About Michael Crandell

Michael Crandell, a middle and high school English teacher for over twenty years, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a Master of Secondary Education, both from the University of Southern Indiana, where he has also taught English and Education courses as an adjunct instructor.

He lives with his wife Stephanie, his son Jordan, and his daughter Lauren in southwestern Indiana.

The Poe Codec

When middle schoolers Brett and Jordan creep through an old and empty bookstore, they’re hoping to find something they can sell to ease their families’ financial problems. A faded letter from Edgar Allan Poe floats into their hands, presenting a challenge Poe had sent to one of his adversaries—a secret code is in one of his works; a treasure awaits the person breaking the code. Brett and Jordan elicit the aid of friend Lauren, and the quest begins.

The protagonists discover they have strengths to share, and their personal knowledge and interests enrich a search that touches on Poe’s works and life, on languages, encryption, forensic science, computers, autography, films, and pop culture—and on modern methods of communication, which turn out to be both a boon and curse since they provide new ways for threats to travel. In the end, the young people solve their mystery, and leave a small one dangling for the reader.

A Note From The Author

Writing has always been a love, but teaching is a passion. Once upon a time, I had the aspirations, like many (maybe most) English majors have of writing the great American novel. But I think that's already been written--many times. I was fortunate enough to learn early on God wired me to teach, and you can't teach what you don't know. So to be an effective teacher, I try to remain a student--a writing student. My writing projects materialize from these modeling sessions, where I struggle in the writing process with students, as a fellow writer. As a student.

One thing I'm learning as I get older is that the more you learn, the more you realize how stupid you really are--how much you don't know.

​So in the words of the artist Michelangelo: "I'm still learning."