The Readings Children’s Book Prize


The Readings Children’s Book Prize 2016 Winner

The winner of the 2016 Children’s Book Prize is J.C. Jones for Run, Pip, Run. As the winner of this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize, J.C. Jones will receive $4000.

This year’s prize had a strong shortlist, and Run, Pip, Run won over the judges with its unique main character and exciting story that tackled big issues.

Guest Judge Sally Rippin said, ‘Pip is a spirited character full of heart and courage who readers will fall in love with from the first page. Her story is wild and adventurous yet written in such a way that it always feels believable as the author skilfully and compassionately introduces us to a complex and sometimes confronting world many of us will never know.’

And from the judges’ report:

Run, Pip, Run is a book that will be celebrated widely and live in our hearts for a long time to come. Congratulations to J.C. Jones and to her beloved character Pip for winning the 2016 Readings Children’s Book Prize. We hope Readings’ customers will also enjoy this brilliant book, perfect for boys and girls aged 9–12 and for families to read together.’

You can read the rest of the judges’ report here. You can also read a Q&A with J.C. Jones here.

The 2016 Shortlist

The Readings Children’s Book Prize 2016 shortlist is:

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
Samurai vs Ninja: The Battle for the Golden Egg by Nick Falk and Tony Flowers
Run, Pip, Run by J.C. Jones
88 Lime Street by Denise Kirby
The Cat with the Coloured Tail by Gillian Mears and Dinalie Dabarera
Mister Cassowary by Samantha Wheeler

Prize Manager Angela Crocombe says: ‘On the shortlist this year we have two hilarious early chapter books (The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey and Samurai vs Ninja: The Battle for the Golden Egg by Nick Falk and illustrated by Tony Flowers), we have a spooky story that transforms into a time slip (88 Lime Street by Denise Kirby), a beautiful parable involving a cat and ice-cream (The Cat with the Coloured Tail by Gillian Mears and illustrated by Dinalie Daberera), a story for animal lovers featuring a very unusual animal (Mister Cassowary by Samantha Wheeler), and a story about a plucky and brave young girl who has fallen on tough times (Run, Pip, Run by JC Jones).’

You can read individual comments for each shortlisted book here. You can also buy a pack of all six of the shortlisted books at a special price.

About the Readings Children’s Book Prize

The Readings Children’s Book Prize, established in 2014, recognises and celebrates books that families love reading together, or that children read under the covers with a torch late into the night because they can’t bear to put it down – books they tell their friends about. The Prize aims to raise the profile of debut and on-the-rise Australian authors that we believe could make an important contribution to the rich variety of Australian publishing.

The Prize judges are a panel of Readings children’s book specialists: Angela Crocombe, Athina Clarke, Alexa Dretzke, Isobel Moore, and Holly Harper. In 2016, they will be joined by a special guest judge, children’s book author Sally Rippin, to decide the winner.

Previous recipients include Trace Balla for her graphic novel Rivertime, which the judges described as ‘a stunning debut that heralds the arrival of an exciting new Australian author–illustrator’, and Julie Hunt for her fantasy adventure Song For A Scarlet Runner, which our judges said had ‘stolen the heart of every judge on the panel’.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • The Readings Children’s Book Prize is open to a work of published fiction, written for children aged 5–12 .
  • The author must be an Australian citizen or hold permanent residency at the time of entry.
  • To be eligible for the 2015 Prize, the author should have published no more than four children’s books in this category (Junior/Middle Fiction for 5-12 year olds). Picture books and YA novels are not eligible and will not be counted. A series published within a 12-month period is considered as one book.
  • Graphic novels, or illustrated narratives, are eligible for entry.
  • Books of co-authorship, including books written by an author and illustrator, will be eligible.
  • Books authored by more than two authors will be eligible.
  • If the winning book has been written by an author and an illustrator it will be judged on a case by case basis as to whether they will jointly win the Prize and share the prize money.
  • Books published only in e-book form are not eligible to be entered.
  • Self-published works are not eligible to be entered.
  • Entries must be published in English.
  • Authors must be living at the date of publication.
  • To be eligible for the 2016 Prize, books must have been first published between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
  • Authors who are employed by Readings during the judging period for each year are not eligible for the Prize. For the 2016 Prize round, this period is from 1 January 2014, through to 30 June 2015.
  • Authors who win the Readings Children’s Book Prize will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.

Entry Guidelines

  • There is no process for entering the Prize. The judging panel will decide on eligible titles and invite respective publishers to submit no more than five reading copies of the nominated book for Prize consideration throughout the eligibility period.


Enquiries should be directed to Readings Carlton children’s buyer and prize manager, Angela Crocombe at