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Kenneth Oppel was born in Port Alberni, British Columbia on August 31, 1967. He got his start at age fifteen, when a friend showed Roald Dahl a story he wrote, called 'Colin's Fantastic Video Adventure'. Oppel attended the University of Toronto, and studied English and Cinema. He has since established himself as a Canadian writer deserving of praise and admiration, and continually receives both. His current residence is in Toronto, Ontario, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Oppel is now an accomplished and skilled writer, specializing in fantasy youth literature. The Silverwing series, which follows the dangerous adventures of a runty bat named Shade, is incredibly popular with young readers that are new to novels. It is available in 13 countries, and has received numerous awards. Having grown up with Oppel's work, I've read a few of the novels, and I found them to be exactly the kind of stories the typical young reader craves. For example, all of the characters of the Silverwing saga are animals, but like the Redwall series, you aren't required to have an interest in animals to enjoy the book and connect with the characters.

The Live-Forever Machine is about a centuries-old struggle between two immortal men. One eagerly ushers in the future while destroying the past, and the other tries desperately to preserve our history and resist the world's progress. The two men and their secret are discovered by a teenager, who finds difficulty in deciding which side to take.

I also recently found myself with The Devil's Cure, which I was skeptical about. After finishing his first adult novel, I can say that Kenneth Oppel's skills do not lie solely in childrens books, but in books for any audience. The crime/mystery thriller revolves around an ambitious doctor trying to find an escaped killer before the police do. It seems that this former cult leader and murderer possesses a strange blood type that resists cancer. One problem is that the FBI wouldn't hesitate to shoot the convict at first sight, and the other is that the disillusioned man despises doctors, and would rather die than cure cancer. Overall, the plot is gripping and quick-paced, and I enjoyed it thoroughly..

Here is a list of his books so far:

Young Adult Novels:

  • The Live-Forever Machine (1990)
  • Dead Water Zone (1992)
  • Silverwing (1997)
  • Sunwing (1999)
  • Firewing (2004)
  • Airborn (2004)
Childrens or Picture Books:
  • Colin’s Fantastic Video Adventure (1985)
  • Cosimo Cat (1990)
  • Cosmic Snapshots (1993)
  • Galactic Snapshots (1993)
  • Follow That Star (1994)
  • Barnes & the Brains: A Bad Case of Ghosts (1994)
  • Barnes & the Brains: A Crazy Case of Robots (1994)
  • Barnes & the Brains: A Stange Case of Magic (1994)
  • Barnes & the Brains: An Incredible Case of Dinosaurs (1994)
  • Barnes & the Brains: A Weird Case of Super-Goo (1996)
  • Emma's Emu (1999)
  • Peg and the Whale (2000)
  • Barnes & the Brains: A Creepy Case of Vampires (2002)
  • Peg and the Yeti (2004)
Adult Novels:
  • The Devil's Cure (2000)

Sources:
http://www.kennethoppel.ca/
http://www.scholastic.ca/
http://www.canscaip.org/bios/oppelk.html

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