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Varian Johnson Books In Order

Publication Order of Jackson Greene Books

The Great Greene Heist (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
To Catch a Cheat (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of American Girl: Gabriela Books

Time for Change (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Red Polka Dot in a World Full of Plaid (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
My Life as a Rhombus (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Saving Maddie (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Parker Inheritance (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

An American writer, the author Varian Johnson is a novelist currently largely working within the field of young adult literature, as he has become a highly prolific figure within the industry, with a variety of different titles under his belt and a clear advocate for both him and his craft. Clearly holding a gift for the form, he has an ability for creating characters that resonate with the reader, allowing them to immerse themselves in the story-lines with far more fluidity than that of other writers. With a definite ability for writing as well, he manages to craft situations and protagonists that relate on a universal level, as his books are translated all over the globe. Understanding the form to an in-depth degree, he has been able to master the style in a manner unlike any other currently working today, as he has become an inspiration for both his many peers and contemporaries alike, with many aspiring writers looking up to him and what he has managed to achieve over the course of his writing career. Setting the standard for generations to come, he also has a warm wit to his work that ensures it read on a very down-to-earth and human level that is easy to relate to. Whether it be fantasy or writing about heists, his stories are always fun and engaging, giving his readers something that’s both compelling and entertaining in equal measure.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1977, the author to be Varian Johnson was born and raised within the American state of Florence in South Carolina, where he grew up with a love for the written word. Growing up alongside his twin brother as well as his younger sister, he was always looking for inspiration for new ideas, as he continually put his experiences back into his work. Enjoying English classes at school, he always had a gift for writing, as he would always be putting his stories into practice, constantly creating new ones whenever possible.

An academically gifted child, he would excel in a number of other subjects as well, such as science and math, as well as that of English. Going on to attend the University of Oklahoma, he would go on to gain a degree in the subject of Civil Engineering, all the while concentrating on his fiction as well. This could be seen in his writing of ‘A Red Polka Dot in a World Full of Plaid’, something which would also go on to become his first published piece of shorter fiction.

Going on to become an engineer, he would use the time to go and study at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, whereby he would graduate with an MFA. This was for ‘Writing for Children and Young Adults’, something which would serve him and his writing career well in the many following years to come. Over time he would go on to concentrate more and more on writing, as he would finally go on to achieve his dream of fully becoming a full-time writer and novelist of children’s fiction.

Still writing to this very day, he continues to write putting out work at a regular and ever consistent pace, all whilst continuing to work as an engineer as well whereby he builds bridges in the state of Texas. Currently living in Austin, Texas, with his wife Crystal he manages to combine both his work engineering along with his working as a full-time writer. He’s not showing signs of stopping anytime soon either, with a lot more books set to be released in the near future, as well as continuing to work as an engineer too.

Writing Career

Bringing out his first book in 2005, Varian Johnson would make his initial debut onto the literary scene with the title ‘ A Red Polka Dot in a World Full of Plaid’. Whilst this was to be a stand-alone title, he would go on to create a series with his ‘Great Greene Heist’ novels, along with his contributions to other franchises, such as that of ‘Spirit Animals’. This would then ensure that he was to become a household name within the world of children’s literature and for readers and young adult’s worldwide.

Organizing ‘The Brown Bookshelf’, with him being a founding member, he is also a proponent of raising awareness for black voices within the world of young adult literature. As an African-American he is a key figure within his field, offering a unique and idiosyncratic perspective on the genre. This is something that will continue as his career grows from strength-to-strength.

The Return

Brought out through the ‘Scholastic Incorporated’ publishing label in 2016, this was first released on the 26th of April to much acclaim, it being the third title in the ongoing ‘Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts’ series of novels. Following on from the previous novels it manages to continue in much the same vein as before, carrying on the arcs of the many characters that have been followed throughout the series. Along with further developing them and their world, it also manages to establish new elements with the world, building it even further and giving it a lot more scope in the process.

Rollan, Abeke, Conor and Meilin are the four young heroes tasked with preventing an an ancient evil from consuming the world. This is what threatens the sacred bond between humans and animals too. It is also these bonds that could potentially save them and light the path ahead. Can they save the world? What will it cost them? Will the come together for the return?

My Life as a Rhombus

This was the second title to come from Varian Johnson as an author, as it managed to deliver more quality after his initial debut with ‘Red Polka Dot in a World Full of Plaid’. Initially released through the ‘Flux’ publishing house in 2007, it was to be a stand-alone title, and one that was a 2009 selection for the ‘New York Public Library’. It has also allowed him to further establish his name and his brand, something which is largely due to its well drawn characters that bring the reader in to the narrative and immersing them in the world.

For Rhonda Lee getting good grades at school means living a life free from boys. This then leads her into reluctantly tutoring Sarah Gamble, the popular girl who apparently coasts by on money and popularity. Things aren’t all they initially seem, though, as it would appear that Sarah has a secret pregnancy on the way. Will they overcome their differences and open up to one another? Can they also overcome the trials of high-school? What will happen to Rhonda as she asks the question ‘what will become of my life as a rhombus’?

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