Janet Tashjian

Children’s/Middle Grade/Young Adult Author
Middle Grade & Young Adult
Travels from: Los Angeles, CA

Our teachers quoted her for months after the school visit. — Tricia London; Middle High Library Director, Avon, MA

Janet Tashjian is a children’s, middle-grade and young adult novelist who’s been writing books for children for over two decades. Her first novel, Tru Confessions, was made into a critically acclaimed Disney TV movie starring Clara Bryant and Shia LaBeouf. The Gospel According to Larry series is a cult favorite and Fault Line is taught in many middle and high schools. Her bestselling My Life As a Book series is illustrated by her son, Jake. They also collaborated on the Einstein the Class Hamster series. Jake will sometimes accompany Janet for events.

Prepare an Invitation for:

My Life as a Billionaire (The My Life series #10)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

Janet and Jake Tashjian’s My Life as a Billionaire is Book 10 in the much-loved, illustrated My Life series.

Derek Fallon won the lottery and now gets to split over a billion dollars with a friend—the buying possibilities are endless—skateboards!, sneakers! video games!, a backyard skateboard park!!!—let the shopping begin. But Derek is soon challenged with new obstacles that he hadn’t thought of before. Having money to spend should make his life easier but it’s bringing with it lots of anxiety. It’s up to Derek to find a balance with his newfound wealth, and to consider the best ways to spend his money.

Christy Ottaviano Books

My Life as a Coder (The My Life series #9)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

My Life as a Coder is the ninth book in Janet Tashjian’s much-loved, diary fiction My Life series starring reluctant reader Derek Fallon, featuring illustrations by Jake Tashjian.

Derek Fallon receives an exciting new gift–a laptop! But there’s a catch: it has no Wi-Fi so he can’t use it for gaming. If he wants to play computer games, he’ll have to learn how to code them himself. Another unforgettable adventure awaits in Book 9 of the My Life series, this time involving tech and coding!

My Life as a Meme (The My Life series #8)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

Book 8 of the much-loved My Life series

Derek Fallon loves making funny memes, but when he finds himself the joke of a viral meme, he realizes how easy it is to offend others using this platform. Derek decides to confront the creator of the hurtful meme, all during the backdrop of a fire evacuation that has put him in the same place as his meme bully. Here is another thoughtful, funny, and timely adventure in the life of the ever-loving, ever-mischievous Derek Fallon.
Christy Ottaviano Books

Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Busted Video Games & Other Mysteries

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |

Book 3 in the Marty Frye young chapter book mystery series by bestselling author-illustrator team Janet Tashjian and Laurie Keller!

In this new collection of mysteries, everyone’s favorite poet detective is back in action. When a prankster tangles all the school jump ropes into knots and gym is canceled, Marty pins down the culprit. When five machines are mysteriously found broken at the arcade, Marty jumps on the case. And when Mom’s phone goes missing after a trip to the mall, Marty races against the clock to track it down before dinner. But can he still manage to make up rhymes while he solves new crimes?

Broken into three short stories with a generous amount of art on each page, this is an ideal stepping stone to longer chapter books. Young readers will be off in search of a rhyme in no time.

Sticker Girl and the Cupcake Challenge

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

Jump into Book 3 of this magical middle grade adventure series with Sticker Girl Martina Rivera!
Bonus feature: Sticker sheet featuring the magic stickers from Book 3 packaged with the book.

A gumball machine robot.
Two adorable (and creative) kittens.
An unruly ant farm.

These are just a few of the new stickers waiting to be peeled off of Martina Rivera’s new magical sticker sheet and SPRING TO LIFE. Student council is keeping Martina busy with a bake sale and cupcake-savvy Bev is excited to help out. The girls advertise their delicious creations and are thrilled to be invited to participate in a web show baking contest. Can Martina balance school and a ruthless cupcake competition, all while keeping her stickers in check? Or is this a recipe for disaster?

School Presentations

Janet comes to schools where the students have read at least one of her novels. She usually does a PowerPoint presentation that covers the different novels she’s written, how she comes up with ideas, the writing choices she makes in different books, the writing process itself, and of course, rewriting, all followed by a lively question and answer period. She does large and small groups, two or three presentations, often in the morning. Her author visits are very high energy, as well as interactive. She’s been doing them fo almost three decades, with many schools bringing her back year after year. Reluctant readers, visual learners, ESL students, and students with learning disabilities are always excited about her presentations too. All students will leave the sessions with a newfound passion for telling their own stories.

Using Cartoons to Learn Vocabulary Words”

Along with the series’ illustrator, Janet’s son Jake, Janet will discuss how Jake’s reading disability led the way for their My Life as a…YouTuber, Gamer, Meme, Stuntboy, Cartoonist, Billionaire series, which has helped students become better readers in twenty-six different languages. They talk about humor, collaborating, and most of all, how fun drawing vocabulary words can be! An interactive presentation that even the most reluctant readers will enjoy.

Ninja Editing and Rewriting

What gets cut away from a piece of writing is just as important as what gets left in. Using in-class writing, as well as work students bring in, students learn to be brave, courageous warriors wielding their pens like swords to edit out wasted words, vague images, and sluggish prose. With compassion, of course!

Finding Your Own Voice

This workshop emphasizes getting to students’ real voices in the worlds of both fiction and non-fiction. Through in-class writing with prompts, students learn the difference between authentic voices versus giving teachers what they want to hear. Even in fiction, reality is key! Builds great writing stamina too.

Creating Three-Dimensional Characters

Creating memorable characters takes more than throwing in a few funny quirks. This writing workshop lets students create interested incharacters from the ground up, then follow those characters through a basic three-act story structrure. A real crowd pleaser.

Details, Details, Details

Whether fiction or non-fiction, good writing evokes specific images that let readers picture the story or essay in their heads. Using fiction techniques in a workshop setting, students learn to use the five sense to create detailed worlds for not only their stories, but for essays and reports. Very tangible results.

Research - Friend or Foe?

Students learn how research can be their biggest ally in both fiction and non-fiction, enabling them to uncover details and specifics to make their writing come alive. Turn a report on Ancient China into an exciting thriller or “A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim” into a new reality show. Examples from my own novels illustrate the importance—and fun—of good, solid research.

Links and Resources

Videos featuring Janet

Ask Janet

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Academic Excellence Award in Journalism
BookSense Pick
Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Master List Nominee
Young Hoosier Award Nominee
DuPrey Fiction Award
Best Books for the Teen Age, New York Public Library
Best Children’s Book, Bank Street College of Education
Honor Book, Women’s National Book Association
Children’s Choice, CBC
Best Children’s Book citation, Bank Street College of Education
Children’s Choice selection, International Reading Association (IRA)
Junior Library Guild selection
Best of the Best, Chicago Public Library
Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice
Notable Trade Book in the Social Studies citation, National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council, 2002
Best Book for Young Adults, American Library Association, 2002

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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