Bill Freeman (author) facts for kids
William Bradford Freeman (born October 21, 1938) is a Canadian writer of historical fiction for young adults, film scripts, documentaries, theatrical plays, educational videos and non-fiction books. He specializes in writing about Canada and the Canadian experience.
After high school, Freeman worked in western Canada for a year and then traveled extensively in Europe. He returned to Canada to attend Acadia University in Nova Scotia. After graduating he worked as a Probation Officer and then did graduate work in sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Freeman began to write the Bains Series of books for young adults while living in Hamilton. There are now nine books in the Bains Series. Each focuses on a different industrial setting in Canada during the 1870s. The first book in the series, Shantymen of Cache Lake, received the Canada Council Children's Literature Prize for 1975 and several of the other books have received awards.
Freeman's books for adults follow political and social themes. Local 1005 is a political study of a Steelworkers' local in Hamilton. Their Town, co-authored with Marsha Hewitt, is an analysis of Hamilton city politics and Hamilton: a People's History, traces the development of the political and social life of the city. Freeman also authored a social and pictorial history of Toronto Island, where he now lives, called A Magical Place and another pictorial history, Casa Loma, Toronto's Fairy-Tale Castle and its Owner, Sir Henry Pellatt.
While working in the film industry Freeman and Richard Nielsen wrote Far From Home, Canadians in the First World War. This book emerged from a three-hour documentary film of the same name, produced by Nielsen. That experience led to other film projects. Freeman was the researcher and writer of a series of science educational videos for the high school market called the Elements of Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences.
Freeman's partner on these educational videos was the well-known Canadian children's film producer Wendy Loten. The two went on to work together on Loten's Mighty Machines 2 and 3. These films have been broadcast on TVO and Tree House Television.
Freeman also wrote two plays. Ghosts of the Madawaska is a children's play commissioned and performed by the Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa, and Glory Days, a play about the 1946 Stelco strike in Hamilton, has been performed by Theatre Aquarius in 1989 and remounted in 2006.
In recent years Bill Freeman has been writing about urban and political issues. The New Urban Agenda published in 2015 and Democracy Rising in 2017 were both published by Dundurn Press.
Freeman has completed a series of 8 books called Mariner's Story. They will be published on Amazon beginning in 2021.
Awards and prizes
In 1975 Freeman won the Canada Council Award for Juvenile Literature for his book Shantymen of Cache Lake (retrospectively considered one of the 1975 Governor General's Awards).
A Magical Place: Toronto Island and Its People, Certificate of Commendation, Heritage Toronto, October 2000
Casa Loma: Toronto's Fairy-tale Castle and its Owner, Sir Henry Pellatt, Award of Merit, Heritage Toronto, October 1999
Prairie Fire selected for the Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" list and nominated for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, 1998
Several books in the Bains Series were selected for "Our Choice" list. Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, 1984 (for a body of work, Bains Series)
Democracy Rising; Dundurn Press, 2017
The New Urban Agenda; Dundurn Press, 2015
Glory Days, Playwrights Canada Press, 2007
Hamilton: A People’s History, James Lorimer and Co., Publishers, 2001
Far From Home: Canadians in the First World War, with Richard Nielsen, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1999
A Magical Place: Toronto Island and its People, James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers, 1999
Casa Loma: Toronto’s Fairy-tale Castle and its Owner, Sir Henry Pellatt, James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers, 1998
1005 Political Life of a Union Local, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1982
Their Town: The Mafia, The Media and the Party Machine, (with Marsha Hewitt); James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1979
The New Urban Agenda; Dundurn Press, 2015
Bains Series of young adult fiction
Ambush in the Foothills, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 2000
Sioux Winter, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1999
Prairie Fire! James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1998
Danger on the Tracks, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1987
Harbour Thieves, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1984
Trouble at Lachine Mill, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1983
The Last Voyage of the Scotian, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1976
First Spring on the Grand Banks, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1978
Shantymen of Cache Lake, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1975
Other young adult books
Cedric and the North End Kids, James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers, 1978
"Glory Days", a play with music, produced by Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton 1989
"Glory Days", re-mounted by Theatre Aquarius in September/October Hamilton 2006
Play for Young Adults'
"Ghosts of the Madawaska", Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa, 1985
Children's Television Series
Script Writer, "Mighty Machines 2", a fourteen-part half-hour program for pre-school children produced for TVO, TFO and Treehouse by Loten Media.
Script Writer, "Mighty Machines 3", a fourteen-part half-hour program for pre-school children produced for TVO, TFO and Treehouse by Loten Media.
Educational and Documentary Videos
Script Writer, "Canada for Children", A three-part series of videos for elementary school children. Producer: Redcanoe Productions.
Script Writer/Educational Consultant: "Elements of Earth Sciences", six educational videos for high school students. Producer: Algonquin Educational Productions.
Script Writer/Educational Consultant: "Elements of Chemistry", six educational videos for high school students. Producer: Algonquin Educational Productions.
Script Writer/Educational Consultant: "Elements of Physics", six educational videos for high school students. Producer: Algonquin Educational Productions.
Script Writer/Educational Consultant and Narrator: "Elements of Biology" A series of six educational films for the high school students. Producer: Loten Media.
TV and Video Programs
Historical consultant/Scriptwriter "Hamilton: Where the Rubber Meets the Road", Producer: Red Canoe Productions
Script Writer/Narrator, "Kiev Pecherska Lavra", Producer, 3rd Street Videos, 1995
Narrator/Researcher "Remembering Toronto", Producer: PBS Buffalo
Bill Freeman (author) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.