The 2020 winners of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were announced today by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF).
The winners were selected by two juries of young readers from Canada’s National Ballet School. A jury of grade 6 students selected the recipients of the Children’s Picture Book Award, and a jury of grade 8 students selected the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.
Each student juror read the books individually and then worked with their group to reach consensus and choose a winner – this year, via videoconference. This teamwork-based process reinforces leadership and decision-making skills for the students.
“This award is truly special, because it’s chosen by the audience we wish to reach in the first place – children themselves,” said illustrator Annie Boulanger. “I'm also very proud, knowing the high quality and sensitivity of all the books that have previously received this unique award.”
Illustrator, Annie Boulanger
Twelve-year-old Rowan is destined to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the oldest child is always next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. Then tragedy shatters the longstanding rule, and Rowan finds herself hunting the most dangerous monster of all: a gryphon. It will take all of Rowan's skills, both physical and diplomatic, to keep this adventure on track. The future of her kingdom depends on it.
“Who wouldn't want to read a story about a princess with a sword, in a land full of monsters?” said the student jury. “On her quest, Rowan shows us that her true strength in not in her sword, but in her kindness and respect for all creatures great and small.”
“For a children’s author, there is no contest as satisfying as those judged by kids themselves,” said Kelley Armstrong. “I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted that this year’s panel enjoyed A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying.”
Author, Kelley Armstrong