Shortlist for the 2011 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TORONTO (April 20, 2011) – The 2011 shortlist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards was revealed today. The 2011 winners will be announced at Toronto’s Agnes Macphail Public School, 112 Goldhawk Trail, at 10:30 a.m. on May 26, 2011. This year marks the 35th anniversary since Mordecai Richler won in 1976 for Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang.

ABOUT THE 2011 BOOKS
This year’s shortlist represents some of Canada’s best-known children’s book authors, and some newcomers. The Children’s Picture Book category showcases diverse illustration and story styles, ranging from charming and manic animal characters, to picturesque evocations of the Canadian landscape. The Young Adult / Middle Reader category challenges its jury with tales of harrowing escapes, to gentler themes of family life and first love.

Children’s Picture Book Award Category

The Cat’s Pajamas
Written and illustrated by Wallace Edwards (Yarker, ON)
Kids Can Press

Chester’s Masterpiece
Written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt (Laval, QC)
Kids Can Press

I Know Here
Written by Laurel Croza (Markham, ON)
Illustrated by Matt James (Toronto, ON)
Groundwood Books

Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth!
Written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay (Outremont, QC)
Groundwood Books

Singing Away the Dark
Written by Caroline Woodward (Victoria, BC)
Illustrated by Julie Morstad (Vancouver, BC)
Simply Read Books

Young Adult / Middle Reader Award Category

Grease Town
Written by Ann Towell (Shetland, ON)
Tundra Books

Half Brother
Written by Kenneth Oppel (Toronto, ON)
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

No Safe Place
Written by Deborah Ellis (Simcoe, ON)
Groundwood Books

Prisoner of Dieppe
(I Am Canada)
Written by Hugh Brewster (Toronto, ON)
Scholastic Canada Ltd

Think Again
Written by JonArno Lawson (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Julie Morstad (Vancouver, BC)
Kids Can Press

ABOUT THE AWARDS

  • The two awards, of $6,000 each, recognize artistic excellence in writing and illustration in English-language Canadian children’s literature. They are awarded annually.
  • The winners are selected by two juries of young readers. This year’s jurors are students at Agnes Macphail Public School in Toronto. This year’s award recipients will be announced at the school on May 26, 2011.
  • Five students in grade 3 and 4 will choose the author and illustrator for the Children’s Picture Book award.
  • Five students in grade 7 and 8 will select the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader award.

QUOTES
John Degen, Literature Officer at the Ontario Arts Council states, “I’m always impressed with how seriously our young jurors take their responsibility to choose a winner. All kids’ book authors should have a chance to watch a group of young people discuss and critique their work the way these kids do. It’s inspiring.”

Alan Walker, the Ontario Arts Foundation’s Executive Director adds, “As well as giving young readers an appreciation of literature through their participation on the jury, the Schwartz Awards have, for 35 years, supported excellence in Canadian children’s literature. Since 1976, some of Canada’s finest authors have received this award.”

LEARN MORE

  • The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her sister, Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller. In 2004, the family renamed the awards to honour both sisters.
  • see the list of previous laureates.
  • The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the fund while the Ontario Arts Council administers the jury process.

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) offers donors effective and creative opportunities for charitable giving – helping to build a foundation for the arts in Ontario. OAF works with donors to build lasting endowments in support of the arts – a gift for this generation and the next.

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is the province of Ontario’s primary funding body for professional arts activity. Since 1963, the OAC has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts and artists for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians.

For further information:

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Geneviève Vallerand, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council
416-969-7434/1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434 | gvallerand@arts.on.ca

ONTARIO ARTS FOUNDATION INQUIRIES
Alan Walker, Executive Director
416-969-7413 | awalker@arts.on.ca