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Shoshana Wasser

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Shortlist for the 40th anniversary Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards announced

May 12, 2016

The 2016 shortlist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards was announced today. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Schwartz Children's Book Awards – the only Canadian literary award where student juries work together to choose the winning books.

This year's winners will be chosen by student juries fromToronto's Scarborough Village Alternative Public School. The announcement will take place during a school assembly on Wednesday, June 22.

About this year's shortlist

  • The Children's Picture Book category takes readers on journeys around the world, through a village of animals, and into the realm of our imagination.
  • The Young Adult / Middle Reader category includes stories of surprising friendships, tensions with parents, and overcoming unexpected challenges.

Children's Picture Book
Award Category

Young Adult / Middle Reader
Award Category

A Boy Asked the Wind
by Barbara Nickel (Yarrow, B.C.)
illustrations by Gillian Newland (Toronto, Ont.)
Red Deer Press
A Boy Asked The Wind

Cut Off
by Jamie Bastedo (Yellowknife, N.W.T.)
Red Deer Press
Cut Off

Melvis and Elvis
by Dennis Lee (Toronto, Ont.)
illustrations by Jeremy Tankard (Vancouver, B.C.)
HarperCollins Canada Ltd.
Melvis and Elvis

The Dogs
by Allan Stratton (Toronto, Ont.)
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
The Dogs

Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds
by Marianne Dubuc (Montreal, Que.)
Kids Can Press
Mr. Postmouse's Rounds

by Eric Walters (Guelph, Ont.)
Doubleday Canada

Some Things I’ve Lost
by Cybèle Young (Toronto, Ont.)
Groundwood Books
Some Things I've Lost

We Are All Made of Molecules
by Susin Nielsen (Vancouver, B.C.)
Tundra Books
We are all made of molecules

Today Is the Day
by Eric Walters (Guelph, Ont.)
illustrations by Eugenie Fernandes (Lakehurst, Ont.)
Tundra Books
Today is the day

Young Man With Camera
by Emil Sher (Toronto, Ont.)
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
Young man with camera

About the awards

  • 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 Scarborough Village Alternative Public School in Toronto.
    • 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 of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.


"We are delighted to mark the 40th anniversary of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards in 2016. Over the years, this award has honoured so many outstanding Canadian children's authors and illustrators – all while giving the student jurors an opportunity to develop their critical thinking and teamwork skills."
Peter Caldwell, Director & CEO, Ontario Arts Council


"In this milestone year, we recognize the impact the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards have had on Canadian children’s literature over the last 40 years. We look forward to continuing to celebrate the work of Canada's remarkable children's authors and illustrators."
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation


Learn more

  • 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 (OAF) administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), which manages the nomination and jury process. The awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.
  • To celebrate the award's 40th anniversary, the OAF and OAC are doing an online countdown of all past laureates. Click here to see the full list.


Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation