OAF News

2013 Short List for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards

Toronto, April 10, 2013 – The 2013 short list for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards was announced today. The 2013 winners will be announced at Etobicoke's North Kipling Junior Middle School, 2 Rowntree Road, Etobicoke, ON at 1:00 p.m. on May 23, 2013.


This year’s short list includes some of Canada’s best-known and award-winning children’s book authors and illustrators. The Children’s Picture Book category showcases diverse illustration and story styles, ranging from elaborate fantasy worlds, rhyming wishes and dreams, to a story about doing the right thing. The Young Adult / Middle Reader category challenges its readers with science-fiction tales and trials of families.



A Few Bites 
By Cybèle Young
(Toronto, ON)

Groundwood Books


A Tinfoil Sky
By Cyndi Sand-Eveland
(Nelson, BC)

Tundra Books, a division of Random House Canada

A Hen for Izzy Pippik
By Aubrey Davis
(Toronto, ON)
Illustrations by Marie Lafrance           (Montreal, QC)           Kids Can Press

By Cheryl Rainfield

(Toronto, ON)
Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd.

By Ashley Spires
(Saskaton, SK)

Kids Can Press

By Rachel Hartman

(Vancouver, BC)
Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House of Canada

Virginia Wolf  by
Kyo Maclear
(Toronto, ON)

Kids Can Press  Illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault (Montreal, QC)  Kids Can Press

The Grave Robber's Apprentice
By Allan Stratton
(Toronto, ON)
HarperCollins Canada

By Jean Little (Guelph, ON) 
Illustrations by
Geneviève Côté
(Montreal, QC)
North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
By Susin Nielsen
(Vancouver, BC) Tundra Books, a division of Random House of Canada



  • 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 North Kipling Junior Middle School in Toronto. The award recipients will be announced at the school on May 23, 2013.


  • Five students in grade 3 and 4 will choose the author and illustrator for the Children's Picture Book Award. 


  • Five students in grade 7 and 8 will select the recipient of the Young Adult / Middle Reader award.


"This remarkable award encourages critical thinking and exposes young book lovers to the collaborative decision making in a jury process. I am proud that the Ontario Arts Council, with its Ontario Arts Foundation partner, encourages young people to read and discuss the work of Canadian authors and illustators."
Peter Caldwell, Director and CEO at the Ontario Arts Council

"Through the foresight of Sylvia Schwartz, who first established the awards, and the ongoing generosity of the Ruth Schwartz Foundation who fund them, these awards are a highly anticipated annual event in Canadian children's literature. The growing list of recipients of these awards is a testament to the talented and vast field of Canadian children's authors we have all come to cherish."
Alan Walker, the Ontario Arts Foundation's Executive Director



  • 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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Kirsten Gunter, Director of Communications, Ontario Arts Council

416-969-7403 /1-800-387-0058, ext. 7403 | kgunter@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 2011-2012, the Ontario Arts Council funded 1,681 individual artists and 1,125 organizations in 216 communities across Ontario for a total of $52.8 million.

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