Roland Smith (born November 30, 1951) is an American author of young adult fiction as well as nonfiction books for children.
Early life and education
Roland Smith was born in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Portland State University and, following a part-time job at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, began a 20-year career as a zookeeper, both at the Oregon Zoo and the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. After working to save wildlife following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, in 1990, he published his first book, Sea Otter Rescue, a non-fiction account of the process of animal rescue. Smith continued to draw upon his zoo experiences for other non-fiction titles, including Journey of the Red Wolf, which won an Oregon Book Award in 1996.
In 1997 Smith published his second novel, Thunder Cave. The book continues Smith's theme, as teenage protagonist Jacob Lansa follows his biologist father to Africa where the father is researching elephants. Lansa is also seen in 1999's Jaguar and 2001's The Last Lobo, as well as Tentacles, the sequel to Cryptid Hunters and as well as Chupacabra the sequel to Tentacles.
Smith's books have won "Book of the Year" awards in Colorado, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida, as well as in his native state of Oregon. Peak won the 2007 National Outdoor Book Award (Children's Category).
Smith lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and stepchildren.