Montreal author-illustrator Marianne Dubuc and Governor General’s Literary Award–winning YA writer Susin Nielsen were presented with this year’s Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards at a ceremony at Scarborough Village Alternative Public School in Toronto on June 22.
The awards are administered by groups of young readers in two categories: children’s picture books, judged by Grade 3 and 4 students; and a YA/middle grade, judged by Grade 7 and 8 students.
Dubuc, who won for Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds (Kids Can Press), her picture book about a mouse postman’s travels around his village of colourful critters, said in a release, “When I learned that the book had been awarded by children, by its own readers, I thought it was absolutely fantastic. It is for you, the young readers, that I make my books. Mr. Postmouse and I would like to thank you for this great honour, and hope you will discover many books that will fill your life with tons of wonderful adventures.”
In critiquing Nielsen’s YA novel We Are All Made of Molecules (Tundra Books), about two teen opposites in one blended family, kid jurors called the book “funny, powerful, and inspirational,” with relatable characters and believable issues. Nielsen said in the release, “I wish I’d known the Schwartz sisters, who did much for Canadian children’s literature. And the fact that the winners are chosen by student juries makes it truly special. Knowing that the book is connecting with my intended audience is the ultimate prize.”