Bill Wallace: Biography & Books

Instructor: Douglass Gunselman

Doug is currently a head middle school principal and has taught middle school/high school English/speech/computers. He has a master's degree in Educational Administration.

William Bill Wallace was an American children's author and educator. At the end of this lesson, you will have a better grasp of who Bill Wallace was and his successful writing career and you can test your knowledge with a quiz!

Bill Wallace

William 'Bill' Wallace was born on August 1, 1947 in Chickasha, Oklahoma and passed away January 30, 2012. Wallace graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma in 1971. He later received a master's degree in Educational Administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He also received professional writing training from the University of Oklahoma.

Wallace began his teaching career in 1971 and began sharing stories he created with his 4th grade students. Their positive response to his writing and encouragement led to Wallace writing his first book in 1980, A Dog Called Kitty. Wallace worked as an educator until 1988 when he quit to become a full-time author.

During his writing career, Wallace won numerous writing awards, which we'll take a look at in a second. His writing career and success earned him the 'Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature.' He also has an elementary school, The Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center, named after him in his hometown of Chickasha, Oklahoma.

Wallace's books were written for children through early teens. He co-authored seven of his books with his wife Carol. Some books were humorous in nature, while others tackled the difficult aspects of life including being different and death. His main characters were animals and kids in most instances with some of those characters influenced by people/animals in their lives.

Let's take a look at the works of Bill Wallace.

Award Winning Books
Dog Called Kitty

While still an educator, Wallace began publishing books in 1980. The following are his most successful and popular.

A Dog Called Kitty (1980) - The protagonist, Ricky, has an extreme fear of dogs. When he was young, he was bitten by a dog with rabies. While living on his farm years later, Ricky notices a stray dog and is fearful of it. The story illustrates Ricky overcoming his fears to enjoy the company of his eventual best friend. This book won several awards including the Oklahoma Sequoyah Children's Book Award, Texas Bluebonnet Award, and the Nebraska Golden Sower Award.

Trapped in Death Cave (1984) - Gary and Brian are two friends who are fans of adventure, so when Gary's grandfather passes away and leaves a note speaking about a treasure left in a cave, Gary believes it's murder. The book describes the adventures of Gary and Brian as they seek treasure and answers for how/why Gary's grandfather died. Accolades this book received include the Utah Children's Book Award, Florida Sunshine State Children's Book Award Grade 6-8, and the Wyoming Soaring Eagle Award.

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