The Readings Children’s Book Prize


The 2017 shortlist

We’re delighted to reveal this year’s shortlist for the Readings Children’s Book Prize. The six shortlisted titles are:

Escape to Moon Islands by Mardi McConnochie
A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee
Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters by Ailsa Wild
The Secrets We Keep by Nova Weetman
Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller
Grover finds a Home by Claire Garth

2017 staff judges included Athina Clarke (Malvern), Alexa Dretzke (Hawthorn), Dani Solomon (Kids) and Holly Harper (Kids). You can read their comments for each of the shortlisted titles here.

The Readings Children’s Book Prize manager Angela Crocombe says: ‘For the younger readers we have an animal adventure and a mystery story, both the first in a series. We also have a swashbuckling, seafaring adventure; the story of a haunted house; and a magical fight between good and evil. There’s something for every child to delight in and be transported by.’

We’re also pleased to be offering the entire shortlist in a specially priced bundle. This bundle is available online and from Readings Kids.

The 2017 winner

Guest judge Elizabeth Honey will join the judging panel to select a winner.

Elizabeth Honey is an award-winning author of poetry, picture books and novels. Her playful humour, originality and energy strike a chord with children everywhere. Elizabeth is also an artist and she illustrates her own books. Her picture books include Not a Nibble!, I’m Still Awake, Still! and That’s not a Daffodil! Elizabeth’s books are published in many countries around the world.

The 2017 winner of the Readings Children’s Book Prize will be announced in late April and will receive prize money of $3000.

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 was established in 2014, and each year, a shortlist of six titles is selected by a panel of Readings children’s book specialists. In 2017, staff judges included Athina Clarke (Malvern), Alexa Dretzke (Hawthorn), Dani Solomon (Kids) and Holly Harper (Kids).

Previous recipients include J.C. Jones for her middle grade novel Run, Pip, Run, Trace Balla for her graphic novel Rivertime and Julie Hunt for her fantasy adventure Song For A Scarlet Runner.

Eligibility Guidelines for 2017

  • 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 Prize, the author should have published no more than three children’s books in this category (Junior/Middle Fiction for ages 5-12). 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 2017 Prize, books must have been first published between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016.
  • Authors who are employed by Readings during the judging period for each year are not eligible for the Prize. For the 2017 Prize round, this period is from 1 January 2016, through to 30 June 2017.
  • Authors who win the Readings Children’s Book Prize will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.

Entry Guidelines for 2017

  • 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 three reading copies of the nominated book for Prize consideration throughout the eligibility period. Further copies may be requested if the book is shortlisted.


Enquiries should be directed to the Prize Manager Bronte Coates at