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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

'Always Be Entertaining'


“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 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.  His first book, Colin's Fantastic Video Adventure, was published just as he was starting college.  While in college 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 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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