Authors beginning with: J
Alice James joined Usborne after working in primary schools for a while. She absolutely loves science, and over the years has lived with chimps, spent a month in the rainforest, studied Biology at Oxford University, and grown 200 carnivorous plants (not necessarily in that order). Whilst at Usborne Alice has worked on books on all kinds of science topics, from space to energy to the periodic table.
Alison Jay is well known for her children's books, including ABC: A Child's First Alphabet, Picture This..., and Welcome to the Zoo. Her book William and the Night Train was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and won the Transworld Children's Book Award.
Catherine Johnson, of Jamaican-Welsh heritage, grew up in north London. She has written over 20 novels for young readers. Her most recent historical novels were nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Sawbones won the Young Quills Award for best historical fiction for 12+, and The Curious Tale of The Lady Caraboo was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the YA Book Prize.
She has also written for TV including Rough Crossings for BBC2 with Simon Schama and popular continuing drama Holby City on BBC1. Her film work includes the award-winning Bullet Boy (2004), and her radio play, Fresh Berries, was shortlisted for the Prix Italia.
Catherine has been a Writer in Residence at Holloway Prison, a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the London Institute and has mentored writers for the British Council. She lives in Hastings.
Curtis Jobling is the author of the acclaimed Wereworld series of fantasy horror novels for Puffin US/UK, as well as the illustrator of numerous picture books. He is also the designer of Bafta-winning Bob the Builder and the creator of various popular animated children's series, including Raa Raa the Noisy Lion and Frankenstein's Cat. He lives in Cheshire with his family. You can find him on Twitter as @CurtisJobling and his website is curtisjobling.com.
Gareth P Jones is the author of The Thornthwaite Inheritance, which was shortlisted for over 11 local book awards and won seven. His first novel for Bloomsbury, The Dragon Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Cats, was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. He went on to write more Dragon Detective book,s as well as the interstellar crime adventure Space Crime Conspiracy. His latest series with Stripes is called Pet Defenders and involves pets fighting aliens. Gareth works as a TV producer and is a talented musician, creating songs for his books. He lives in London and has seven cousins, who he never sees when the moon is full!
J. M. Joseph grew up on the East Coast of America before crossing the ocean to Ireland, where he studied for four years, later settling in England. He now lives in Bristol with his wife, three children and two dogs. Fire Boy is his first work of fiction and was published in 2020 by Hachette Children’s Books. The second book in the series, Pants on Fire, will be published in July 2021.
Most of Jay’s working life has been spent teaching. His hobbies include reading, running and moaning about Arsenal.
Jaco Jacobs is the most popular and prolific children's book author in Afrikaans. He has published more than 140 books and over a million copies have been sold. Jaco is also a well-known columnist, blogger, freelance journalist and translator. He lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Lauren St John was born in Gatooma, Rhodesia, now Kadoma, Zimbabwe. Aged 11, she and her family moved to Rainbow's End farm and game reserve, the subject of her acclaimed memoir, and she grew up surrounded by animals, including eight horses, two warthogs and a pet giraffe. After nearly a decade as golf correspondent to The Sunday Times, followed by a sojourn in the US, riding the tour buses of alt. country stars like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks, she wrote the bestselling White Giraffe series. Dead Man's Cove, the first in her new mystery series about 11-year-old detective, Laura Marlin, won the 2011 Blue Peter Favourite Story and Book of the Year Awards.
Maureen Johnson was crowned the 2012 Queen of Teen in the UK-but, as it turns out, she is American. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during a massive snowstorm. After a little dalliance with astronomy (she had a glow in the dark star chart) and archaeology (she had a little shovel), Maureen declared her intention to become a writer at the age of eight or nine or so.
She is a New York Times bestselling author of ten YA novels (including Suite Scarlett, Scarlett Fever, 13 Little Blue Evenlopes, The Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath). She has also written many collaborative works, such as Let it Snow (with John Green and Lauren Myracle), and The Bane Chronicles (with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan). She writes frequently on the subject of Young Adult literature for many publications, and is well-known for her online presence on Twitter (@maureenjohnson). Maureen lives in New York, and online on Twitter (or at www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com). She's not giving that crown back.
As a picture book creator Oliver Jeffers has been the recipient of some of children's books highest accolades, including the Nestle Gold Medal for Lost and Found and the Irish Picture Book of the Year for The Incredible Book Eating Boy. Other award-winning titles include The Way Back Home, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway medal. An animated film of Oliver's book Lost and Found won a BAFTA for Best Animation in 2009. Oliver was born in Belfast but now lives in New York City.
Paul Jennings was born in the UK and emigrated to Australia with his parents as a child. He worked as a teacher, lecturer and speech therapist before becoming a full-time writer at the age of 46.
Jennings has written over 100 stories and has won every Australian children's choice book award. The top-rating TV series Round the Twist was based on a selection of his enormously popular short story collections such as Unseen! In 1995 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to children's literature and he was awarded the prestigious Dromkeen Medal in 2001.
Pete Johnson began work as a film critic for Radio One, then became a teacher. His experiences in the classroom inspired him to write his first book for children, and he still keeps contact with a panel of young readers to gain their viewpoint as he writes. He is the author of over forty books, including the bestselling How To Train Your Parents. Pete’s books have won various awards, including the Young Telegraph Award and the Brilliant Book Award, and have been translated into twenty-three languages. He lives in St Albans.
Rob Jones is an extremely funny young illustrator. In May 2015, his first book Bernard won The People's Book Prize. When he's not drawing, he makes toys and puppets (mostly characters from his books). He doesn't have a pet but he could have an imaginary one.
Robin Jarvis is a British Young-Adult fiction (YA) and children's novelist, who writes dark fantasy, suspense and supernatural thrillers.
His books for Young Adults have featured the inhabitants of a coastal town battling a monumental malevolence with the help of its last supernatural guardian (The Witching Legacy), a diminutive race of shape shifters pitched against the evil might of the faerie hordes (The Hagwood Trilogy), a sinister "world-switching" dystopian future, triggered by a sinister and hypnotic book (Dancing Jax), Norse Fates, Glastonbury crow-demons and a time travelling, wise-cracking teddy bear (The Wyrd Museum series), dark powers, a forgotten race and ancient evils on the North Yorkshire coast (The Whitby Witches trilogy), epic medieval adventure (The Oaken Throne) and science-fiction dramatising the "nefarious intrigue" within an alternate Tudor realm, peopled by personalities of the time, automata servants and animals known as Mechanicals and ruled by Queen Elizabeth I. (Deathscent).
Sharna Jackson is the Artistic Director of Site Gallery, Sheffield and a board member of Sheffield Doc/Fest, Upswing Aerial Arts and New Writing North. She has previously worked as a creative producer with the Tate, BAFTA, The Design Museum, The Royal Collection Trust, Museum of Childhood, V&A, Science Museum, Penguin amongst others. An advocate for diverse representation across children’s media, she is a member of BAFTA’s Children’s and Learning and New Talent committees and the Children’s Media Conference advisory board. High Rise Mystery (Knights Of), is her debut novel, the first in a mould-breaking crime series.
Simon James grew up in Bristol and Exeter. From an early age, he spent much of his time drawing and stapling stories into little books. After leaving school, Simon had many different jobs, while hoping to be a cartoonist. Later, he went to college to study graphic design and art history and returned to spending much of his time drawing and stapling stories into little books - and still does to this day.
Simon's first book, The Day Jake Vacuumed, was published in 1989. His other titles include: Dear Greenpeace, Sally and the Limpet, The Wild Woods, Baby Brains and The Birdwatchers. Leon and Bob won the Smarties Book prize Silver Award and was New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year.
Steve Jenkins lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife, Robin Page, and their three children. Besides writing and illustrating children's books, Steve and his wife run a graphic design studio.
Terry Jones is best known as a scriptwriter and member of the Monty Python team. He is a successful historian, performer, director and writer for film, radio and television. His previous children’s books have been enormously popular, including Bedtime Stories, The Knight and the Squire and The Saga of Erik the Viking.
The writer and artist Tove Jansson (1914–2001) is best known as the creator of the Moomin stories, which have been published in 35 languages.
Victoria Jamieson worked as a children's book designer before becoming a full-time illustrator. She has also worked as a portrait artist aboard a cruise ship, and has lived in Australia, Italy and Canada. She now lives with her family in Portland, Oregon, where she maintains a not-so-secret identity as Winnie the Pow, skater with the Rose City Rollers Roller Derby League.