OAF News

Shortlists for the 2021 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards announced

Toronto, June 9, 2021 – Today, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) released the shortlists for the 2021 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards.  The Schwartz Awards are the only Canadian literary award where student juries work together to choose the winning books.

Student juries from Admiral Collingwood Elementary School in Collingwood, Ontario will meet by videoconference to debate and come to a consensus on the 2021 winners.  The winning books will be announced at a later date in June.

ABOUT THIS YEAR'S SHORTLIST
The 2021 shortlists feature Canadian authors and illustrators from diverse backgrounds working in a variety of literary and artistic styles.   The Children's Picture Book category features several stories about dealing with loss and finding new possibilities within oneself and others.  It includes several books that address themes of disability awareness and inclusion. The Young Adult / Middle Reader shortlist focuses on protagonists on emotional journeys, who must rise up in the face of personal, familial and societal challenges.  

 

CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOK AWARD CATEGORY


Fast Friends

by Heather M. O'Connor
(Peterborough, Ont.)
illustrations by Claudia Dávila (Toronto, Ont.)
Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Golden Threads
by Suzanne Del Rizzo (Oakville, Ont.)
illustrations by Miki Sato (Toronto, Ont.)
Owlkids Books

A Last Goodbye
by Elin Kelsey (Victoria, B.C.)
Illustrations by Soyeon Kim
(Burlington, Ont.)
Owlkids Books

My Ocean is Blue
by Darren Lebeuf 
(Edmonton, Alta.)
illustrations by Ashley Barron
(Toronto, Ont.)
Kids Can Press

Violet Shrink
by Christine Baldacchino
(Toronto, Ont.)
illustrations by Carmen Mok
(St. Catharines, Ont.)
Groundwood Books


YOUNG ADULT / MIDDLE READER
AWARD CATEGORY

 

I Will See You Again
by
 Lisa Boivin (Toronto, Ont.)
Highwater Press

 

The King of Jam Sandwiches
by Eric Walters
(Guelph, Ont.)
Orca Book Publishers


Me and Banksy
by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
(Vancouver, B.C.)
Puffin Canada



My Long List of Impossible Things
by Michelle Baker
(Vancouver, B.C.)
Annick Press


Sara and the Search for Normal
by Wesley King
(Lake Echo, N.S.)
Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books


 

ABOUT THE RUTH AND SYLVIA SCHWARTZ CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARDS
The 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, this year comprising students at Admiral Collingwood Elementary School in Collingwood, Ontario Five students in grades 4  will select the recipient(s) of the Children's Picture Book Award. Five students in grades 8 will select the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader 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. The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), which manages the nomination and jury process. These awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.

The nomination committee that chose this year's shortlist consisted of Geeta Raghunanan (Children's Book Specialist, A Different Booklist), Carolyn Swayze (Head of Children's Services, Anrprior Public Library), and Kate Tuff (Teahcer-Librarian, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital).

  Click here to see the full list.

 

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MEDIA INQUIRIES
Shoshana Wasser, Senior Communications Coordinator, OAC

swasser@arts.on.ca

 

ONTARIO ARTS FOUNDATION INQUIRIES
Ann Boyd, Director of Administration, OAF

aboyd@oafdn.ca

The Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario.  In 2019-2020, the OAF paid over $4.25 million in endowment income and $270,000 in awards and scholarships.

For more than 55 years, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has played a vital role in promoting and assisting the development of the arts for the enjoyment and benefit of Ontarians. In 2019-2020, the  OAC invested $51.9 million in 197 communities across Ontario through 1,965 grants to individual artists and 1,152 grants to organizations.

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