Julia Johnson has read stories on radio and TV, narrated stories for audio-book companies, run drama workshops for young people and toured schools with Theatre-in-Education productions. A thirst for adventure brought Julia and her architect husband Brian to Dubai more than forty years ago, long before the skyscrapers and smart hotels and fancy shopping malls.
A desire to share her discoveries about the region’s fascinating past, ancient culture and traditions led to her first story, The Pearl Diver, now read and enjoyed in primary schools throughout the Gulf. Her fascination with pearl diving led to a darker, grittier book for older readers, The Pearl Diver’s Son. Both stories were recently chosen by the Ministry of Education for its “Reading for Pleasure” project and distributed to every government school in the UAE.
Julia has published more than twenty-five books, including The Leopard Boy, The Turtle Secret, which won the Sharjah International Book Fair Best International Children’s Book award 2014 and The Secret of the Cave, which won Best International Children’s Book award at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival 2019. Her latest story, Where Is Everyone, was written to encourage children to talk about their feelings and anxiety caused by Covid-19, and follows a group of puzzled animals during the 2020 pandemic trying to find out where all the humans have gone.