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Kenneth Oppel
Oppel (2016 at the Berlin International Literature Festival)
Oppel (2016 at the Berlin International Literature Festival)
Born (1967-08-12) August 12, 1967 (age 55)
Port Alberni, British Columbia
Occupation Writer
Nationality Canadian
Period 1985–present
Notable works
  • Matt Cruse series
  • The Silverwing Saga
Notable awards Governor General's Literary Award
2004 Airborn
The Times Children's Novel
2005 Skybreaker
Spouse Philippa Sheppard
Children 3

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, 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 & 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. They now live in Toronto with three children, Sophia, Nate and Julia.

Selected works

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