Maureen Johnson

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Maureen Johnson
Born (1973-02-16) February 16, 1973 (age 45)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality United States
Period 2004–present
Genre Young adult fiction,

Maureen Johnson (born February 16, 1973, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American author of young adult fiction. She has published ten young adult novels to date, including the Shades of London series and the Suite Scarlett series.

Early life[edit]

Maureen Johnson is a graduate of the University of Delaware. Prior to that she attended an all-girl Catholic preparatory high school. In the short period between her undergraduate and graduate careers, Johnson worked in Philadelphia, London, and New York City. She was the literary manager of a Philadelphia theater company, a waitress in a theme restaurant, a secretary, a bartender in Piccadilly, and an occasional performer. She studied both writing and theatrical dramaturgy at Columbia University, where she received her MFA in Writing.[1]


Johnson, at right, at the "Justice is Served" panel discussion at the 2012 New York Comic Con. Sharing the table with her are (l-r): Amber Benson, Rachel Caine and Morgan Rhodes.

Maureen Johnson's first novel, The Key to the Golden Firebird, was published in 2004. It was followed by The Bermudez Triangle and 13 Little Blue Envelopes in 2005, Devilish in 2006, and Girl at Sea in 2007.

In June 2007, Johnson's book The Bermudez Triangle was challenged by the parent of a student in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.[2] Johnson responded on her website by calling for greater transparency in the school system's challenge process.[3] To resolve the controversy, the school board did not remove the book but placed it in a restricted area of the high school's library.[dead link][4]

Suite Scarlett, the first book in the Suite Scarlett series, was published by Scholastic in May 2008. The second book, Scarlett Fever, was released on February 1, 2010.[5] On November 27, 2009, Johnson became a New York Times Best Selling author when Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, a book that she co-wrote with John Green and Lauren Myracle in 2008, reached number ten on the Children's Paperback list.[6]

The Last Little Blue Envelope, the sequel to Johnson's 2005 novel, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, was published in April 2011.[7] The first work in her new Shades of London series, The Name of the Star, was published in September 2011.[8] The sequel to The Name of the Star, The Madness Underneath, was published in February 2013.[9] She is currently at work on the next book in the Shades of London series, with work on another Martin family novel to follow thereafter.

In May 2013, Johnson's collaboration with YA author Cassandra Clare The Runaway Queen was published, one of ten stand-alone titles in an e-only short story series entitled The Bane Chronicles. The series features Clare's warlock character Magnus Bane from her series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. Johnson's subsequent titles include The Rise and Fall of the Hotel Dumort (August 2013), No Immortal Can Keep a Secret (October 2013), and The Last Stand of the New York Institute (January 2014, co-written with Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan). The collection will be compiled into a single ebook and released in September 2014.[10]

Johnson was also a scriptwriter for the Nintendo DS and PSP versions of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game.[11]

Since 2011, Johnson has been the coordinator of LeakyCon Lit programming.

In 2016, Johnson began cohosting the podcast/coping strategy Says Who[12] alongside former Punk Planet editor Dan Sinker. Originally conceived as an eight-week project wherein Johnson and Sinker would talk with political experts about how they were surviving the 2016 Presidential Election, the podcast has since switched to a bimonthly format wherein the hosts discuss the news and how they are coping.

Personal life[edit]

Johnson lives in New York City.[13]

In September 2008 Johnson launched the political social networking community YA to support Barack Obama's candidacy for president.[14] It is hosted by Ning and includes archives of discussion forums, user-generated content such as videos and photos, and daily blog updates written by YA authors such as Scott Westerfeld, Lauren Myracle, Cecily von Ziegesar and Megan McCafferty.[citation needed] She is also known as John Green's secret sister on VlogBrothers.[15]


Standalone novels[edit]

13 Little Blue Envelopes series[edit]

Suite Scarlett series[edit]

  • Suite Scarlett (2008)*
  • Scarlett Fever (2010)*

Shades of London series[edit]

  • The Name of the Star (September 29, 2011)[16]
  • The Madness Underneath (February 26, 2013)[17]
  • The Boy in the Smoke (World Book Day novella, February 24, 2014)
  • The Shadow Cabinet (February 10, 2015)[18]

Truly Devious series[edit]

  • Truly Devious (January 16, 2018)[19]
  • The Vanishing Stair (2019)[20]

The Bane Chronicles (with Cassandra Clare)[edit]

  • The Runaway Queen (May 2013)
  • The Rise of the Hotel Dumort (August 2013)
  • The Fall of the Hotel Dumort (October 2013)
  • The Last Stand of the New York Institute (December 2013)
  • The Bane Chronicles (compiled print edition - November 2014)

Stories in anthologies[edit]


  • "Hot Sex and Horrific Parenting in His Dark Materials" (published in The World of the Golden Compass, 2007)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes - ALA Teens' Top Ten 2006[21]
  • Devilish - 2007 Andre Norton Award nomination[22]
  • "Most Interesting Twitter User to Follow" Mashable Open Web Awards 2009[23]
  • The Name of the Star - YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults[24]


  1. ^ Official Bio Archived March 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Bartlesville newspaper article about The Bermudez Triangle
  3. ^ Johnson, Maureen. "IM IN UR SKOOL BANIN UR BOOK" Archived March 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Maureen Johnson Books. Retrieved November 6, 2012
  4. ^ Jessica Miller (August 9, 2007). "Not Quite Banned Book up for removal remains in Mid-High library on reserve shelf". Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  5. ^ Motoko Rich (2010-01-22). "With Kindle, the Best Sellers Don't Need to Sell". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  6. ^ New York Times Bestselling Children's Books, November 27, 2009
  7. ^ The Last Little Blue Envelope Archived May 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Would You Like to See the Cover of The Name of the Star? Archived March 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Maureen Johnson. "Pre-order The Madness Underneath, Get a Signed Bookplate and a Gift". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  10. ^ Clare, Cassandra. "The Bane Chronicles". Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "maureenjohnson". Twitter. Retrieved November 6, 2012
  14. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (September 24, 2008). "Authors of young adult novels support Obama". the Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ Corbett, Sue (25 February 2013). "Maureen Johnson: The Queen of Teen". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 30 May 2016. 
  16. ^ Maureen Johnson (2011-03-04). "Would you like to see the cover of The Name of the Star?". Maureen Johnson. Archived from the original on 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  17. ^ Maureen Johnson. "Pre-order The Madness Underneath, Get a Signed Bookplate and a Gift". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-25. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^

External links[edit]