This week, we're talking with Varian Johnson, author of the new middle grade book The Parker Inheritance.
Varian talks about his inspiration for the book, the research it took to dig back into his own hometown’s past, and about social justice — how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.
About The Parker Inheritance:
The letter waits in a book, in a box, in an attic, in an old house in Lambert, South Carolina. It's waiting for Candice Miller. When Candice finds the letter, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, who left Lambert in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. So with the help of Brandon Jones, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter's promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?
- More about The Parker Inheritance
- More about Varian Johnson
- Read the essay Varian Johnson wrote for Nerdy Book Club about his experience with police
- Varian Johnson is the author of nine novels, including The Parker Inheritance, which received four starred reviews and was named a Junior Library Guild selection and a Spring 2018 Kids’ Indie Next List pick among other accolades. His middle grade caper novel, The Great Greene Heist, has been named to over twenty-five state reading and best-of lists. In addition, Varian has written for the Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts middle-grade fantasy series as well as novels and short stories for YA audiences.
Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is honored to now be a member of the faculty. Varian lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.
- Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
- Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
- Produced by Emily Morrow