The Readings Young Adult Book Prize


Zana Fraillon wins the 2017 Readings Young Adult Book Prize

The winner of this year’s Readings Young Adult Book Prize is The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon!

This book takes us into the world of 10-year-old Subhi, a Rohingyar refugee born in a detention centre. Subhi finds hope, curiosity and friendship in hopeless circumstances, but his optimism is challenged by worsening conditions in the camp.

The book was chosen by a panel of four Readings young adult book specialists, along with guest judge and celebrated YA author Lili Wilkinson.

Wilkinson says: ‘The simple, beautiful prose is such a pleasure to read, almost lulling you into a false sense of security, before you receive the sickening gut punch of reality – this story is really happening, and it’s really happening in our own country. The Bone Sparrow is important, it’s a story that must be told, a story we must confront. At times it is bleak, but it is also a celebration of warmth, hope, humour and humanity.’

You can read the full judges’ report here.

The Bone Sparrow has also garnered international recognition in recent months, being shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Book Prize, and being named the 2017 Amnesty CILIP Honour book.

As the 2017 winner, Fraillon receives prize money of $3000.

Alongside The Bone Sparrow, the shortlist included Boone Shepard by Gabriel Bergmoser, Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim, Becoming Aurora by Elizabeth Kasmer, The Road to Winter by Mark Smith and Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland.

You can read more about this year’s shortlist here.

We’re pleased to offer the entire shortlist in a specially priced bundle ($99.99, was $116.85).

About the Readings Young Adult Book Prize

The Readings Young Adult Book Prize celebrates exciting emerging voices in Australian young adult literature. First and second published works of young adult fiction and memoir are eligible, and the Prize is awarded to the best new contribution to Australian young adult literature. The Prize was established in 2016.

Our inaugural winner was Zana Fraillon for her The Bone Sparrow, the story of a Rohingyar refugee born in a detention centre.

The Readings Young Adult Book Prize in 2018

Each year, a shortlist of six titles is selected by a revolving panel of Readings staff. 2018 judges include Mike Shuttleworth (Readings Hawthorn), Athina Clarke (Readings Malvern), George Delaney (Readings Kids) and Nina Kenwood (Marketing Manager). A guest judge will join the panel to select a winner once the shortlist has been decided.

The 2018 shortlist will be announced in late May, with the winner to be decided by late July. The 2018 winner will receive prize money of $3,000.

Eligibility Guidelines for 2018

  • The Readings Young Adult Book Prize is open to published works of young adult memoir and fiction.
  • Young adult fiction may a novel, a novella, a verse novel or a collection of short stories by a single author.
  • Young adult memoir may be original, or a young reader’s edition of an adult memoir.
  • The author must be an Australian citizen or hold permanent residency at the time of entry.
  • The book must be the author’s first or second published work of young adult fiction only. The author may have published books in other areas.
  • Co-authored works will only be considered if all contributing authors fit our guidelines.
  • 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 2018 Prize, books must have been first published between Thursday 28 April 2017 and 27 April 2018.
  • 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 Thursday 28 April 2017, through to Friday 28 July 2018.
  • Authors who win the Readings Prize for Young Adult Fiction will no longer be eligible for this Prize in future years.

Entry Guidelines for 2018

There is no process for entering the Prize. The judging panel, comprised of experienced Readings’ staff, 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