Books by Angela Johnson

ALL DIFFERENT NOW by Angela Johnson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 6, 2014

"The richness of this book's words and images will inspire readers to learn more about this holiday that never should have been necessary…but was. (Web resources, glossary) (Picture book. 5-9)"
Johnson tells a tale of Juneteenth in Texas through the eyes of a child, while Lewis' earth-toned watercolor illustrations capture the quotidian aspects of the way of life emancipation ended. Read full book review >
LOTTIE PARIS AND THE BEST PLACE by Angela Johnson
Released: March 5, 2013

"Bound to be a favorite for storytimes, classroom sharing and pre-library visits. After all, libraries are the best place. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Librarians get out your order pads; this picture-book homage to libraries is a charmer. Read full book review >
A CERTAIN OCTOBER by Angela Johnson
Released: Aug. 28, 2012

"A wonderfully crafted and deeply satisfying novel, full of detail that provides texture and meaning. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Scotty's world is turned upside down when an accident leaves her brother severely injured, an acquaintance dead and Scotty feeling responsible. Read full book review >
LOTTIE PARIS LIVES HERE by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Aug. 30, 2011

Sure, she lives here, but she also plays, pretends and occasionally gets in trouble in this lively story about a young African-American girl and her Papa Pete. 

Textured, colorful gouache illustrations portray exuberant Lottie with stylized proportions: thin, gangly arms and legs topped by a veritable explosion of brown hair. Read full book review >

THE DAY RAY GOT AWAY by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Sept. 7, 2010

A huge yellow parade balloon manages to slip his tether and elude his handlers. Read full book review >
SWEET, HEREAFTER by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 5, 2010

Sweet never really fit in at home or at school, but she has satisfying friends and connections. Read full book review >

WIND FLYERS by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 9, 2007

In spare, lyrical prose and vibrant acrylic paintings, three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winner Johnson and acclaimed illustrator Long introduce readers to the WWII Tuskegee airmen, the African-American squadron that "distinguished themselves as the only escort group that never lost a single bomber to enemy fire." Read full book review >

LILY BROWN’S PAINTINGS by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

Lewis's dynamic brush combines two art styles to show the interaction between a girl's real life and her imaginative life inside her paintings. Read full book review >

A SWEET SMELL OF ROSES by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2005

Two children take part in a freedom march in the days of the civil-rights struggle in the south. Read full book review >

BIRD by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Bird confronts friendship, family, and human limitations in this poignant tale. Read full book review >

JUST LIKE JOSH GIBSON by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

Peck's strong, evocative pastels with their vintage look are just right for Johnson's home run of a story. Read full book review >

VIOLET’S MUSIC by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

Children marching to the beat of different drummers may take comfort from this tale of a born musician who grows up playing alone, but never doubts that she will find kindred spirits one day. Read full book review >

A COOL MOONLIGHT by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

The innovative Johnson has crafted an original story in both content and writing style. Read full book review >

I DREAM OF TRAINS by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

In this poetic reverie, a sharecropper's son dreams of riding with Casey Jones and his fireman Sim Webb. Read full book review >

THE FIRST PART LAST by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2003

"The rules: If she hollers, she is mine. Read full book review >

RUNNING BACK TO LUDIE by Angela Johnson
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

A series of spare, linked poems tell the story of a teenage girl's fleeting reunion with the mother who left her many years ago. Read full book review >

THOSE BUILDING MEN by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

Vague text and anemic pictures make this at best a half-hearted tribute to the construction workers of the last century or so. Read full book review >

WHEN MULES FLEW ON MAGNOLIA STREET by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 2000

Following up Maniac Monkeys on Magnolia Street (1998), Johnson rejoins Charlie and her friends, Lump and Billy, for more neighborhood comings, goings, and hijinks. Read full book review >

DOWN THE WINDING ROAD by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2000

A poignant story about enduring bonds adds a special touch to a common family experience. Read full book review >

THE WEDDING by Angela Johnson
Released: March 1, 1999

An older sister's wedding makes a girl feel lonely at first, but she is ultimately caught up in the bonds created by this big family gathering. Read full book review >

MANIAC MONKEYS ON MAGNOLIA STREET by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

This chapter book finds Charlene, or Charlie, getting accustomed to a move to Magnolia Street. Read full book review >

THE OTHER SIDE by Angela Johnson
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

Johnson (Gone From Home, p. 1036, etc.) offers a collection of poems that comprise a single, intricate story of the town of Shorter, Alabama, a place she "loved and hated." Read full book review >

HEAVEN by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

After spending most of her life in bucolic Heaven, Ohio, a teenager finds her certainties come tumbling down. Read full book review >

GONE FROM HOME by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

With her usual sensitivity to adolescent emotional landscapes fully evident in these 12 (11 new) short stories, Johnson (Humming Whispers, 1995, etc.) explores the notion of giving or receiving help in time of need. Read full book review >

SONGS OF FAITH by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1998

A young African-American girl struggles to reconcile her parents' divorce and the subsequent fragmentation of her family in this eloquent and life-affirming novel from Johnson (Humming Whispers, 1995, etc.). The town of Harvey, Ohio, in the summer of 1975 isn't much of a playground for the narrator, 13-year-old Doreen, her younger brother, Robert, and their mother, Mama Dot: Plant closings and a stagnant economy have left it a desperate, depressed version of its former, thriving self. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

Steptoe (son of the late John Steptoe) creates art for 13 poems that honor fathers, e.g., Sonia Sanchez's ``I have looked into/my father's eyes and seen an/african sunset.'' Among others who have contributed to the volume are Folami Abiade (with the title poem), Lenard D. Moore, Dakari Hru, and Dinah Johnson. Read full book review >

DADDY CALLS ME MAN by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

This story from Johnson (The Rolling Store, p. 300, etc.) consists of four short verses (``Big Shoes,'' ``Spin,'' ``Noah's Moon,'' and ``Baby Sister'') about the happy home life of a young African-American boy. Read full book review >

THE ROLLING STORE by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 1997

Johnson (The Aunt in Our House, 1996, etc.) has an unnamed African-American girl recall her grandfather's words about the ``rolling store'' (an itinerant peddler's truck) that periodically visited a country crossroads when her grandfather was young. Read full book review >

THE AUNT IN OUR HOUSE by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 1996

A restrained, somewhat sorrowful work from two frequent collaborators (The Leaving Morning, 1992, etc.). Read full book review >

HUMMING WHISPERS by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1995

The slow and melancholy stream of consciousness of Sophy, 14, whose life and thoughts revolve around her older sister, Nicole. The orphaned sisters live with their aunt in a poor part of Cleveland—a tight-knit African-American family, whose emotional burdens are shared by Nicole's devoted boyfriend and his neighbor, a Holocaust survivor. Read full book review >

SHOES LIKE MISS ALICE'S by Angela Johnson
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1995

A new sitter charms away her young charge's anxiety in this brief, unpersuasive problem-solver from Johnson (Toning the Sweep, 1993, etc.). As soon as Sara waves goodbye to her mother, Miss Alice puts on her blue ``dancing shoes'' and turns on the radio. Read full book review >

TONING THE SWEEP by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1993

Johnson's spare, beautifully written first novel—a thematic extension of Tell Me a Story, Mama (1989)—portrays a crucial turning point for African-American women from three generations. Read full book review >

JULIUS by Angela Johnson
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1993

The author of When I Am Old With You (1990) and other celebrations of loving companionship teams up with the mad colorist of When Cats Dream (1992) for a tale of a black family that finds itself saddled with a huge, exuberant pet. Read full book review >

THE LEAVING MORNING by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

As in Tell Me a Story, Mama (1989) and other books this team has created, the importance of family gets thematic pride of place here. Read full book review >

ONE OF THREE by Angela Johnson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"(Picture book. 3-8)

"

``I'm one of the three that looks just like our mama, smiles just like our daddy, and holds hands with my sisters....'' In another warm evocation of a loving black family, the author of Tell Me a Story, Mama (1989) depicts a little girl whose older sisters often include her—but not always; then it can be ``just Mama, Daddy, and me, it's a different kind of three, and that's fine too....'' Soman's watercolors glow with good humor and affection. Read full book review >


Together, a new author and a new illustrator make an outstanding debut. Read full book review >