Varian Johnson is a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf, a project dedicated to raising awareness of African American children’s book creators.
The Brown Bookshelf showcases new and previously overlooked work by African American authors and illustrators, and in November of 2016 released A Declaration in Support of Children, signed by hundreds of children’s book creators and affirming the power of literature to “plant seeds of empathy, fairness and empowerment.”
The author of several novels for middle grade and young adult readers, Varian earned his MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults in 2009. His debut middle-grade novel, The Great Greene Heist (Arthur A. Levine, 2014) was an ALA Notable Children’s Book selection, appeared on numerous Best of the Year lists and was nominated for several state book awards throughout the US. His newest middle-grade mystery, The Parker Inheritance, will be published next year.