William Bell (author)

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William Bell
Born 1945
Died 30 July 2016
Occupation Author
Genre Children's Literature

William Edwin Bell (1945 – 30 July 2016) was a Canadian author of young adult fiction, born in Toronto, Ontario. He was an innovator in literature for young adults in Canada and many of his novels are read in high school English courses. He lived in Orillia, Ontario.[1]


His novel Crabbe was partly inspired by his days as a student at Lakeshore Collegiate Institute. Bell had a master's degree in literature and a second master's in education curriculum and administration, both from the University of Toronto.

Teaching career[edit]

Bell taught in a variety of settings. He was a high school teacher and the head of the English department at Orillia District Collegiate & Vocational Institute. He was a teacher in China at the Harbin University of Science and Technology and the Foreign Affairs College. He also worked at the University of British Columbia and the Simcoe County Board of Education. He was frequently invited to give presentations at conferences and to speak to elementary and secondary school students on creative writing.

Writing career[edit]

The inspiration to become a writer came to Bell when he heard a speech by John Metcalf, author of one of his favourite short stories. Bell says he likes to write for young people because they are "the best audience: they are loyal to the writers they like and they are enthusiastic readers".[2]

Bell wrote many books, including three set near his home in Orillia, Ontario (Five Days of the Ghost, Stones and Fanatics), one in Barrie (Death Wind) and one in Guelph (Zack).

Bell's work has been widely published outside of Canada. His books have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Japanese.

Personal life[edit]

He lived with his wife, Chinese-Canadian author Ting-Xing Ye. He had three children: Dylan, Megan and Brendan. He died of cancer on 30 July 2016 at the age of 70.[3]



  • Crabbe - 1986
  • Metal Head - 1987
  • The Cripples' Club - 1988 (reissued in 1993 as Absolutely Invincible)
  • Death Wind - 1989
  • Five Days of the Ghost - 1989
  • Forbidden City - 1990
  • No Signature - 1992
  • Speak to the Earth - 1994
  • The Golden Disk - 1995
  • River My Friend - 1996
  • Zack - 1998
  • Stones - 2001
  • Alma - 2003
  • Throwaway Daughter – 2003 (written with his wife Ting-Xing Ye)
  • Just Some Stuff I Wrote - 2005
  • The Blue Helmet - 2006
  • Only in the Movies - 2010
  • Fanatics - 2011
  • Julian - 2014


  1. ^ "Orillia Hall of Fame" (PDF). City of Orillia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-02. 
  2. ^ Niki B. "Stellar Award". Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ Orillia author William Bell dead at 70
  4. ^ "Ruth Schwartz Award". Library Thing. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Mr. Christie's Book Award". Library Thing. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 

External links[edit]