Best Selling Books by Gary D Schmidt

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Just Like That

release date: Jan 05, 2021
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Just Like That
In this poignant, perceptive, witty novel, Gary D. Schmidt brings authenticity and emotion to multiple plot strands, weaving in themes of grief, loss, redemption, achievement, and love. Following the death of her closest friend in summer 1968, Meryl Lee Kowalski goes off to St. Elene's Preparatory Academy for Girls, where she struggles to navigate the venerable boarding school's traditions and a social structure heavily weighted toward students from wealthy backgrounds. In a parallel story, Matt Coffin has wound up on the Maine coast near St. Elene's with a pillowcase full of money lifted from the leader of a criminal gang, fearing the gang's relentless, destructive pursuit. Both young people gradually dispel their loneliness, finding a way to be hopeful and also finding each other.

Making Americans

release date: Dec 01, 2013
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Making Americans
American children need books that draw on their own history and circumstances, not just the classic European fairy tales. They need books that enlist them in the great democratic experiment that is the United States. These were the beliefs of many of the authors, illustrators, editors, librarians, and teachers who expanded and transformed children’s book publishing between the 1930s and the 1960s. Although some later critics have argued that the books published in this era offered a vision of a safe, secure, simple world without injustice or unhappy endings, Gary D. Schmidt shows that the progressive political agenda shared by many Americans who wrote, illustrated, published, and taught children’s books had a powerful effect. Authors like James Daugherty, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lois Lenski, Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire, Virginia Lee Burton, Robert McCloskey, and many others addressed directly and indirectly the major social issues of a turbulent time: racism, immigration and assimilation, sexism, poverty, the Great Depression, World War II, the atomic bomb, and the threat of a global cold war. The central concern that many children’s book authors and illustrators wrestled with was the meaning of America and democracy itself, especially the tension between individual freedoms and community ties. That process produced a flood of books focused on the American experience and intent on defining it in terms of progress toward inclusivity and social justice. Again and again, children’s books addressed racial discrimination and segregation, gender roles, class differences, the fate of Native Americans, immigration and assimilation, war, and the role of the United States in the world. Fiction and nonfiction for children urged them to see these issues as theirs to understand, and in some ways, theirs to resolve. Making Americans is a study of a time when the authors and illustrators of children’s books consciously set their eyes on national and international sights, with the hope of bringing the next generation into a sense of full citizenship.

Straw into Gold

release date: Apr 20, 2009
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Straw into Gold
What fills a hand fuller than a skein of gold? By order of the king, two boys, Tousle and Innes, must find the answer to this puzzling riddle within seven days or be killed. A former nursemaid to the queen’s child tells the boys that the banished queen may have the answer they seek. Danger presents itself at every turn, for the boys are pursued by the Great Barons, who are secretly plotting against the king. Another pursuer, the greedy King’s Grip, reveals a strange story of a little man who once spun straw into gold of incredible beauty for the queen but then disappeared with her firstborn son. Tousle realizes that the man he calls Da is the strange little man and, even more amazing, that he himself may be the lost prince. Or could it be Innes, who although cruelly blinded can hear the music of the dawn? This skillful blend of fantasy and adventure reveals what might have happened before the queen makes her third and last guess and the story of Rumpelstiltskin—as we know it—ends.

What Came from the Stars

release date: Jan 01, 2012
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What Came from the Stars
In a desperate attempt for survival, a peaceful civilization on a faraway planet besieged by a dark lord sends its most precious gift across the cosmos into the lunchbox of sixth-grader Tommy Pepper of Plymouth, Massachusetts. 75,000 first printing.

Almost Time

release date: Jan 14, 2020
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Almost Time
Ethan eagerly anticipates making maple syrup with his father, but it will not be time until the days are warmer, the nights shorter, and Ethan's loose tooth falls out.

A Long Road on a Short Day

release date: Nov 10, 2020
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A Long Road on a Short Day
A tender story of a father-son adventure with themes of community and kindness, in short chapters with vivid full-color illustrations, by bestseller and Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt and acclaimed artist Eugene Yelchin. In a story of perseverance and determination told with warmth and sparkling with humor, a short winter day finds Samuel and Papa walking a long road on Samuel's first trading trip. Meeting strangers, practicing good manners, and proud to be in Papa's company, Samuel watches and learns as Papa trades up from almost nothing to the milk cow Mama is yearning for. Simple text combines with vivid illustrations for a satisfying tale that will resonate with readers who enjoy an adventure with dad.

The Wednesday Wars

release date: May 18, 2009
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The Wednesday Wars
In this Newbery Honor–winning novel, Gary D. Schmidt tells the witty and compelling story of a teenage boy who feels that fate has it in for him, during the school year 1968-69. Seventh grader Holling Hoodhood isn't happy. He is sure his new teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates his guts. Holling's domineering father is obsessed with his business image and disregards his family. Throughout the school year, Holling strives to get a handle on the Shakespeare plays Mrs. Baker assigns him to read on his own time, and to figure out the enigmatic Mrs. Baker. As the Vietnam War turns lives upside down, Holling comes to admire and respect both Shakespeare and Mrs. Baker, who have more to offer him than he imagined. And when his family is on the verge of coming apart, he also discovers his loyalty to his sister, and his ability to stand up to his father when it matters most.

One Smart Sheep

release date: Oct 26, 2021
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One Smart Sheep
It takes one smart sheep to escape from a piano movers' van and find his way home in this humorous friendship story for emerging and newly independent readers by beloved, award-winning author Gary D. Schmidt and coauthor Elizabeth Stickney. Wilson is a curious sheep, and after he foolishly climbs into the back of a piano movers' truck, he ends up alone in the big city, far from the farm. But Wilson is also one smart sheep, and soon enough he's finding his way home to his worried owner by recognizing the sounds that he heard while he was trapped in the truck--a jackhammer, a calliope, a hotdog man. And could that be the excited barking of his friend Tippy, the border collie? This lighthearted story about loyalty, problem solving, friendship, and independence is divided into short, action-packed chapters and has the cozy feel of a modern classic.

So Tall Within

release date: Sep 25, 2018
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So Tall Within
From celebrated author Gary D. Schmidt comes a picture book biography of a giant in the struggle for civil rights, perfectly pitched for readers today. Sojourner Truth was born into slavery but possessed a mind and a vision that knew no bounds. So Tall Within traces her life from her painful childhood through her remarkable emancipation to her incredible leadership in the movement for rights for both women and African Americans. Her story is told with lyricism and pathos by Gary D. Schmidt, one of the most celebrated writers for children in the twenty-first century, and brought to life by award winning and fine artist Daniel Minter. This combination of talent is just right for introducing this legendary figure to a new generation of children.

Pay Attention, Carter Jones

release date: Jan 01, 2019
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Pay Attention, Carter Jones
Sixth-grader Carter must adjust to the unwelcome presence of a know-it-all butler who is determined to help him become a gentleman, and also to deal with burdens from the past.
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