Personal Philanthropy

Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards

For over 40 years, the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards have recognized artistic excellence in Canadian children’s literature. 

The Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz to honour the memory of her sister, Ruth, a prominent bookseller in Toronto. The first award was given to Mordecai Richler for Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang. In 2004, their family renamed the awards to honour both sisters.

Two awards are presented annually, one for picture books and the other for young adult/middle readers. The winners are nominated by a three person awards committee comprised of a bookseller, a librarian and a children’s book reviewer. The winners are selected by juries of young readers from an Ontario public school. 

The administration of these awards is shared by the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council (which manages the jury process), and the Ruth Schwartz Foundation (which funds the awards). 


Prize: $6,000 each for Picture Book and Young Adult / Middle Reader


2019 Recipients

Children's picture book winner
Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
By Wab Kinew (Winnipeg, Man.)
Illustrations by Joe Morse (Oakville, Ont.)
Tundra Books


Adult Middle Reader winner
By Colleen Nelson (Winnipeg, Man.)
Dundurn Press   


Pictured: Members of the 2019 Schwartz Awards student juries from Eastview Public School with (from left to right), Joe Morse, illustrator of Children's Picture Book Go Show The World, Ann Shortell, Ruth Schwartz Foundation, Herb Solway, Ruth Schwartz Foundation, Gary Solway, Ruth Schwartz Foundation, Colleen Nelson, author of Young Adult / Middle Reader book Sadia, Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation, Heather Webb-Makin, Eastview Public School, and Carolyn Gloude, Awards Officer, Ontario Arts Council.   

Past Recipients


News Releases 
Colleen Nelson, Wab Kinew, and Joe Morse honoured with the 2019 Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards  June 14, 2019

Shortlist for the 2019 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards announced  May 7, 2019

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