OAF News

2011 Short List Announced Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Childrenís Book Awards Celebrate 35 Years

Toronto, April 20, 2011 – The 2011 short list 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 yearmarks the 35th anniversary since Mordecai Richler won in 1976 for Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang.



This year's short list 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

By Wallace Edwards (Yarker, ON)

Illustrations by Wallace Edwards

Kids Can Press


Chester's Masterpiece

By Mélanie Watt (Laval, QC)

Illustrations by Mélanie Watt

Kids Can Press


I Know Here

By Laurel Croza (Markham, ON)

Illustrations by Matt James (Toronto, ON)

Groundwood Books


Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth!

By Marie-Louise Gay (Outremont, QC)

Illustrations by Marie-Louise Gay

Groundwood Books


Singing Away the Dark

By Caroline Woodward (Victoria, BC)

Illustrations by Julie Morstad (Vancouver, BC)

Simply Read Books



Young adult / middle reader award category


Grease Town


By Ann Towell (Shetland, ON)


Tundra Books




Half Brother
By Kenneth Oppel (Toronto, ON)


Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.




No Safe Place


By Deborah Ellis (Simcoe, ON)


Groundwood Books




I am Canada: Prisoner of Dieppe


By Hugh Brewster (Toronto, ON)


Scholastic Canada Ltd




Think Again


By JonArno Lawson (Toronto, ON)


Illustrations by Julie Morstad (Vancouver, BC)


Kids Can Press






<!--[if !supportLists]-->         <!--[endif]-->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. 


<!--[if !supportLists]-->         <!--[endif]-->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.


<!--[if !supportLists]-->         <!--[endif]-->Five students in grade 3 and 4 will choose the author and illustrator for the Children's Picture Book award.


<!--[if !supportLists]-->         <!--[endif]-->Five students in grade 7 and 8 willselect the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader award.






John Degen, Literature Officer at the Ontario Arts Council states, ìI'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.î




Alan Walker, the Ontario Arts Foundation's Executive Director adds, ìAs 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.î  






<!--[if !supportLists]-->         <!--[endif]-->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.


<!--[if !supportLists]-->         <!--[endif]-->See the list of previous laureates. 


<!--[if !supportLists]-->         <!--[endif]-->The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the fund while the Ontario Arts Council administers the jury process.  




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GeneviËve Vallerand, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Arts Council


416-969-7434/1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434 | gvallerand@arts.on.ca






Alan Walker, Executive Director


416-969-7413 | awalker@arts.on.ca




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.


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