Shortlist announced for the 2014 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TORONTO (April 16, 2014) – The 2014 shortlist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards was announced today. The winners will be selected by students of Aldergrove Public School in Markham, Ontario, and will be announced there on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

This year’s list includes books by some of Canada’s most distinguished children’s authors and illustrators. The Children’s Picture Book category includes tributes to the joy of music, the magic of a northern winter night, and the power of imagination. The Young Adult/Middle Reader category includes the stories of a teenage ultra-marathon runner; a boy confronting love, mystery, and mental health; and a village where death lurks in the shadows.

Children’s Picture Book Award

The Boy Who Paints
Written by K. Jane Watt (Fort Langley, BC)
Illustrated by Richard Cole (Langley, BC)
Fenton Street Press

Loula is Leaving for Africa
Written and illustrated by Anne Villeneuve (Montreal, QC)
Kids Can Press

The Man with the Violin
by Kathy Stinson (Rockwood, ON)
Illustated by Dušan Petricic (Toronto, ON)
Annick Press

Once Upon a Northern Night
Written by Jean E. Pendziwol (Thunder Bay, ON)
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Montreal, QC)
Groundwood Books

Read Me a Story, Stella
Written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay (Montreal, QC)
Groundwood Books

2014 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Picture Book Finalists

Young Adult / Middle Reader Award

Jane, the Fox & Me
Written by Fanny Britt (Montreal, QC)
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Montreal, QC)
Groundwood Books

Little Red Lies
Written by Julie Johnston (Peterborough, ON)
Tundra Books

Sorrow’s Knot
Written by Erin Bow (Kitchener, ON)
Scholastic Canada

Written by David Carroll (Toronto, ON)
Scholastic Canada

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
by Teresa Toten (Toronto, ON)
Doubleday Canada

2014 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz YA/Middle Reader Finalists


  • 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 Aldergrove Public School in Markham, Ontario.
  • 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(s) of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.

“The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards provide a wonderful way for young readers to discover Canada’s remarkable authors and illustrators. The school-age jurors take their responsibility very seriously, and use critical thinking skills to debate the shortlisted books and come up with a winner. And they have lots of fun in the process.”

Peter Caldwell, Director & CEO, Ontario Arts Council

“Awards are an opportunity to recognize excellence, and celebrate the accomplishments and impact of an author and illustrator’s work. The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards are not only an annual celebration of the best in Canadian children’s literature, but they also extol the benefit and joy of reading in today’s young readers.”

Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation


  • 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 administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Councill, which manages the nomination and jury process. These awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.
  • See the full details on the award and the list of previous laureates



Shoshana Wasser | Communications Coordinator | Ontario Arts Council
Tel: 416-969-7434 | 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434 |

Alan Walker | Executive Director | Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: 416-969-7413 |