan Feldman, science goddess. Charlie de la Cruz, reporter. Together they devise a plan that will take down Keith, win Gaby's respect, and make sure the election is done right. If they can pull it off, it will be remembered as the school's greatest con ever -- one worthy of the name THE GREAT GREENE HEIST.
*"The lively (and racially diverse) cast of characters and the intricate plot will make this a story to read again for the sheer fun of it all"- Horn Book, starred review
Jackson Greene is riding high. He is officially retired from conning, so Principal Kelsey is (mostly) off his back. His friends have great new projects of their own. And he's been hanging out a lot with Gaby de la Cruz, so he thinks maybe, just maybe, they'll soon have their first kiss.
Then Jackson receives a link to a faked security video that seems to show him and the rest of Gang Greene flooding the school gym. The jerks behind the video threaten to pass it to the principal -- unless Jackson steals an advance copy of the school's toughest exam.
So Gang Greene reunites for their biggest job yet. To get the test adn clear their names, they'll have to outrun the school's security cameras, outwit a nosy member of the Honor Board, and outmaneuver the blackmailers while setting a trap for them in turn. And as they execute another exciting caper full of twists and turns, they'll prove that sometimes it takes a thief to catch a cheat.
In America during the early twentieth century, no part was safe from segregation, not even the country's national pastime, baseball. Despite their exodus from the Major Leagues because of the color of their skin, African American men still found a way to participate in the sport they loved. Author Varian Johnson shines a spotlight on the players, coaches, owners, and teams that dominated the Negro Leagues during the 1930s and 40s. Readers will learn about how phenomenal players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and of course, Jackie Robinson greatly changed the sport of baseball.
“With a deft hand, Johnson shows us there's no such thing as "too young" when it comes to questioning big ideas like manhood, or even family.” –Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author of Look Both Ways and Stamped
Literary powerhouse and Coretta Scott King Honor- and Boston Globe / Horn Book Honor-winning author of The Parker Inheritance Varian Johnson explores themes of toxic masculinity and family legacy in this heartfelt, hopeful story of one boy discovering what it really means to be a man.
SECRETS ARE ALWAYS A GAMBLE
Ten-year-old Anthony Joplin has made it to double digits! Which means he's finally old enough to play in the spades tournament every Joplin Man before him seems to have won. So while Ant's friends are stressing about fifth grade homework and girls, Ant only has one thing on his mind: how he'll measure up to his father's expectations at the card table.
Then Ant's best friend gets grounded, and he's forced to find another spades partner. And Shirley, the new girl in his class, isn't exactly who he has in mind. She talks a whole lot of trash -- way more than his old partner. Plus, he's not sure that his father wants him playing with a girl. But she's smart and tough and pretty, and knows every card trick in the book. So Ant decides to join forces with Shirley -- and keep his plans a secret.
Only it turns out secrets are another Joplin Man tradition. And his father is hiding one so big it may tear their family apart...
As time goes on, Josh goes against his parents and his own better instincts to keep Maddie from completely capsizing. Along the way, he begins to question his own rigid understanding of God and whether, as his mother says, a girl like Maddie is beyond redemption. Maddie leads Josh further astray than any girl ever has . . . but is there a way to reconcile his love for her and his love for his life in the church?
Meilin et Conor ont survécu à l'incendie des champs arachnéens. Désormais, leur mission est d'atteindre les racines du Wyrm qui continuent à se développer. Affaiblis, les héros et leurs animaux totems, doivent parvenir tant bien que mal à garder leur cap.
Pendant ce temps, Abéké et Rollan s'introduisent dans la forteresse de Zourtzi afin d'y trouver de l'aide. Mais le lieu, censé être imprenable, est assiégé par Zérif et ses troupes. Les enfants sont obligés de battre en retraite. Et l'un d'eux perd son animal totem dans la fuite...