Janet
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.

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) |
Children’s

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?

Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Stolen Poodle

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Children’s

Book 2 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 from bestselling author-illustrator team Janet Tashjian and Laurie Keller, everyone’s favorite poet detective is back in action. When the school nurse’s equipment is stolen, Marty tracks it down. When special candy disappears from the store, Marty finds the culprit. And most importantly, when a friend’s poodle goes missing, Marty comes to the rescue. But can he still manage to make up rhymes while he solves new crimes?

The poet detective continues to make up rhymes and solve new crimes, in this second book in the illustrated Marty Frye, Private Eye series for young readers.

Sticker Girl Rules the School

Square Fish |
Middle Grade

Jump into Book 2 of this magical illustrated adventure series with Sticker Girl Martina Rivera!
Bonus feature: Sticker sheet featuring the magic stickers from Book 2 packaged with the book.

A Chipmunk Ballerina. A Treasure Chest Full of Jewels. A Zombie DJ. These are just a few of the many stickers ready to be peeled off Martina Rivera’s new sticker sheet and come to life in Book 2 of the Sticker Girl series, Sticker Girl Rules the School.

With a newfound confidence in hand, Martina is thinking about running for student council. Of course, her rambunctious sticker sidekick Craig—a talking cupcake—thinks this is a great idea and volunteers her to run for class president.

As Martina soon discovers, running a campaign is a piece of cake compared to organizing a class trip and managing a horde of unruly stickers determined to create chaos within her group of friends. A magical new adventure awaits with Sticker Girl!

Read all about it in Sticker Girl Rules the School by Janet Tashjian and remember to see where Martina’s journey began in the first book, Sticker Girl. This fun, illustrated series is perfect for middle-grade and reluctant readers.

Sticker Girl

Square Fish |
Middle Grade

Meet Sticker Girl Martina Rivera, a quiet kid with a remarkable secret: Her sticker collection comes to life! Adventures abound in this new middle-grade series by bestselling author Janet Tashjian. Stickers included!

Martina Rivera has a remarkable imagination. But with two extroverted brothers at home, she’s always struggled to make a big impression on those around her. Life soon takes an exciting turn when Martina discovers the secret power of her sticker collection: They come to life! Among her magical sticker friends are Craig, a rambunctious talking cupcake; Nora, a karaoke-singing ladybug; and Lucinda, a very sleepy fairy. Will her new sticker friends help her overcome her shyness? Or will they get Martina in lots of trouble? Or both?! It’s time to meet Sticker Girl!

Bonus feature: sticker sheet featuring all the magic stickers from Book 1 packaged with the book!

Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Missing Action Figure

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Children’s

Broken into three short stories of poetry and petty crime, this charming chapter book will have young readers in search of a rhyme in no time. Book 1 in the Marty Frye series!

Marty Frye is not your ordinary sleuth. Marty Frye is a poet detective–he makes up rhymes as he solves small crimes. When his friend Emma’s diary is missing, Marty is on the case. When Katie’s flour is nowhere to be found, Marty tracks it down. And when the brand-new Action Chuck figures mysteriously vanish from the toy store, Marty unravels the mystery. Will there ever be a case too hard for Marty to solve? Or a word too impossible to rhyme?

Broken into three short stories of poetry and petty crime, this charming chapter book will have young readers in search of a rhyme in no time.

My Life as a Ninja (The My Life series #6)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

Book 6 in the bestselling My Life series!

Derek Fallon has expanded his taste in cartoons to the world of manga and anime. Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek has fun learning about all the cool aspects of ninja culture. When someone starts vandalizing their school with graffiti of a mischievous troll-like figure, these ninjas-in-training are convinced they’ll be able to crack the case. But it turns out that being a ninja is a lot more work than they thought, and this adventure brings about new opportunities for Derek to embarrass himself. For once, can he be the hero that saves the day?

Einstein the Class Hamster (Einstein the Class Hamster Series #1)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Children’s

Janet and Jake Tashjian team up again in Einstein the Class Hamster, a hilarious new series starring the lovable walking encyclopedia, game show–obsessed Einstein.

Einstein the class hamster is from a long line of class hamsters. He knows lots of cool facts about science, art, and history—maybe even more than their sleepy teacher, Ms. Moreno. The class has a chance to compete in a trivia game show contest. But how can they get ready for the contest if Ms. Moreno keeps taking naps instead of teaching? More important, how can Einstein help the class prepare for the contest when the only kid who can hear him is Ned?

This title has Common Core connections.

My Life as a Gamer (The My Life series #5)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

Derek Fallon gets the chance of a lifetime—to participate in a gaming company focus group and to test out a new video game called “Arctic Ninja.” Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek thinks his gaming talents will be showcased. But he soon realizes that everyone has got him beat, including whiz kid El Cid. On top of that, school reading tests have begun and Derek feels doubly off his game. Isn’t there anything he’s good at?

Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show (Einstein the Class Hamster Series #2)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Children’s

In Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show, the companion to Janet and Jake Tashjian’s Einstein the Class Hamster, we follow Ms. Moreno’s class as they face off against the students of Crackerjack Elementary on the hit game show Kids Know Stuff. But when Principal Decker sneaks Twinkles the python into the studio, there’s widespread panic; the show’s host is afraid of snakes and walks off the set. Now is Einstein’s chance to shine! With the assistance of a sound engineer who can also hear Einstein, Ned and Marlon help Einstein get ready to host the show and save the day. But something goes wrong. Does Einstein have . . . STAGE FRIGHT? Oh no! Ned and Marlon must find a way to help Einstein and win the game show.

This title has Common Core connections.

The Gospel According to Larry (The Larry Series #1)

Square Fish |
Young Adult

After creating a controversial and hugely popular website, teenager Josh Swensen becomes trapped inside his brilliant creation and must find a way to remain anonymous.

I am lying on my bed doing my homework in Greek and Latin roots for Advanced English. ‘Ped’ for foot, ‘homo’ for man, ‘nym’ for name. I sit with the dictionary in front of me, coming up with as many words as I can to complete the assignment. Pedestrian, homicide, pseudonym . . . I have more than thirty of them. By accident—that’s always how these life-changing things happen—I connect two halves that don’t seem like a word until I look it up. ‘Pseudo,’ false; and ‘cide,’ to kill = pseudocide. To pretend to kill (yourself).

I stare at the word for a good long time. Homicide, suicide, genocide: these are words you can find in the newspaper every day. But pseudocide . . . now here was something different. My mind wanders from my homework to the blue cotton threads of my bedspread. Pseudocide. A way to start again as someone completely new, a way to burn the old self and try on a new one.

Josh Swensen isn’t your average teenager—when he observes America, he sees a powerhouse of consumerism and waste. He’s even tried to do something about it, with his controversial start-up website. But when Josh rises to messiah status of the internet world, he discovers that greed and superficiality are not easily escaped. Trapped inside his own creation, Josh feels his only way out is to stage his death and be free of his internet alter-ego, “Larry.” But this plan comes with danger, and soon Josh finds himself cut off from the world, with no one to turn to for help. In this suspenseful young adult novel, The Gospel According to Larry, Janet Tashjian has written a probing tour-de-force.

Larry and the Meaning of Life (The Larry Series #3)

Square Fish |
Young Adult

Josh Swensen (otherwise known as Larry) can’t seem to get off the couch. His usual overactive imagination and save-the-world mindset have all but vanished, and his best friend Beth is seriously worried.When Beth coaxes Josh into taking a walk at Walden Pond, Josh meets Gus Muldarian, a spiritual guru who convinces him to join his study group as a way to find deeper meaning in life. Josh thinks Gus is a joke. Still, feeling desperate and seeing no way out of his rut, he agrees to try it. What begins as a harmless Thoreau-esque search for meaning soon turns into Josh’s most chaotic and profound adventure yet.

After the success of The Gospel According to Larry and Vote for Larry, Janet Tashjian returns with yet another tour de force, Larry and the Meaning of Life—a book that explores important topics and will keep teens hooked right until the unexpected end.

My Life as a Joke (The My Life series #4)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

Derek Fallon discovers all the angst that comes with being twelve—he just wants to feel grown up, but life gets in the way with a series of mishaps that make him look like a baby. He passes out during a worm dissection in science class, falls flat on his face in gym class and gets a fat lip that causes him to lisp all day, and his plans for a monster-truck party turn into a bouncy house disaster. Why isn’t being in middle school as great as Derek imagined? Thankfully, with a little help from his friends—and, ironically, a Toys for Tots fundraiser—things seem like they could start shaping up at last.

My Life as a Joke by Janet and Jake Tashjian is a Christy Ottaviano Book

My Life as a Cartoonist (The My Life series #3)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

In Book Three of the popular “My Life . . .” series by Janet Tashjian, Derek Fallon’s plan to help out a new classmate backfires miserably

There’s a new kid in Derek Fallon’s class. His name is Umberto and he uses a wheelchair. Derek’s family is still fostering Frank the monkey, and Derek thinks it would be great to train Frank to assist Umberto. But Derek quickly realizes that Umberto is definitely not looking for any help. Derek soon becomes the butt of Umberto’s jokes. On top of that, Umberto starts stealing Derek’s cartoon ideas and claiming them as his own. How did Derek get himself into this mess, and how can he find a way out before he is the laughingstock of school? The answer may very well be his cartoon strip—SUPER FRANK!

My Life as a Cartoonist features illustrations by Janet Tashjian’s son, Jake Tashjian .

My Life as a Stuntboy (The My Life series #2)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

Derek Fallon gets the opportunity of a lifetime—to be a stunt boy in a major movie featuring a pretty teen starlet. After accepting the job he learns that he is the star’s stunt double and must wear a wig! His friends are never going to let him live this down. If that weren’t his only problem, his parents are threatening to give away his pet monkey, and his best friend just posted an embarrassing video of him on Youtube. Can life get any worse? Still the irrepressible Derek takes it all in stride and even manages to save the day.

My Life as a Book (The My Life series #1)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Middle Grade

Summer’s finally here, and Derek Fallon is looking forward to pelting the UPS truck with water balloons, climbing onto the garage roof, and conducting silly investigations. But when his parents decide to send him to Learning Camp, Derek’s dreams of fun come to an end. Ever since he’s been labeled a “reluctant reader,” his mom has pushed him to read “real” books-something other than his beloved Calvin & Hobbes.
As Derek forges unexpected friendships and uncovers a family secret involving himself (in diapers! no less), he realizes that adventures and surprises are around the corner, complete with curve balls. My Life as a Book is a 2011 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Vote for Larry (The Larry Series #2)

Square Fish |
Young Adult

After becoming what he so clearly and strongly resisted—a consumer—Josh Swensen finds himself in a paranoid state of no return. That is, until he’s kidnapped and coaxed into resurfacing as Larry, his old activist persona. Before long, Larry is back on the scene with much more on his mind than anti-consumerism—this time, he wants to affect change in government. And Larry isn’t taking a conventional path or starting small in local government. He just doesn’t do things halfway. But can he really become an eighteen-year-old president of the United States? Even if he can, is he sure he really wants to?

Tru Confessions

Square Fish |
Young Adult

Wish #1: To have my own television show.
Wish #2: For Eddie to be un-handicapped. (Eddie is my twin Brother.)
Wish #3: I don’t really want anything else this year (except maybe to go out with Billy Meier).

Do wishes really come true? When Trudy Walker sees the ad from the local cable station, she truly believes they do. The station is looking to air demo tapes of shows created by and for teens. This could be Tru’s big Break!
But lately Tru is distracted by Wish #2. She spends hours researching cures for Eddie online and filming his daily routine. If Tru becomes a star—if she just grows up—will she outgrow Eddie? Can she pursue her dreams and still be true to herself? Or is it all just wishful thinking

Fault Line: A Novel

Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks |
Young Adult

A hard-hitting novel that breaks open the gritty world of teen relationship abuse

Seventeen-year-old Becky Martin dreams of being a stand-up comic. She also craves the affection of a boyfriend. When attractive Kip, a rising star in the San Francisco comedy club scene, comes into Becky’s life, she thinks she’s found her soul mate. But she soon discovers that Kip has a dark side, and control and jealousy appear to be the price she must pay for his love. Will Becky find the strength and courage to get help?

In this powerful novel, Janet Tashjian tackles the difficult subject of teen relationship abuse from the viewpoints of both the victim and the perpetrator.

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.

Similar Authors

Jarrett J.
Bestselling Author/Illustrator
Jack
Middle Grade/Young Adult Author
Brandon T.
Middle Grade & Young Adult Novelist
Maria
Middle Grade Graphic Novelist
Abby
Children’s Author & Illustrator

Interested in hosting this author?
Send us a message and an A|U Agent will return to you ASAP!