Gary Schmidt

Gary Schmidt


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.


Recent Activities

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.

Favorite Books

  • 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

Additional Information


  • Vegetable gardening
  • Cutting and splitting wood
  • Collecting first editions of the Concord authors

Academic interests

  • 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


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