Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson
Maureen Johnson
Born February 16, 1973 (1973-02-16) (age 38)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality United States
Period 2004 - present
Genres Young adult fiction

Maureen Johnson (b. February 16, 1973, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American author of young adult fiction. She has published eight young adult novels to date, including the Suite Scarlett series and The Last Little Blue Envelope. Johnson is also the founder of the political networking site YA for Obama.


Early life

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]


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] While book challenges are not uncommon in the United States, Johnson's response on her blog is notable for its immediacy and for its call for greater transparency in the school system's challenge process. To resolve the controversy, the school board did not officially ban the book but placed it in a restricted area of the high school's library.

In September 2008 Johnson launched the political social networking community YA for Obama.[3] The site was designed for those who wished to support 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama. 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 well-known YA authors such as Scott Westerfeld, Lauren Myracle, Cecily von Ziegesar and Megan McCafferty.

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.[4] 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.[5]

The Last Little Blue Envelope, the sequel to Johnson's 2005 novel, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, was published in April 2011.[6] Her next book, The Name of the Star, first in the Shades of London series, was published in September 2011.[7]

Johnson was also a scriptwriter for the Nintendo DS and PSP versions of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game.[8]

Personal life

Johnson lives in New York City and travels to the United Kingdom on a regular basis.

Johnson is part of an unofficial group of well-established YA authors in New York City, including Scott Westerfeld, John Green (who no longer lives in New York), Justine Larbalestier, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Lauren Myracle and others. She was an occasional participant and a "secret sister" on John and Hank Green's Brotherhood 2.0 project, and is responsible for starting the "in your pants" joke frequently used throughout the project. She briefly replaced John on the channel while he was away on paternity leave in 2010. She referred to herself as "the second prettiest Green brother." Additionally, Johnson has been told that she is the "perfect seatmate" while on a plane.

Charity Work

On February 23–24, 2011, Johnson led a Twitter campaign that raised over $15,000 for ShelterBox after the earthquake in New Zealand. The donations provided 16 boxes of aid sent to areas affected by natural disasters.[9] On March 11–13, Johnson raised more money for ShelterBox in response to the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan. This campaign raised $14,202, bringing the total amount of money raised by her and her followers to $29,404.[10] In May, in response to the tornadoes in Joplin, MO and elsewhere, she raised over $4,000 for ShelterBox and the American Red Cross.[11]


Standalone novels

  • The Key to the Golden Firebird (2005)
  • The Bermudez Triangle (2004)
  • Devilish (2006)
  • Girl at Sea (2007)

13 Little Blue Envelopes series

Suite Scarlett series

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

Shades of London series

  • The Name of the Star (September 29, 2011)[12]
  • The Madness Underneath (forthcoming)

Stories in Anthologies


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



External links

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