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Catherine Johnson (novelist) facts for kids

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Catherine Johnson FRSL (born 1962) is a British author and screenwriter. She has written several young adult novels and co-wrote the screenplay for the 2004 drama film Bullet Boy (directed by and co-written with Saul Dibb).

Background and career

Catherine Johnson was born in London, England, in 1962. Her father was Jamaican and her mother was Welsh. Johnson grew up in North London and attended Tetherdown Primary School. Later she studied film at St Martin's School of Art, before turning to writing.

Her first book, The Last Welsh Summer, was published by Welsh publisher Pont Books in 1993. She has since written and published 20 novels. In 1999 her book Landlocked was honoured as an International Youth Library White Raven book. Other accolades include the 2014 Young Quills Award for best historical fiction for over-12s for her 2013 book Sawbones, which was also shortlisted for the Rotherham Book Award, the Salford Children's Book Prize and the Hoo Kids Book Award. Johnson won the 2019 Little Rebels Award for Radical Children's Fiction for her 2018 book Freedom.

Johnson has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the London Institute, a Writer in Residence at Holloway Prison and a Reader in Residence at the Royal Festival Hall's Imagine Children's Literature Festival. In 2019 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

She is a contributor to the 2019 anthology New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby.

  • The Last Welsh Summer. Llandysul: Pont, 1993
  • Sophie's Ghost. Llandysul: Pont, 1994
  • Other Colours. London: Livewire, 1997
  • Landlocked. Llandysul: Pont, 1999
  • In Black and White. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000
  • Hero. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001
  • Stella. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002
  • Face Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005
  • Cuts Deep. London: Evans, 2007
  • The Dying Game. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007
  • A Nest of Vipers. London: Corgi, 2008
  • Arctic Hero. Edinburgh: Barrington Stoke, 2008
  • Con Men. Edinburgh: Barrington Stoke, 2009
  • The Munro Inheritance. London: Corgi, 2009
  • Nightmare Card. Edinburgh: Barrington Stoke, 2011
  • Brave New Girl. London: Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2011
  • Sawbones. London: Walker Books Ltd, 2013
  • The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo. London: Corgi Books, 2015
  • Blade and Bone, London: Walker Books, 2016
  • Freedom, Scholastic, 2018
  • Riding the Tempest, 2018
  • The race to the frozen north


  • 1999: IBBY White Raven Award - Landlocked
  • 1999: Wales Book of the Year Award (shortlist) - Landlocked
  • 2002: Hampshire Book Award (shortlist) - Stella
  • 2008: Leeds Book of the Year Award (shortlist) - A Nest of Vipers
  • 2008: Phoenix Book Award (shortlist) - A Nest of Vipers
  • 2009: Birmingham KS3 Chills Award (shortlist) - Arctic Hero
  • 2014: Young Quills Award for best historical fiction for over-12s – Sawbones
  • 2019: Little Rebels Award for Radical Children's Fiction — Freedom
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