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Winners Announced for the 1998 Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award

Toronto, April 23, 1998 -- Students from Jesse Ketchum Public School in Toronto celebrated Canada Book Day by picking the winners of the 1998 Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award. They made the announcement today at Chapters book store on Bloor Street West, Toronto. 

Martha Brooks, a writer from Winnipeg, won the $2,000 prize in the young adult/middle reader category for Bone Dance, published by Groundwood Books. Guelph-based author Jo Ellen Bogart and the husband-and-wife illustrator team, Laura Fernandez and Rick Jacobson, of Toronto, split the $3,000 prize in the picture book category for Jeremiah Learns to Read, published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Each year, the Ontario Arts Council selects an Ontario school to provide the juries for the two prizes. This year, Toronto’s Jesse Ketchum Public School did the honours. Five students in grades 7 and 8 chose Bone Dance as the best young adult/middle reader book, saying that it was "soulful", and it "dealt with complex ideas and feelings and made them
accessible." Another five students from grades 4 and 5 chose Jeremiah Learns to Read as the best picture book, describing it as "fantastic" because it made them realize "you can take on new challenges no matter how old you are." For each category, the children chose from a short list of five finalists.

The administration of the Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award is shared by the Ontario Arts Council Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canadian Booksellers Association, whose members select the short list of books. The award was established in 1976 by The Ruth Schwartz Foundation in honour of the late Ruth Schwartz, a respected Toronto bookseller.

OAC Media Contact: Kirsten Gunter, Manager of Communications
Tel: (416) 969-7403. Toll-free outside of Toronto: 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7403.