The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) have announced the shortlists for the 2021 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards. The Awards recognize artistic excellence in Canadian children’s literature and the winners will be announced later in June. THE KING OF JAM SANDWICHES by Eric Walters and ME AND BANKSY by Tanya Lloyd Kyi have both been recognized in the Young Adult/Middle Reader category!

About ME AND BANKSY (Puffin Books):

Dominica’s private school is covered in cameras, and someone is hacking into them and posting embarrassing moments for the whole school to see. Like Ana picking her nose. When Dominica quickly changes her shirt from inside out in what she thinks is the privacy of a quiet corner in the library, she’s shocked — and embarrassed — to discover a video has captured this and is currently circulating amongst her schoolmates. So mortifying, especially since over the past three years, they’ve had a half-dozen school talks about social media safety.

Who has access to the school security cameras and why are they doing this? Dominica and her best friends, Holden and Saanvi, are determined to find out, and in the process start an art-based student campaign against cameras in the classroom.

Tanya Lloyd Kyi writes both fiction and nonfiction on topics related to science, pop culture, social history — or a combination of the three. Her recent books include Under Pressure, Prince of Pot, and Mya’s Strategy to Save the World. Tanya lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her family.

About THE KING OF JAM SANDWICHES (Orca Book Publishers):

Robbie, 13, is the King of Jam Sandwiches. With a mentally ill father at home, Robbie knows how to take care of himself. When his father is not waking him up at all hours of the night or disappearing for days at a time, Robbie spends his time preparing meals, doing laundry and going to school, not to mention his part-time job. Robbie knows he deserves much better but feels he can’t do anything to change his situation, that is, until he meets Harmony.

Harmony is the fast-talking, tough as nails new kid in school, and it’s up to Robbie to show her the ropes. Not surprisingly, their first encounter ends horribly, with Robbie getting punched in the face. But despite their differences, Robbie and Harmony have a lot in common, including each having a dysfunctional parent, and once they realize this, they become inseparable.

But then one day, Robbie’s father disappears again, and Harmony’s mother runs away from rehab. On a mission to find her mother, Harmony displays the courage that Robbie so craves, and Harmony’s example kickstarts Robbie’s own quest to seek a better life.

Eric Walters is a Member of the Order of Canada and the author of over 115 books that have collectively won more than 100 awards, including the Governor General’s Award for THE KING OF JAM SANDWICHES. A former teacher, he began writing as a way to get his fifth-grade students interested in reading and writing. Walters is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 100,000 students each year in schools across the country. He has won the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Fiction Award three times and the Association’s Red Maple Award four times, a Christopher Award and an Africana Book Award. He was recently nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. In addition, he cofounded Creation of Hope, a children’s program that provides services to orphans in rural Kenya. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Eric Walters now lives in Guelph, Ontario, with his wife, Anita.

To see the full list of honorees, please visit: