OAF News

2012 Short List for Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards

Toronto, April 24, 2012– The 2012 short listfor the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards was revealed today. The 2012 winners will be announced at Toronto's Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School, 78 Seaforth Ave, Toronto, ON at 1:00 p.m. on May 31, 2012.


This year's short list represents some of Canada's best-known children's book authors and some new names. The Children's Picture Book category showcases diverse illustration and story styles, ranging from stories of migration, adventures on two wheels, tales of mischievous animal characters, to picturesque evocations of Canadian flora and fauna. The Young Adult / Middle Readercategory challenges its jury with historical novels and stories from abroad, as well as thrilling mysteries and a celebration of women authors.



Along A Long Road
By Frank Viva
(Toronto, ON)

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


No Ordinary Day
By Deborah Ellis
(Simcoe, ON)

House of Anansi & Groundwood Books

The Vole Brothers
By Rosalyn Schwartz

(Montreal, QC)
Owlkids Books

Scribbling Women
By Marthe Jocelyn

(Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books

 Picture a Tree
By Barbara Reid
(Toronto, ON)

Scholastic Canada

Blink and Caution
By Tim Wynne-Jones

(Perth, ON)
Candlewick Press

Loon by
Susan Vande Griek
(Halifax, NS)
Illustrations by
Karen Reczuch
(Acton, ON)

House of Anansi & Groundwood Bks

That Fatal Night
By Sarah Ellis
(Vancouver, BC)
Scholastic Canada

By Maxine Trottier (Newman's Cove, NL)

Illustrations by
Isabelle Arsenault
(Montreal, QC)
Groundwood Bks

The Whole Truth
By Kit Pearson
(Victoria, BC)
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.



  • 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.  


  • The winners are selected by two juries of young readers. This year's jurors are students at Parkdale Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto. The award recipients will be announced at the school on May 31, 2012.


  • Five students in grade 2 and 3 will choose the author and illustrator for the Children's Picture Book Award. 


  • Five students in grade 8 will select the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader award.


Peter Caldwell, Director and CEO at the Ontario Arts Council states, "Young readers discuss and debate the work of Canadian authors and illustrators, select the winner of The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Awards and have fun in the process. What more could we ask from a children's book awards program?"

Alan Walker, the Ontario Arts Foundation's Executive Director adds, "Through the foresight of Sylvia Schwartz, who first established the awards, and the ongoing generosity of the Ruth Schwartz Foundation who fund them, these wonderful annual awards continue to bring joy and recognition to young readers and authors alike. We are thrilled to be a part of their rich tradition."



  • 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.


  • The Ontario Arts Foundation administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council, which manages the nomination and jury process. These awards are funded through the Ruth Schwartz Foundation.  


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Geneviéve 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) works with arts patrons to build long-term support for the arts in Ontario.

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is the province of Ontario's main 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. In 2010-2011, the Ontario Arts Council funded 1,720 individual artists and 1,057 organizations in 223 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.3 million.

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