Professor Schmidt received his undergraduate degree in English from Gordon College in 1979. Thereafter he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving an MA in English in 1981 and then a PhD in medieval literature in 1985. He joined the faculty in the Calvin College English department in 1985.
Professor Schmidt is a prolific author of children's literature and young adult fiction. His most recent novel, Orbiting Jupiter, was published in 2015 by Houghton Mifflin. He also contributed to the Star Wars anthology From A Certain Point of View: Star Wars (2017) through writing the only chapter from Yoda's point of view. He was interviewed by both WZZM and Calvin's Spark magazine about his involvement with the anthology.
He has received two John Newbery Honor Awards from the American Library Association, the first in 2005 for his novel Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and the second in 2008 for his novel Wednesday Wars. Professor Schimdt recently worked with Susan Felch to edit two volumes on religiously themed fiction called The Emmaus Readers. Professor Schmidt, originally from New England, regularly leads the New England Saints interim course in January.
- The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi
- The Aubrey series by Patrick O'Brian
- Bleak House by Charles Dickens
- Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
- Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
- Opening the Book that is Gary Schmidt, Spark, the Calvin University magazine
- The Making of The Wednesday Wars, Minds in the Making
- Old Style Writing, Mind in the Making
- Vegetable gardening
- Cutting and splitting wood
- Collecting first editions of the Concord authors
- Children's and adolescent literature
- New England cultural history
- old and middle English language and literature
- creative writing
- writing for children and young adults
- Katherine Paterson
Making Americans: Children's Literature from 1930 to 1960
by Gary Schmidt
Published: December 1, 2013
Practically Human: College Professors Speak from the Heart of Humanities Education
by Gary Schmidt, Matthew Walhout
Contributor(s): Lee Hardy, Will Katerberg, Karin Maag, Henry Luttikhuizen, Matthew Walhout and others.
Published: May 18, 2012
A Passionate Usefulness: The Life and Literary Labors of Hannah Adams
by Gary D. Schmidt
Published: June 4, 2004
In the news
Schmidt a finalist for National Book Award
Okay for Now, the latest young adult novel by Gary Schmidt, could win top honors from the National Book Association.
Schmidt is children's choice
Okay for Now, a novel by English professor Gary Schmidt has won a Children's Choice Book Award.
Two Calvin professors have recently released books intended for young readers.
YA author enjoys success and ‘sense of calm’
Lisa Gort McMann ’90 is the best-selling author of 22 books.
From Calvin to a galaxy far, far away
English prof writes story canon to the Star Wars universe
Catching and keeping up with Gary Schmidt
Prolific author and English professor gives update
Okay for Now
by Gary D. Schmidt, Calvin english professor
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