Introducing our inaugural Teen Advisory Board

We are delighted to reveal our Teen Advisory Board for 2017-18.

The Readings Teen Advisory Board is a volunteer group of teens that meet once a month to chat about young adult books, learn about careers in the book industry and give us advice.

We were overwhelmed by the response we got from interested teens after our initial call-out. We heard from more than 70 applicants who are clearly all passionate and articulate book lovers. It was fascinating to hear so many of the applicants mention the sensory pleasures – the smell and touch – of being surrounded by books, particularly in bookshops. We enjoyed reading about money saved to purchase greatly desired books, regular visits to libraries, and a strong desire to connect with other teens who love books.

teenboard11Pictured here are some of our brilliant board members!

It was a very difficult decision in choosing who to offer a position on the board, but we are thrilled with our final 10. The 10 teens selected to be on our Teen Advisory Board for 2017-18 are…

Dylan McBurney
Layla Saraya
Tracy Hwang
Kate Kleinitz
Mia Tikellis
Kirrily Ireland
Christopher Buur
Joe Murray
Aisha Saed
Stella Theocharides

Our board have already been busy reading proof copies of Australian recent and forthcoming titles and writing quotes and reviews. They have also been giving opinions on marketing materials, including bookmarks, shelf-talkers and posters. We can confirm that they have strong opinions about colours and fonts.

Each month the board will be visited by industry professionals including authors, editors, publishers and numerous staff members from Readings to talk about their role. They have already met our inaugural Readings Young Adult Book Prize winner, Zana Fraillon, and received a free copy of her award-winning novel, The Bone Sparrow, courtesy of her publisher, Hachette.

You can find out what else they’ve been reading lately below.

Two of our board members caught up on books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Young Adult Book Prize.


Stella Theocharides read Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim

‘Shark infested waters in 1960s Communist China? This isn’t your average historical fiction: Freedom Swimmer will both break and warm your heart.

As urban and rural lives collide in Mao’s China, two unlikely friends watch the lights of Hong Kong flicker on the horizon at night, dreaming of freedom. But would you be willing to risk search patrols, sharks and bitter cold seas for a chance at a better life?

Set in a time where the wrong wishes can get you imprisoned, this story is a tale of courage and daring sacrifice. You’ll love its honesty and compassion and won’t be able to resist the heartfelt relationships in the story. Emotionally gripping from start to finish – I couldn’t put it down!’


Kirrily Beth read Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

Our Chemical Hearts will play with your heart – and then seriously mess around with it. Full of hilarious pop-culture references, loveable characters and more ‘feels’ than one can really handle at two o’clock in the morning, you’ll want to do more than take a bite into this masterpiece; you’ll want to guzzle the whole thing up.’

Undoubtedly one of the biggest perks of the Teen Advisory Board is getting to read a favourite author’s books before they’re released in Australia.


Tracy Hwang read Warcross by Marie Lu

‘Marie Lu is one of those authors who never cease to amaze, she can be thrown into any genre, any time period and any setting. Lu’s writing is to be admired; more often than not she will have you sobbing on the floor as her words pull at your heartstrings, or wrapped up in a state of awe at her unmatched worldbuilding.

Set in a futuristic Tokyo, this science-fiction thriller is narrated by the bold and loveable Emika, a hacker and bounty hunter. Emika is just trying to make ends meet when she is suddenly thrown deep into the world of Warcross. The global obsession started nearly a decade ago, with ninety per cent of the population now fully immersed in the game of virtual reality.

When she’s hired by Warcross’ mysterious billionaire creator, Hideo Tanaka, Emika is forced to see what really lies underneath the façade of the global sensation and, along the way, manages to crack through the walls of the charmingly reserved Warcross creator.

Lu conjurers up an exhilarating world intertwined with virtual reality, that will leave readers gasping for breath. Warcross is packed with thrills and simmering with romance. This is a book like no other and a must read for new and existing fans of Lu. Suitable for 13 years and up.’


Mia Tikellis read Invictus by Ryan Graudin

‘I don’t believe in love at first sight. I find it stupid to believe that you can love something from the inside to out in one glance. But perhaps I was wrong. As I sat on the table and stared at this book, I knew it was the one. Don’t ask me how, but I did. The way the title flickered across my retinas, and captured my imagination, I knew. And I wasn’t wrong.

Invictus is a historical-science fiction mash-up that is unlike anything I have ever read before. From the thrilling action to the down-to-earth characters – I was immersed in it all. All I wanted was to jump into the book to experience the thrill and action for myself. Ryan Graudin has once again delivered a novel where every sentence is intriguing and intense, filled with twists you don’t see coming.

I still don’t believe in love at first sight though, at least not with humans anyway.’

Look out for shelf-talkers, reviews and other feedback from our teens in blog posts and in the shops. We look forward to keeping you posted on their reading throughout the coming year.

The Bone Sparrow

The Bone Sparrow

Zana Fraillon

$19.99Buy now

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