“I think good art should always be entertaining, or at least give pleasure of some sort. And my chief goal as a writer has always been to tell a good story and give my readers a good time.” – Kenneth Oppel
Born in Port Alberni, Canada (one of the coolest small port cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting) on this date in 1967, Oppel has had a distinguished career as a children’s and young adult writer. Among his many awards are Canada’s Governor General's Literary Prize and the Printz Honor Award from the American Library Association (both for Airborn and The Times); and a Best Book for Young Adults from the ALA for Skybreaker.
Currently a resident of Toronto, Oppel started writing as a teen, penning a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games and ultimately his first book Colin's Fantastic Video Adventure, published just as he was starting college. While in college at the University of Toronto he wrote his second bestseller, The Live-Forever Machine, for a creative writing class project.
One of his most creative and uplifting stories– about a special bond between a teenage boy and a young chimpanzee – is 2011’s bestseller Half Brother, winner of numerous major awards. It was a story that also touched Oppel’s heart as he wrote it.
“The more I worked on Half Brother,” he said, “the more it seemed to me the story was really about love in all its possible forms - how and why we decide to bestow it, or withdraw it; how we decide what is more worthy of being loved, and what is less. How we are masters of conditional love."
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