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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Shortlists for the 2024 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards announced

May 16, 2024

Today, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) released the shortlists for the 2024 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards. The Schwartz Awards are the only Canadian literary award where student jurors work together to choose the winning books.

Student juries from John English Junior Middle School in Toronto, Ont., will debate the shortlisted books and come to a consensus on the 2024 winners. The winning books will be announced at an event in June.

About this year's shortlists

  • The 2024 shortlists feature Canadian authors and illustrators from across the country, working in a variety of literary and artistic styles.
  • The Children’s Picture Book category features stories that contemplate vast landscapes – the richness and diversity of the natural world that inhabits these spaces, and also how networks of belonging and remembering teach us respect for ourselves, others and the planet.
  • The Young Adult / Middle Reader category features stories that navigate difficult themes, including grief, social exclusion and mental illness. The young protagonists all journey through personal struggles to understand their place in the world – worlds that include breathless adventure, spirit guides, deadly scavenger hunts, rousing swordplay, first love and the apocalypse.  



A Tulip in Winter: A Story About Folk Artist Maud Lewis 
by Kathy Stinson (Rockwood, Ont.) 
illustrations by Lauren Soloy (Bridgetown, N.S.) 
Greystone Kids  



Do You Remember?
by Sydney Smith (Halifax, N.S.) 
Groundwood Books Ltd.  


Nutshimit: In the Woods
by Melissa Mollen Dupuis (Granby, Que.) 
illustrations by Elise Gravel (Montréal, Que.) 
Scholastic Canada Ltd.   


Skating Wild on an Inland Sea
by Jean E. Pendziwol (Thunder Bay, Ont.) 
illustrations by Todd Stewart (Montréal, Que.) 
Groundwood Books Ltd.  



The Little Green Envelope
by Gillian Sze (Montréal, Que.) 
illustrations by Claudine Crangle (Toronto, Ont.) 
Groundwood Books Ltd.  





Something More
by Jackie Khalilieh (Markham, Ont.) 
Tundra Book Group  


Swept Away: Ruth Mornay and the Unwanted Clues
by Natalie Hyde (Puslinch, Ont.) 
DCB Books (an imprint of Cormorant Books) 



The Probability of Everything
by Sarah Everett (Edmonton, Alb.) 
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. 



The Raven’s Revenge
by Kevin Sands (Toronto, Ont.) 
Simon & Schuster / Aladdin Imprint 


Visions of the Crow, Dreams, Vol. 1
by Wanda John-Kehewin (Coquitlam, BC.) 
illustrations by nicole marie burton (Gatineau, Que.) and Kielamel Sibal (Winnipeg, Man.) 
HighWater Press



About the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book 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, this year comprising students at John English Junior Middle School:
    • Five students in grade 4 will select the recipient of the Children’s Picture Book Award.
    • Five students in grade 8 will select the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award.

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.
  • OAF administers the awards with the support of OAC, which manages the nomination and jury process.
  • The nomination committee that chose this year’s shortlist consisted of Alexandra Byers (co-owner of Furby House Books, Port Hope, and public librarian at Cobourg Public Library) and Cherisse Tullett (teacher-librarian at Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public School, Toronto).
  • See the full details on the award and the complete list of past laureates.  


Bruce Bennett, Executive Director, OAF