Kenneth Oppel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kenneth Oppel
Kenneth Oppel L3 Writer's Conference.JPG
Oppel in 2013
Born (1967-08-31) August 31, 1967 (age 49)
Port Alberni, British Columbia
Occupation Writer
Nationality Canadian
Period 1985–present
Notable works
  • Matt Cruse series
  • The Silverwing Saga
Notable awards Governor General's Literary Award
2004 Airborn
The Times Children's Novel
2005 Skybreaker
Spouse Philippa Sheppard
Children 3

Kenneth Oppel (born August 31, 1967) is a Canadian children's writer.


Oppel was born in Port Alberni, and spent his childhood in Victoria, British Columbia and Halifax, Nova Scotia. He also lived in Newfoundland and Labrador, England, and Ireland.

In 1985, Oppel wrote his first book Colin's Fantastic Video Adventure,[1] while at St. Michaels University School. He attended at the same time as actors Andrew Sabiston and Leslie Hope, fellow writers John Burns and Bert Archer, and just before the NBA's Steve Nash and Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield. Oppel forwarded the newly completed manuscript to a family friend who knew Roald Dahl, who in turn recommended it to his agent. Oppel went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in cinema studies and English at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, writing The Live-Forever Machine (1992) during his final year. Oppel moved to England and wrote a number of books during that period, gleaning several ideas while working at typing students' papers. From 1995 to 1996, Oppel worked as an editor at Quill and Quire, the trade magazine of the Canadian publishing industry.

He wrote four books for the novel series, such as Silverwing, Sunwing, Firewing and Darkwing. He also wrote another series for the Matt Cruise saga, including Airborn (2004), Skybreaker (2005) and Starclimber (2008).

Oppel won numerous literary awards, including the 2004 Governor General's Literary Award for English language children's literature, a Printz Honor Award from the American Library Association (both for Airborn) and The Times Children's Novel of 2005 (for Skybreaker, named a 2006 Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association).

Oppel married Philippa Sheppard, a Shakespeare scholar and instructor at the University of Toronto.[2][3] They lived in Toronto with three children, Sophia, Nate and Julia.

Selected works[edit]

Young adult fiction[edit]

  • Half Brother (2011)
  • The Boundless (2014)

The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein[edit]

  • This Dark Endeavor (2011)
  • Such Wicked Intent (2012)

Silverwing series[edit]

Main article: Silverwing (series)

Airborn series[edit]


  • The Live-Forever Machine (1990)
  • Dead Water Zone (1992)

Children's fiction[edit]

Barnes and the Brains[edit]

  • A Bad Case of Ghosts (1993)
  • A Strange Case of Magic (1994), or A Bad Case of Magic
  • A Crazy Case of Robots (1994), or A Bad Case of Robots
  • An Incredible Case of Dinosaurs (1994), or A Bad Case of Dinosaurs
  • A Weird Case of Super-Goo (1997), or A Bad Case of Super-Goo
  • A Creepy Case of Vampires (2002)


  • Colin's Fantastic Video Adventure (E. P. Dutton, 1985)[1]
  • Cosimo Cat (1990)
  • Follow That Star (1992)
  • Cosmic Snapshots (1993)
  • Galactic Snapshots (1993)
  • Emma's Emu (1995)
  • Peg and the Whale (2000)
  • Peg and the Yeti (2004)
  • The King's Taster (2009)
  • The Nest (2015)

Adult fiction[edit]

  • The Devil's Cure[4] (2000)


  1. ^ a b "Colin's fantastic video adventure". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  2. ^ Philippa Sheppard faculty profile ([dead link]
  3. ^ "300-Level Courses". English University of Toronto ( Academic year 2012–13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  4. ^
Other sources

External links[edit]