54 pages 1 hour read

Kenneth Oppel


Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2004

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Authorial Context: Kenneth Oppel

Kenneth Oppel is a Canadian children’s and Young Adult fiction author. Oppel claims a lifelong interest in becoming an author. He sold his first novel, Colin’s Fantastic Video Adventure (1985), at the age of 18, after a family friend sent his manuscript to famed British author Roald Dahl. Though Oppel never heard from Dahl directly, Dahl enjoyed the manuscript enough to send it to his literary agent, leading to its publication (“Kenneth Oppel.” Kenneth Oppel, 2014). He wrote his second novel, The Live-Forever Machine (1992), during his tenure as a student at the University of Toronto. During the 1990s he achieved renown for his Silverwing series, which contains four novels published between 1997 and 2007. The series, which follows the adventures of a young bat named Shade, is based on the tale of “The Birds, the Beast, and the Bat” from Aesop’s Fables.

Oppel received the greatest critical acclaim for his Matt Cruse series, beginning with 2004’s Airborn. Airborn won a Governor General’s Award for children’s literature, The Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books Blue Ribbon, and a Red Maple Award for middle-grade Canadian fiction. It was also honored by the Michael L.