2016 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award Winner

We are very happy to announce that one of our titles has won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards! Congratulations to Susin Nielsen (who is also made of awesome molecules)!

Young Adult / Middle Reader Award Category

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
“This book is funny, powerful and inspirational… The characters dealt with a lot of complicated issues in a believable way that we could relate to…. I can imagine myself reading this book a million more times. It has the best ending ever!” – Student jurors in grades 7 and 8

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. The Ontario Arts Council and Ontario Arts Foundation took a look back at 40 years of winners with this online countdown.

This year’s winners were chosen by student juries from Toronto’s Scarborough Village Alternative Public School. Each student read the books individually and then worked together with their group to reach consensus and decide on a winner. The announcement took place during a school assembly on Wednesday, June 22.

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Shortlist for the 2016 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

We are very excited to announce that two of our titles have been nominated for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards! Congratulations to Susin Nielsen, Eric Walters, and Eugenie Fernandes!

Children’s Picture Book Award Category

today is the dayToday Is the Day
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-648-4
Mutanu is excited. As she goes about her chores, she thinks about the day to come and what surprises it might bring. For today is no ordinary day at the orphanage she lives in. Every year, the orphanage honors its newest arrivals by creating a birthday day especially for them. From that moment forward, the orphans have a day that they know is theirs–a day to celebrate, a day to enjoy, a day to remember. And today is the day!
Based on real children in an orphanage in Kenya, this lovely story shows how something as simple as a birthday, something most of us take for granted, can mean so much in another part of the world.

Young Adult / Middle Reader Award Category

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but “ungifted” socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed “It” girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. “The Brady Bunch” it isn’t. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents’ divorce; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they – like the rest of us – are all made of molecules.

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 from Toronto’s Scarborough Village Alternative Public School. The announcement will take place during a school assembly on Wednesday, June 22.

Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards Shortlist

We are very excited to announce that two of our titles have been nominated for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards! Congratulations to Cybèle Young, Dan Bar-el and Tatjana Mai-Wyss!

Picture Book Category:

Nancy KnowsNancy Knows
Written by Cybèle Young
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-482-4
Nancy Knows is a great example of the power and charm of simple storytelling. Young’s prose is clear; each brief sentence is composed of carefully chosen words that inspire readers to take their time and savour the story (a fitting approach for a book about memory). But it is Young’s artwork that elevates the narrative to extraordinary heights…. Young once again works her magic, combining intricately detailed miniature paper sculptures (which represent memories) with soft, pencil-sketched outlines of Nancy and her surroundings. The effect is utterly mesmerizing.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Middle Reader Category:

audreyAudrey (cow)
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Hardcover | 240 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN: 978-1-77049-602-6
Animal Farm meets The Great Escape…. The back-and-forth among the characters is over the top … but Bar-el pulls it off with great charm. The result is purely delightful, as are Tatjana Mai-Wyss’s appropriately vintage-looking spot illustrations. The short first-person passages help move the story along, ending with a comedy-of-errors that culminates in Audrey happily living out her days at an animal sanctuary. Bar-el manages to gently and thoughtfully introduce kids to the concept of the abattoir while also underscoring that a farm’s very purpose is producing food. At its heart, Audrey (Cow) encourages kids to think even as it entertains – the mark of wonderful children’s literature.” – Starred Review, Quill and Quire

About the Award
The award, made possible by the Ruth Schwartz Foundation, is presented annually to the authors/illustrators of two outstanding works of Canadian children’s literature – a picture book and a young-adult/middle-reader title.

Ruth Schwartz was a respected Toronto bookseller who ran a bookstore in the Park Plaza Hotel. She made a special effort to promote Canadian-authored children’s books. In 1976, after Ruth Schwartz’s death, her sister, Sylvia, established an award in her name. In honour of the late Sylvia Schwartz, the family recently added her name to the award.

The award is administered jointly – the Ontario Arts Council oversees the jury process and publicizes the award and the Ontario Arts Foundation publicizes the award.

The winners are selected by two juries of young readers, which this year are students at Alexander Muir / Gladstone Avenue Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto and will be announced there on Friday, May 15, 2015.

Shortlist for the 2014 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

The following Tundra title have been shortlisted for the 2014 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards in the Young Adult / Middle Reader category:

Little Red LiesLittle Red Lies
Written by Julie Johnston
Hardcover | 352 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-313-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-314-8
“Johnston has crafted a beautifully written, low-key, yet emotional story of a family dealing with the return of a son at the close of war….” — Starred Review, Booklist
“Filled with bumbling characters who achingly love each other, this coming-of-age tale rises above a crowded field to take readers on a moving journey of discovery.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Congratulations to Julie Johnston! Congratulations to the other shortlisted authors for their titles as well: Ultra by David Carroll; The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten; Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault; and Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow.

About the Award
The award, made possible by the Ruth Schwartz Foundation, is presented annually to the authors/illustrators of two outstanding works of Canadian children’s literature – a picture book and a young-adult/middle-reader title. The award is administered jointly – the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) oversees the jury process and publicizes the award and the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) publicizes the award.

The 2014 winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at Aldergrove Public School in Markham, Ontario.

2013 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards Winners

The 2013 winners for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were announced today at Etobicoke’s North Kipling Junior Middle School, where students gathered for a celebratory presentation.

We would like to congratulate Susin Nielsen! The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is the Winner of the Young Adult / Middle Reader Award!

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K LarsenThe Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
Student jurors in grades 7 and 8 said the following about The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen: “This is a raw perspective on life but at the same time there are moments of comedy that are genuine” and “This is an important issue for both bullies and those being bullied. Henry’s story shows us what happens to family and friends after suicide or an act of violence.”

We would also like to congratulate Aubrey Davis and Marie Lefrance! A Hen for Izzy Pippik is the winner of the Children’s Picture Book Award.

Thank you to the 2013 selection committee: Melanie Fishbane, book reviewer and blogger; Mary Brown, independent bookseller; and Matthew MacDonald, public librarian. Many thanks to the juries of young readers at North Kipling Junior Middle School. Students in grades 3 and 4 chose the winning author and illustrator of the children’s picture book award. The recipient of the young adult / middle reader award was chosen by students in grades 7 and 8.

For more information about the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards, please visit the Ontario Arts Foundation(OAF) and the Ontario Arts Council (OAC).

Shortlist for the 2013 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

The following titles have been shortlisted for the 2013 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards in the Young Adult category:

A Tinfoil SkyA Tinfoil Sky
Written by Cyndi Sand-Eveland
Hardcover | 224 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-277-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-294-3
“…A Tinfoil Sky is a messy, heart-wrenching story. Sand-Eveland does an admirable job of not flinching from the harsh realities of Mel’s life. Her vivid, descriptive prose clearly depicts a precarious world where love, family and home are elusive propositions…. Tackling a challenging topic, Sand-Eveland deftly weaves hope amidst the hurt and the story has the ring of authenticity to which young readers will respond.” – Canadian Children’s Book News

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K LarsenThe Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-373-5
“…a highly emotional story about a family that blames one another, and themselves, for an unimaginable tragedy. Nielsen’s balance of humor and pathos is finely honed, making this a surprisingly breezy read for so heavy a topic.” – Booklist

Congratulations to Cyndi and Susin! Congratulations to the other shortlisted authors for their titles as well: Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, and The Grave Robber’s Apprentice by Allan Stratton.

About the Award
The award, made possible by the Ruth Schwartz Foundation, is presented annually to the authors/illustrators of two outstanding works of Canadian children’s literature – a picture book and a young-adult/middle-reader title. The award is administered jointly – the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) oversees the jury process and publicizes the award and the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) publicizes the award.

The 2013 winners will be announced at Etobicokes’s North Kipling Junior Middle School, 2 Rowntree Road, Etobicoke, ON at 1 p.m. on May 23, 2013.

Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards Nominations

Congratulations to Marthe Jocelyn, “Scribbling Women” has been short listed for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards in the Young Adult / Middle Reader category!

“Scribbling Women”
True Tales from Astonishing Lives
Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Hardcover | 208 Pages
Ages: 14+
ISBN: 978-0-88776-952-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-230-1

If you want to read what others thought about “Scribbling Women,” check out all the links from the blog tour.

Toronto-born MARTHE JOCELYN is the award-winning author and illustrator of over twenty books. Her picture book Hannah’s Collections was short-listed for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration. Her novel Mable Riley won the inaugural TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Marthe Jocelyn is the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work.

About the Award
The award, made possible by the Ruth Schwartz Foundation, is presented annually to the authors/illustrators of two outstanding works of Canadian children’s literature – a picture book and a young-adult/middle-reader title.

Ruth Schwartz was a respected Toronto bookseller who ran a bookstore in the Park Plaza Hotel. She made a special effort to promote Canadian-authored children’s books. In 1976, after Ruth Schwartz’s death, her sister, Sylvia, established an award in her name. In honour of the late Sylvia Schwartz, the family recently added her name to the award. The award is administered jointly – the Ontario Arts Council oversees the jury process and publicizes the award and the Ontario Arts Foundation publicizes the award.

The 2012 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards will be judged by a panel of students from a school from the Parkdale area who are representative of the general school population and have demonstrated a strong interest in reading.