Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards

For over 35 years, the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards have recognized artistic excellence in Canadian children’s literature. 

The Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz to honour the memory of her sister, Ruth, a prominent bookseller in Toronto. The first award was given to Mordecai Richler for Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang. In 2004, their family renamed the awards to honour both sisters.

Two awards are presented annually, one for picture books and the other for young adult/middle readers. The winners are nominated by a three person awards committee comprised of a bookseller, a librarian and a children’s book reviewer. The winners are selected by juries of young readers from an Ontario public school. 

The administration of these awards is shared by the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council (which manages the jury process), and the Ruth Schwartz Foundation (which funds the awards). 


Prize: $6,000 each for Picture Book and Young Adult / Middle Reader


2015 Recipients

Children's picture book winner
The Magician of Auschwitz
Kathy Kacer (Toronto, Ont)
illustrations by Gillian Newland (Toronto, Ont.)
Second Story Press


Adult Middle Reader winner
The Boundless
By Kenneth Oppel
HarperCollins Canada

Students from Alexander Muir / Gladstone Avenue Public School with Kathy Kacer,
Gillian Newland, and Kenneth Oppel



Past Recipients


News Releases 
Kathy Kacer, Gillian Newland and Kenneth Oppel honoured with the 2015 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards  May 15, 2015

Interview: Dash Grundy

Leafs Dreams Arts Scholarship Recipient

From 2003 - 2011, the Ontario Arts Foundation partnered with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) on the Leafs Dreams Arts Scholarship Program. The Program provided scholarships in the arts to students who have a special ability in the arts, but not the resources to pursue that interest.


BLOG: Common Issues Facing the Arts in Canada and the U.S.... Read more >>