Rebecca L. Johnson

…author of books for children and young adults about amazing science and scientists


Latest books:

When Lunch Fights Back cover

Millbrook Press, 2014

In nature, good defenses can mean the difference between surviving a predator’s attack and becoming its lunch…

“Thrilling reading for budding biologists…”

–starred review, Kirkus Reviews

“From primitive eels that ooze slime to frogs with hidden weapons in their rear toes to lizards that squirt a stream of blood at predators, Rebecca L. Johnson’s newest book, When Lunch Fights Back, engages readers from the very first page to the very last one. …I couldn’t stop reading. The “I don’t want to stop reading” experience is definitely what I want students to have when reading nonfiction.”

– Alyson Beecher, KidLitFrenzy

“This title explodes with fascinating facts and action-packed photographs that convey how different creatures have evolved to escape predators….visually stimulating…”

–School Library Journal

Chicago Public Library Best Informational Books for Older Readers 2014

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2014


Chernobyl's Wild Kingdom cover

Twenty-First Century Books, 2014

After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear explosion in Ukraine, scientists believed radiation had created a vast and barren wasteland in which life could never resurface. But the Dead Zone, as the contaminated area is known, doesn’t look dead at all. In fact, wildlife seems to be thriving there. Yet the animals in the Zone are not quite what you’d expect. Every single one of them is radioactive…

“An important story clearly and engagingly told by an experienced science writer…”

–starred review, Kirkus Reviews

“…a high-interest look at a low point in world events.”  –Booklist

“Why has this not been done before? Johnson delivers a gorgeous look at the animal and plant life that has lived on in what should be a barren wasteland—the 1986 nuclear explosion site at Chernobyl in Ukraine….Johnson paints a picture so vivid, readers will probably light up a Geiger counter after reading it….The result is an informative, unsettling reference that captures the fallibility of humanity and the resilience of life.”

–starred review, VOYA

Named a VOYA “Perfect Ten” 2014