I write award-winning, science-focused nonfiction for children and young adults. Among my favorite subjects are animals with unique, often mind-boggling adaptations, and the scientists who discover and study them.


I’ve published more than 75 books for children and young adults, primarily for school and library markets.

My latest book features a collection of animals with ninja-worthy skills. Recently named a Junior Library Guild Selection, Nature’s Ninja will be released in late summer 2019.

Millbrook Press 2020

Other recent titles…

“Disguises are common in nature, but here, Johnson puts the spotlight on nine creatures who take mimicry or camouflage to a whole different level…From an assassin bug’s “Coat of Many Corpses” on, a truly astonishing look at some of nature’s most ingenious predatory or survival strategies.”

–starred review, Kirkus Reviews
Millbrook Press 2016
  • ALA Notable
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • 2016 Cybils Finalist

In nature, good defenses often mean the difference between surviving a predator’s attack and becoming its lunch. Meet creatures with some of the strangest defenses known to science, including hagfish that produce oodles of slippery slime and frogs that poke toe bones through their skin to create claws.

Millbrook Press 2014
  • Starred review, Kirkus Reviews
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Chicago Public Library Best Informational Books for Older Readers
  • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing

This award-winning book showcases some of nature’s most amazing zombie makers–from an ant-enslaving fungus to a cockroach-taming wasp–and their unfortunate zombified victims.

Millbrook Press 2013
  • ALSC Notable Children’s Book
  • Kirkus Best Children’s Books
  • New York Public Library Best Children’s Books
  • Junior Library Guild Selection and Top Pick
  • Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Drawing on discoveries made during the 10-year Census of Marine Life, Journey into the Deep takes readers from the ocean’s surface to its deepest trenches, introducing strange new life forms and the scientists who first discovered them.

Millbrook Press 2011
  • VOYA Nonfiction Honor List
  • 2011 Orbis Pictus Award
  • Benjamin Franklin Award
  • Chicago Public Library Best Book
  • Junior Library Guild Selection


In doing research for my books, I’ve been lucky to work firsthand with scientists worldwide, in environments ranging from remote polar regions to the deep sea.

Throughout my writing career, my focus has been to introduce readers to the wonders of life on earth and to the intrepid scientists who make discoveries that broaden our understanding of the natural world.

My books have received numerous honors and awards for excellence in science writing by organizations including the National Science Teachers Association, American Library Association, Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild, VOYA, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Scientific American, New York and Chicago Public Libraries, Science Books and Films, and more.


I love to engage with students and share details and experiences about my writing life. Research trips and publishing deadlines limit the number of in-person author visits  I can manage each year.  However, virtual visits (e.g., Skype) are easy to set up and very budget friendly.

For more information, contact me at rebecca@rebeccajohnsonbooks.com.