Young Adult Library Services Association, Chicago, IL, editor of Teen Read Week, 2005–08; Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, librarian.
Sarah's Secret Plan, Troll/ Whistlestop Associates (Mahwah, NJ), 1995.
To Pee or Not to PEE, Infinity Plus One (Ridgewood, NJ), 1998.
I Can Bowl!, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.
A Rocket Boy Grows Up, Zaner-Bloser (Columbus, OH), 2002.
Uniquely Washington, Heinemann Library (Chicago, IL), 2004.
Carmen Dives In, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2005.
Carmen's Crystal Ball, Wizards of the Coast (Renton, WA), 2006.
Hannah West in Deep Water, Sleuth/Puffin Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Hannah West in the Belltown Towers, Sleuth/Puffin Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Hannah West in the Center of the Universe, Sleuth/Puffin (New York, NY), 2007.
Possessing a prose style described by a Publishers Weekly contributor as "cheery," Linda Johns authors novels for young readers that feature realistic characters, settings, and predicaments. Her first children's book, Sarah's Secret Plan, follows its title character as she deals with the consequences of having parents who are constantly late. Sarah is late whenever her father drives her to school. She has also never experienced buying popcorn at the movie theatre because her parents constantly arrive after the film has already started. In order to solve her untimely dilemmas, Sarah secretly sets each clock within her house ten minutes ahead. While doing so temporarily solves the girl's tardiness problem, Sarah soon finds that there is an unforeseen and totally unwanted flip-side to her scheme. For instance, she is sent out into the rain the same ten minutes too early to wait for the school bus. She is also picked up from her friend's house ten minutes earlier than arranged, and when she misses the last ten minutes of her favorite television show, she is prompted to rethink her tardiness solution. A Publishers Weekly reviewer deemed Sarah's Secret Plan a "breezily written tale."
Johns is also the creator of the "Hannah West" mystery series, which focuses on an adopted twelve year old who lives with her artist mother in Johns' home city of Seattle. The "Hannah West" series includes Hannah West in Deep Water, Hannah West in the Belltown Towers, and Hannah West in the Center of the Universe. Each title follows Hannah and her free-spirited mother as they traverse the West Coast city, house-sitting for various people and uncovering mysteries that need to be solved. Living on a houseboat in Hannah West in Deep Water, Hannah finds that there is a mysterious offender dumping chemicals into the water, while Hannah West in the Belltown Towers follows the preteen as she unravels the clues to an art theft that is occurring in the apartment complex where she and her mom are cur-
rently house-sitting. Booklist critic Connie Fletcher, reviewing Hannah West in the Belltown Towers, noted that Johns' "great backstory" and "engaging heroine" are "a strong addition to the Sleuth imprint."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, May, 2006, Connie Fletcher, review of Hannah West in the Belltown Towers, p. 48.
Publishers Weekly, January 9, 1995, review of Sarah's Secret Plan, p. 62.
Young Adult Library Services Association Web Site,http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/ (September 11, 2006), "YALSA Announces Editor for Quarterly Journal."