book cover illustration for This Is How I Know children's book
Dr. Brittany Luby’s children’s book

A children’s book by a professor in the University of Guelph’s College of Arts has been named a finalist for the 2022 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards. 

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh: This Is How I Know by Dr. Brittany Luby, Department of History, is among five works shortlisted in the children’s illustrated books category. 

Two $6,000 Schwartz awards are presented annually, one for picture books and the other for young adult/middle readers. The Ontario Arts Foundation administers the awards with the support of the Ontario Arts Council. 

They are the only Canadian literary awards in which student jurors choose the winning books. 

Luby’s story-poem is written in Anishinaabemowin and English and tells the story of an Anishinaabe child and her grandmother as they explore the seasons and the natural world.  

Illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, the tale was inspired by Luby’s own childhood memories of time spent with Knowledge Keepers north of the Great Lakes. Alan and Alvin Corbiere, along with Mary-Ann Corbiere, translated Luby’s English verse into Anishinaabemowin. 

Dr. Brittany Luby

Last fall, Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh: This Is How I Know was named a finalist for the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Awards

In 2020, Luby’s children’s book Encounter was shortlisted for the inaugural Sheila Barry Best Picturebook of the Year Award. 

In 2021, she received the Governor General’s History Award for Scholarly Research for her 2020 book, Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory, about impacts of Canadian hydroelectric development on Indigenous communities. 

The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 by Sylvia Schwartz in memory of her bookseller sister, Ruth. Past laureates include Mordecai Richler’s Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko’s Thomas’ Snowsuit, and Wab Kinew and Joe Morse’s Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes. 

Student juries from Faywood Arts-Based Curriculum School in North York, Ont., will debate the shortlisted books this year before selecting the 2022 winners in June.