English professor Gary Schmidt has added to his substantial collection with another young adult novel, Pay Attention, Carter Jones.

“In this book, I wanted to explore a model of a kind of stern, hard goodness—and that’s the Butler. He has a very high sense of what it means to be a mature and wise and responsible human being, and I was imagining what that might look like when it confronts a suburban kid who is sort of snarky and who has every reason to distrust the adults in his life,” said Schmidt. “It’s not a ‘good confronts evil’ book; it’s a ‘good confronts pain’ book, I suppose.”


A newcomer to the young adult novel writing corps is geography professor Jason VanHorn. Alabaster Dangermond and the Serpent’s Blade was published in 2018. The second in the series, Alabaster Dangermond and Astrid’s Jewel was released earlier this year.

“Anyone who knows me from the classroom has seen that I can’t help but be passionate and excited about geography,” said VanHorn. “I’ve been described as having an infectious excitement about what I teach. My writing and writing presentations are replete with geography, too. The new love I have for writing, because of the investment of [Calvin English professor] Susan Felch and the Writing Nook (an intensive one-week writing program for Calvin faculty and staff), has given me new spheres of influence I could have never dreamed possible.”