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Gary D. Schmidt

Author of The Wednesday Wars

45+ Works 11,954 Members 600 Reviews 19 Favorited

About the Author

A much published and oft-translated author of children's books, Gary D. Schmidt has earned national acclaim. In 2011, his Okay for Now was a National Book Award finalist and was listed on the Notable. Children's Book lists of the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune; and the Boston Globe. Trouble show more (2008) was a Junior Library Guild Selection and appeared on the Kids Reading list for Oprah's Book Club. The Wednesday Wars (2007) and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy (2004) were both John Newbery Honor Books. Schmidt is also professor of English at Calvin College and the author and coeditor of several scholarly books on children's literature and children's book authors. He lives in Alto, Michigan. show less


Works by Gary D. Schmidt

The Wednesday Wars (2007) 4,075 copies
Okay for Now (2011) 1,930 copies
Orbiting Jupiter (2015) 855 copies
Trouble (2008) 551 copies
What Came from the Stars (2012) 276 copies
Pay Attention, Carter Jones (2019) 235 copies
Straw Into Gold (2001) 223 copies
First Boy (2005) 178 copies
Just Like That (2021) 141 copies
Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (1986) — Editor — 103 copies
The Labors of Hercules Beal (2023) 99 copies
Almost Time (2020) 73 copies
The Sin Eater (1996) 69 copies
Anson's Way (1999) 62 copies
A Long Road on a Short Day (2020) 59 copies
Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (2004) — Editor — 57 copies
Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (2005) — Editor — 37 copies
Spring: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (2006) — Editor — 33 copies
One Smart Sheep (2021) 19 copies
Robert McCloskey (1990) 6 copies
Hugh Lofting (1992) 5 copies
Robert Lawson (1997) 3 copies
Katherine Paterson (1994) 2 copies
Jupiter Rising (2024) 1 copy
Kanka Ciltli (2016) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) — Editor, some editions — 17,466 copies
Johnny Tremain: A Story of Boston in Revolt (1943) — Introduction, some editions — 9,201 copies
Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost (1955) — Editor — 1,960 copies
In God's Hands (2005) — Author, some editions — 108 copies
The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection (2018) — Contributor — 97 copies


1960s (160) abuse (103) art (93) Audubon (73) baseball (74) biography (80) brothers (60) chapter book (59) children's (106) children's literature (57) coming of age (229) death (92) family (256) fiction (525) friendship (228) historical (67) historical fiction (550) history (61) humor (86) Maine (132) middle grade (87) middle school (148) New York (81) Newbery (91) Newbery Honor (226) picture book (76) prejudice (60) racism (95) realistic fiction (238) religion (79) school (137) teachers (79) teen (64) to-read (361) Vietnam (120) Vietnam War (259) William Shakespeare (228) YA (260) young adult (282) young adult fiction (77)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Schmidt, Gary D.
Gordon College
Calvin College
Awards and honors
Newberry Honor Medal



Orbiting Jupiter in Book talk (July 2020)


There were definitely no tears, not at all.

But seriously, this book is the definition of bittersweet.
libraryofemma | 43 other reviews | Apr 18, 2024 |
Read this because my 5th grader was also reading it and it was a very sweet book...the word endearing comes to mind. Very funny parts, many parts broke my heart, and some parts made me reminiscent of my middle school years. Highly recommend for 5th grade and up. My son and I look forward to reading the next story that follows this, Okay for Now.
jbrownleo | 212 other reviews | Mar 27, 2024 |
A well written story highlighting a tragic incident in Maine around 1900. The story holds your interest throughout and is probably relatable as “the new kid “ struggling to fit in will always be a thing, though hopefully rarely with outcomes as bad as in this story. I think the descriptions of nature are the most effective parts of the book. Weaknesses include that I felt Lizzie was under utilized in the story and that the father’s character was hard to puzzle out. Did he change? Was he shamed? How did he come by his love for Darwin? Read it and see what you think… (more)
cspiwak | 69 other reviews | Mar 6, 2024 |
Where do I even begin with this one? To be honest, I didn’t have very high hopes going into the book—this has one of the worst covers I’ve seen in a good while, and that did nothing to make me excited about reading the story. But once I got into it, though, wow. What a book!

This book deals with some very hard themes: Racism, grief, and having to learn to forgive and work through things when difficulties come our way, to name a few. Henry’s family weren’t particularly close, so that was an interesting element to track as the book progressed. This also had a fascinating thread of history woven through (I’d love to know if it has any basis in real history or not!), as well as being a rich story of growth and healing.

It’s hard to know what to say and what not to because so much feels like spoilers. I will say that I found Chay’s story heart-wrenching, and I loved Henry’s friend (even though he had a sad backstory). This book is about friendship, learning to support each other, grieving, and so much more. It was realistic, heartbreaking, and hopeful. I loved it, and am looking forward to reading other Gary D. Schmidt books—after reading three of his books over the last year, he’s become one of my new favorite authors.
… (more)
EstherFilbrun | 31 other reviews | Mar 2, 2024 |



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