Catherine Johnson

Catherine Johnson is a screen-writer and best-selling author, born in London in 1962. Her dad was from Jamaica, and her mum was Welsh. Although she loved primary school, she found secondary a very difficult experience. However, she went on to study film at Central Saint Martins School of Art, and has written for both TV shows and films alike.

Catherine has written many books for young readers, and her novel, Sawbones, published by Walker Books, won the Young Quills Award for historical fiction and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Her most recent book The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo, was nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the YA Book Prize. The excellent Race to the Frozen North tells the story of the compelling Matt Henson, who was the first man to reach the North Pole but has been completely forgotten because of the colour of his skin.

Catherine was recently made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives by the sea in Hastings.

  • Little Rebel Award winner 2019
  • IBBY UK Honour List 2020 Nomination
  • Winner of the Young Quills Award
  • Carnegie Medal Nomination

Praise for Race to the Frozen North

Catherine Johnson is the master of historical fiction for children; her prose is warm and wise and utterly gripping

Author, Katherine Rundell

Did you know…

  • Catherine LOVES black history and loves writing the stories of people who have been airbrushed out of the past.

  • In her spare time, Catherine enjoys baking and knitting.

  • When Catherine get stuck with her writing she goes for a walk or for a swim - it helps!

Find out more on Catherine Johnson's website

Publishers' websites


Enjoy this playful creative writing activity with Catherine Johnson

Listen to Catherine read an excerpt from Race to the Frozen North

Catherine Johnson is performing!

Book tickets for your class to see Catherine Johnson perform:

Autumn performances 2024

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