Personal Philanthropy

Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards

For over 40 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


2021 Recipients

Children's picture book winner
Fast Friends
By Heather M. O'Connor (Peterborough, Ont.)
Illustrations by Claudia Dávila (Toronto, Ont.)
Scholastic Canada Ltd.


Adult Middle Reader winner
Sara and the Search for Normal
By Wesley King (Lake Echo, N.S.)
Simon & Schuster / Paula Wiseman Books  


Past Recipients 


News Releases 
2021 Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards presented to Heather M. O'Connor, Clauda Davila and Wesley King June 22, 2021

Shortlist for the 2021 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards announced  June 9, 2021

BLOG: Light at the end of the tunnel... Read more »