Angela Johnson is a children's book and poetry author with over 40 books to her credit since beginning her writing career in 1989. Her books for young children are simple yet poetic stories about African American families, friendships, and common childhood experiences such as moving. Her books for older children also revolve around similar themes but also explore deeper issues such as teen pregnancy and divorce. In all, the characters are realistic and the treatment sensitive, positive, and hopeful.
Johnson was born on June 18, 1961, in Tuskegee, Alabama. She grew up in Windham, Ohio with her brother and parents. Like many successful people, she can recall one special teacher who read to her, thus sparking a love of books that would blossom into a love of writing. She wrote throughout her childhood. Although she attended Kent State University, she left before earning her degree to focus on her writing. During this time, she worked as a nanny and was employed by author Cynthia Rylant, who reviewed Johnson’s work and forwarded it to her publisher. Johnson credits this connection with giving her the “break” that launched her career. WOSU Presents Ohioana Authors | Angela Johnson
Angela Johnson has won awards for both her picture books and for her novels. She has won the Coretta Scott King award for three works: in 1999, for Heaven, in 1994 for Toning the Sweep, and in 2004 for The First Part Last. Angela JohnsonWhen I Am Old With You was an Honor Book in 1990 as well as an American Library Association. The Other Side, The Shorter Poems was also selected as a Coretta Scott King Honor book in 1998. Other honors include the "Best Books" pick by School Library Journal for Toning the Sweep and the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature for The First Part Last.