The Readings Children’s Book Prize


The Readings Children’s Book Prize shortlist 2018

The shortlist for this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize has been announced!

Kim Gruschow, Chair of the judging panel, says: ‘This year’s shortlist is exceptionally strong and brimming with adventure. It exemplifies the wonders of reading, introducing and transporting readers to unfamiliar places – from the high seas to the Stone Age, and deep into fantasy worlds filled with magic and mystery.’

The six shortlisted titles for 2018 are:

Tarin of the Mammoths: The Exile by Jo Sandhu
Nevermoor: The Trial of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Lintang and the Pirate Queen by Tamara Moss
The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty
Home Time by Campbell Whyte

You can read individual judges' comments for each title and find recommended ages here.

If you would like to purchase all six books at once, we are offering a specially priced pack for $99.99 (was $123.95).

Look out for the winner announcement online in late April and in the May edition of the Readings Monthly. The winner will receive prize money of $3,000.

The Readings Children’s Book Prize in 2018

The Readings Children’s Book Prize was established in 2014 and recognises the best new Australian books written for children aged 5 to 12.

The Prize celebrates books that families love reading together, and 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 is awarded to the book which we believe children will love best.

Each year, a shortlist of six titles is selected by a revolving panel of Readings booksellers.

2018 judges include Daniella Robertson (Malvern), Alexa Dretzke (Hawthorn), Dani Solomon (Carlton) and Kim Gruschow (St Kilda). Once the shortlist has been decided, Davina Bell will join the panel to select a winner. Bell is the author of numerous children’s books including middle fiction and picture books, as well as an experienced editor. She currently works at Affirm Press. Her latest book is Under the Love Umbrella.

Eligibility Guidelines for 2019

  • 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.
  • Second or subsequent books in a series will not be considered.
  • Graphic novels, or illustrated narratives, are eligible for entry.
  • Books of co-authorship, including books written by an author and illustrator, 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 2019 Prize, books must have been first published between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018.
  • Authors who are employed by Readings during the judging period for each year are not eligible for the Prize. For the 2019 Prize round, this period is from 1 January 2018, through to 30 April 2018.
  • Authors who win the Readings Children’s Book Prize will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.

Entry Guidelines for 2019

  • 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