Shortlist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards Announced

The 2016 shortlist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards has been announced. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Schwartz Children’s Book Awards – the only Canadian literary award where student juries work together to choose the winning books.

This year’s winners will be chosen by student juries from Toronto’s Scarborough Village Alternative Public School. The announcement will take place during a school assembly on Wednesday, June 22

The Children’s Picture Book category takes readers on journeys around the world, through a village of animals, and into the realm of our imagination.

The Young Adult / Middle Reader category includes stories of surprising friendships, tensions with parents, and overcoming unexpected challenges.

Children’s Picture Book
Award Category

Young Adult / Middle Reader
Award Category

A Boy Asked the Wind
by Barbara Nickel (Yarrow, B.C.)
illustrations by Gillian Newland  (Toronto, Ont.)
Red Deer Press
Cut Off
by Jamie Bastedo (Yellowknife, N.W.T.)
Red Deer Press
Melvis and Elvis
by Dennis Lee (Toronto, Ont.)
illustrations by Jeremy Tankard (Vancouver, B.C.)
HarperCollins Canada Ltd.
The Dogs
by Allan Stratton (Toronto, Ont.)
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds
by Marianne Dubuc (Montreal, Que.)
Kids Can Press
by Eric Walters (Guelph, Ont.)
Doubleday Canada
Some Things I’ve Lost
by Cybèle Young (Toronto, Ont.)
Groundwood Books
We Are All Made of Molecules
by Susin Nielsen (Vancouver, B.C.)
Tundra Books
Today Is the Day
by Eric Walters (Guelph, Ont.)
illustrations by Eugenie Fernandes (Lakehurst, Ont.)
Tundra Books
Young Man With Camera
by Emil Sher (Toronto, Ont.)
Scholastic Canada Ltd.

About the awards

Two awards of $6,000 each are presented annually to recognize artistic excellence in writing and illustration in English-language Canadian children’s literature.

The winners are selected by two juries of young readers, which this year are students at Scarborough Village Alternative Public School in Toronto:

    • Five students in grades 3 and 4 will select the recipient(s) of the Children’s Picture Book Award.
    • Five students in grades 7 and 8 will select the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.

The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, the family renamed the awards to honour both sisters.

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), which manages the nomination and jury process. The awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.

To celebrate the award’s 40th anniversary, the OAF and OAC are doing an online countdown of all past laureates. Click here to see the full list.