Kenneth Oppel

Last updated
Kenneth Oppel
Kenneth Oppel at International Literature Festival Berlin on September 9, 2016.jpg
Born (1967-08-31) August 31, 1967 (age 52)
Port Alberni, British Columbia
Notable works
  • Matt Cruse series
  • The Silverwing Saga
Notable awards Governor General's Literary Award
2004 Airborn
The Times Children's Novel
2005 Skybreaker
SpousePhilippa Sheppard

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 Silverwing novel series: Silverwing , Sunwing , Firewing and Darkwing . He also wrote another series, the Matt Cruse 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 now live in Toronto with three children, Sophia, Nate and Julia.

Selected works

Related Research Articles

Robertson Davies Canadian journalist, playwright, professor, critic, and novelist

William Robertson Davies, was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He was one of Canada's best known and most popular authors and one of its most distinguished "men of letters", an unfashionable term Davies gladly accepted for himself. Davies was the founding Master of Massey College, a graduate residential college associated with the University of Toronto.

Michael Ondaatje Canadian writer

Philip Michael Ondaatje,, is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian poet, fiction writer, essayist, novelist, editor and filmmaker. He is the recipient of multiple literary awards such as the Governor General's Award, the Giller Prize, the Booker Prize, and the Prix Médicis étranger. Ondaatje is also an Officer of the Order of Canada, recognizing him as one of Canada's most renowned living authors.

Clark Blaise, OC is a Canadian-American author. He was a professor of Creative Writing at York University, and a writer of short fiction. In 2010, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Shyam Selvadurai Canadian writer

Shyam Selvadurai is a Sri Lankan Canadian novelist who wrote Funny Boy (1994), which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and Cinnamon Gardens (1998). He currently lives in Toronto with his partner Andrew Champion.

Alberto Manguel writer

Alberto Manguel is an Argentine-Canadian anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist, editor, and a former Director of the National Library of Argentina. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places, A History of Reading (1996), The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008); and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991). Though almost all of Manguel's books were written in English, two of his novels were written in Spanish, and El regreso has not yet been published in English. Manguel has also written film criticism such as Bride of Frankenstein (1997) and collections of essays such as Into the Looking Glass Wood (1998). In 2007, Manguel was selected to be that year's annual lecturer for the prestigious Massey Lectures.

André Alexis is a Canadian writer who grew up in Ottawa and lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has received numerous prizes including the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize.

Ann Philippa Pearce OBE was an English author of children's books. Her most famous work is the time-slip fantasy novel Tom's Midnight Garden, which won the 1958 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, as the year's outstanding children's book by a British subject. Pearce was a commended runner-up for the Medal a further four times.

<i>Airborn</i> (novel) Novel by Kenneth Oppel

Airborn is a 2004 young adult novel by Kenneth Oppel. The novel is set in an alternate history where the airplane has not been invented, and instead, airships are the primary form of air transportation. Additionally, the world contains fictional animal species such as flying creatures, which live their entire lives in the sky. The book takes place aboard a transoceanic luxury passenger airship, the Aurora, and is told from the perspective of its cabin boy, Matt Cruse.

Graham Percy was a New Zealand-born artist, designer and illustrator. His work was the subject of The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy, a major posthumous exhibition of his work which was shown at galleries throughout New Zealand including City Gallery Wellington, Gus Fisher Gallery Auckland, Sarjeant Gallery Whanganui, the Rotorua Museum and the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, Invercargill.

Sharon G. Flake is an American writer of young adult literature. She has lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her daughter for many years. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in English.

<i>Skybreaker</i> book

Skybreaker, sequel to Airborn, is a young adult fantasy novel written by Canadian author Kenneth Oppel. It continues the adventures of young airship student Matt Cruse, and Kate de Vries, a budding scientist.

The Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award is a literary award that annually recognizes one Canadian children's book. The book must be written in English and published in Canada during the preceding year. The writer must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

<i>Silverwing</i> (TV series) television series

Silverwing is a 2003 Canadian animated television series based on Kenneth Oppel's novel of the same name.

Richard Scrimger is a Canadian writer who has published fourteen books since 1996. He is best known for his children's literature, but has also written three books for adults: Crosstown, Still Life With Children and Mystical Rose. A winner of the Mr. Christie Award and recipient of dozens of award nominations, Scrimger is a favourite with many children and adults. All of his novels except The Boy From Earth and Still Life With Children have been short-listed for readers' choice awards. Several of his books have been named to Best-of, or Top-ten, or Notable lists by various libraries and publications, including Young Adult Library Services Association, Chicago Public Library, American Library Association, Time Out New York Kids, The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire. His books have been translated into Dutch, French, German, Thai, Korean, Portuguese, Slovenian, Italian, and Polish.

Cruse is a surname of English origin.

Richard S. Lambert English editor, biographer, historian and broadcaster

Richard Stanton Lambert was a biographer, popular historian and broadcaster. He was also the founding editor of The Listener and an employee of the BBC and CBC. His books mainly concern history and biography but he also wrote about crime, travel, art, radio, film and propaganda. In Ariel and All His Quality he wrote about his time with the BBC in its formative years. Propaganda, published in 1939, was a timely investigation of a subject already made familiar during World War I.

William Edwin Bell was a Canadian author of young adult fiction, born in Toronto, Ontario. He lived in Orillia, Ontario.

The Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book Award was a literary award given annually from 1981 to 2016 to recognize a Canadian book of young adult fiction written in English and published in Canada, written by a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Erin Bow, born Erin Noteboom, is an American-born Canadian author.


  1. 1 2 "Colin's fantastic video adventure". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  2. "Philippa Sheppard faculty profile". Department of English, University of Toronto, St. George Campus. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  3. "300-Level Courses". English University of Toronto ( Academic year 2012–13. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  4. "The Devil's Cure". Goodreads . Retrieved 22 January 2018.
Other sources