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Roberts, Ken

Roberts, Ken
Hamilton-area author Ken Roberts


Ken Roberts is the recently retired Chief Librarian of the Hamilton Public Library. His hobby is writing. Ken Roberts has taught Public Library Children's Services at UBC, Children's Literature at Simon Fraser University and Storytelling/Puppetry at the University of Lethbridge. He has been Storyteller in Residence for the Vancouver School Board and Games Master for the World Improvisation Championships. Ken Roberts was also a two-time All-American distance runner, having attended U.C.L.A. as an undergraduate and both McMaster University and UWO for master's degrees.

Ken lives just outside Brantford, Ontario. He is married to Jo-Anne Westerby and has four children, ranging in age from forty to seventeen years old.

"I am good at many things," says Ken, "but a master at none, really. My wife and I both have an ability to almost segment our minds and work on lots of projects at the same time. Mind you, we also have the ability to light a fire and work on nothing except reading a couple of good books."



He won a CanPro award for television writing and co-wrote a comedic play for adults (Suspect) that received a rave review in Variety and has now played on three continents and has had multiple productions every year for the past fifteen years.

His book Past Tense was nominated for the prestigious Governor General's Award for Children's Literature in 1994. He has also been a finalist for the Christie Book Award and for the Canadian Children's Book of the Year. His book The Thumb in the Box received a starred review in The Horn Book. Another children's novel, Hiccup Champion of the World, has been translated into a number of languages. Ken won the Canadian Public Library Association's Outstanding Service Award in 2001 and his library system won the Ontario Library Association's President's Award for Exceptional Achievement in 2002. 



Other Information 

Related Websites and Blogs:


Published Work

2009. Thumb and the Bad Guys. Toronto: Groundwood Books. (Children's)

2006. Thumb on a diamond. Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press (Children's)

2001. The thumb in the box. Toronto : Douglas & McIntyre (Children's)

1994. Past tense. Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre. (Children's)

1991. Nothing wright. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre (Children's)

1988. Hiccup champion of the world.  Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre. (Children's)

1988. Jacques Cartier. Toronto : Grolier. (Children's)

1987. Pop bottles. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre. (Children's)

1984. Crazy ideas. (Children's)


Published work in the library