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Johnnie
Middle Grade Graphic Novelist
#1 New York Times Best Seller
Travels from: Vancouver, BC

“This middle grade debut from Christmas details segregation’s generational impact through a warmhearted story of community, Black diasporic identity, and learning, all portrayed in kinetic contemporary art.” —Publishers Weekly

Johnnie Christmas is a #1 New York Times Best Selling graphic novelist. His 2022 middle grade graphic novel debut SWIM TEAM earned a spot on the National Book Awards longlist and a Harvey Awards nomination. He’s currently hard at work on two new middle-grade graphic novels for the HarperAlley imprint of HarperCollins. Writer of the Image Comics sci-fi series TARTARUS and CREMA, a haunted romance published by Comixology. His book FIREBUG received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and it earned him a Joe Shuster Outstanding Cartoonist nomination. He’s perhaps best known for co-creating the series ANGEL CATBIRD with celebrated writer Margaret Atwood and adapting William Gibson’s lost screenplay for ALIEN 3 into a critically acclaimed graphic novel of the same name. His credits also include co-creating the pre-apocalyptic thriller SHELTERED. A graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, earning a BFA in Communication Design/Illustration.

Johnnie makes Vancouver, BC his home.

Swim Team

HarperAlley |
Middle Grade Graphic Novel

“Combines wonderful characters and history to create a story that will make you want to dive right in!” JERRY CRAFT, author of the Newbery Medal–winning New Kid

A splashy, contemporary middle grade graphic novel from bestselling comics creator Johnnie Christmas!

Bree can’t wait for her first day at her new middle school, Enith Brigitha, home to the Mighty Manatees—until she’s stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101. The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she’s forced to dive headfirst into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta, an elderly occupant of her apartment building and former swim team captain, is willing to help.

With Etta’s training and a lot of hard work, Bree suddenly finds her swim-crazed community counting on her to turn the school’s failing team around. But that’s easier said than done, especially when their rival, the prestigious Holyoke Prep, has everything they need to leave the Mighty Manatees in their wake.

Can Bree defy the odds and guide her team to a state championship, or have the Manatees swum their last lap—for good?

Praise for SWIM TEAM:

Harvey Award Best Children’s or Young Adult Book Nominee

A revelation! You’ll root for Swim Team—the water is just right.” —JOHN JENNINGS, New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award–winning creator

Swim Team is a beautiful story about trying new things. Johnnie Christmas is a fantastic storyteller and artist.” —KAZU KIBUISHI, author of Amulet

“Full of charm, heart, and pulse-pounding races. A winner!” —GENE LUEN YANG, author of American Born Chinese and Dragon Hoops

Learn to Draw Characters in Motion

Johnnie demonstrates and talks through the process of illustrating characters.

Johnnie’s FAQ

Johnnie’s Press Kit

Honors, Awards & Recognition

2023 Coretta Scott King Award Honor Illustrator
National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Longlist
2022 Harvey Award for Best Children’s or Young Adult Book nominee
2023 Forest of Reading Silver Birch Fiction Award nominee
2022 Cybils Awards Finalist
2023 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Finalist for Older Children
Kirkus Reviews’ Best Middle Grade Books of 2022
CBC Books’ best Canadian books for kids and young adults of 2022
New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2022
Chicago Public Library’s Best Fiction for Older Readers of 2022
King County Library’s Best Children’s Books of 2022
ABA Kids Indie Next List selection for May/June
Amazon’s Best Books of May
Scripp’s National Spelling Bee’s Book Shelf’s Book of the Month
FOLD Kids Book of the Month
Bookopolis Book Pick
The Week Junior Book of the Week
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Starred reviews from:
★ Kirkus Reviews
★ Booklist
★ Publishers Weekly
★ School Library Journal

Media Kit

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

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