The Readings Children’s Book Prize

The Readings Children’s Book Prize 2015 Shortlist

The six shortlisted titles are:

Our judges say, ‘We’re proud of this year’s diverse list with a story to suit every reader and interest level within the age group. Whole new worlds and unique ways of looking at our world will be discovered between the covers of the following six books. Readers will encounter lashings of humour, exciting adventures over land and sea, wicked witches and obnoxious aliens, action on the sports field, and the joys of camping under the stars.’

Find their comments about individual titles on the shortlist here.

You can purchase a pack of all six shortlisted books at a special price here.

The winner will be decided by the Readings Children’s specialists along with our guest judge, bestselling author Sally Rippin, in June and will feature in our July newsletter.

Past Winners

The winner of the 2014 Children’s Book Prize was Tasmanian author Julie Hunt with her fantasy adventure Song For A Scarlet Runner! She was awarded $4000 in prize money.

Guest Judge Sally Rippin said, ‘Reading Song For A Scarlet Runner was like being transported to another world. The language was gorgeous and evocative and the characters so skilfully drawn that if I close my eyes I can still be transported back there, weeks after having put the book down. As an adult reader I loved this novel as an adult, and can only imagine the magical experience of being swept away by a book like this as a child.’

Read more from our judges here. Or read a Q&A with Julie Hunt here.

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 Readings Children’s Book 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 judging panel for 2015 is comprised of Readings’ children’s book specialists. Author Sally Rippin will once again be joining the judging panel to help select the winner from the shortlist.

The prize money for the winner of the Award in 2015 will be $4000.

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.
  • To be eligible for the 2015 Prize, books must have been first published between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014.
  • 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.
  • The shortlisted and winning authors will be asked to participate in publicity events and media opportunities at the time of the Award announcements, and in the months following, and should be, where possible, available to assist in promoting this Award and the advancement of Australian literature.

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

 Read reviewStuff Happens: Jack

Stuff Happens: Jack

Tony Wilson

STUFF HAPPENS is a contemporary reflected reality fiction series for young boys. Each book tells the story of an incident of emotional importance to one of the boys in a fictional primary school class. The stories, written by some...

$9.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewThe Mapmaker Chronicles: Race to the End of the World

The Mapmaker Chronicles: Race to the End of the World

A.L. Tait

A map of the world? Why did the King need one of those? Besides, everyone knew that if you went too far in either direction you'd fall off the edge, and if that didn't kill you Genesi the dragon of death would be waiting.The King...

$14.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewRivertime


Trace Balla

A gentle and beautiful book about slowing down and growing up, set on Australia's Glenelg River and featuring a ten-year-old boy and his uncle. Ages 8-12.

$24.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewHow to Save the Universe in Ten Easy Steps

How to Save the Universe in Ten Easy Steps

Allison Rushby

The whole universe is at stake in this comedy about a ten-year-old boy and his battle to prevent the end of life as we know it.

$12.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewFiggy in the World

Figgy in the World

Tamsin Janu

Figgy has two problems. One is her name. Nobody in Ghana has that name. The other is that her grandmother is ill and needs special medicine. Figgy cant do much about her name, but she can do something for Grandma Ama.

$15.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...

 Read reviewOphelia and the Marvellous Boy

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy

Karen Foxlee

Eleven-year-old Ophelia might not be brave, but she certainly is curious. Her family is still reeling from her mother's death, and in a bid to cheer everyone up, her father has taken a job at an enormous gothic museum in a city...

$14.95Buy now

Finding stock availability...