Canadian author William Bell dead at 70

Canadian author William Bell, who garnered acclaim for his young adult novels, has died at the age of 70.
William Bell is seen in an undated photo from Penguin Random House. (Brendan Bell/Penguin Random House Canada)

Canadian author William Bell, who garnered acclaim for his young adult novels, has died at the age of 70.

Bell was born in Toronto in 1945 and worked extensively as an educator, teaching at the University of British Columbia, and overseas in China at Harbin University of Science and Technology and the Foreign Affairs College.

The Orillia, Ont.,-based writer had more than a dozen young adult novels to his credit, with his works translated into nine languages.

Bell received a number of honours, including the Ruth Schwartz Award for Excellence and the Belgium Award for Excellence for Forbidden City; the Canadian Librarian's Association Award for Stones; the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award (Five Days of the Ghost); and the Mr. Christie's Award (Zack).

He teamed with his wife, author Ting-Xing Xe, on Throwaway Daughter, about a teen adopted by a Canadian couple who seeks to learn more about her Chinese ancestry after witnessing the Tiananmen Square massacre on TV.

Bell died on July 30 and is survived by Ye, children Dylan, Megan and Brendan, his sister Carole Lashbrook, and three grandchildren.