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The Readings Children’s Book Prize (2014-)
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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Inaugurated in 2014, The Readings Children's Book Prize is administered by Readings, an independent book, film, and music retailer based in Melbourne, Victoria.

According to the award's official website:

'The Readings Children’s Book Prize 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.'

Source: The Readings Children's Book Prize ( (Sighted: 2/4/2014)

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2022

winner y separately published work icon The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-Bottomed Boat Charlie Archbold , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2022 23603377 2022 single work children's fiction children's

'Bernie mutters to me. ‘No way. Who’d go into the mangroves at night?’
I swallow. Not me. Not into Sebastian land. No one would head into crocodile heartland in the middle of a dark night. No one, unless they had a very good reason.

'Andy and his best friend Eli live in a small coastal town in far north Queensland.
When Eli’s cousin Jacob is arrested for a jewellery theft, Andy and Eli both know he is innocent.

'The police have evidence. But something is not right, and Andy and Eli need to work out what, and fast or Jacob will end up in jail.

'So, with the help of twins Bernice and Fletcher (AKA Bernie and Fletch) and Andy’s trusty sausage dog, Washington, they set out to hunt for clues to what really happened. The trail points to a mysterious red-bottomed boat rumoured to be hidden deep in the mangroves.

'Does it hold the evidence they need to prove Jacob’s innocence?

'Can they find it without getting lost forever?

'And how will they outwit Sebastian, the legendary gigantic saltwater crocodile?

'Charlie Archbold’s action-packed new middle-grade adventure is a fun story of sleuthing, courageous deeds, the triumph of good over evil – and the power of friendship.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon As Fast As I Can Penny Tangey , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2020 18935962 2020 single work novel

'One girl. One dream. A few hurdles.

'Ten-year-old Vivian is determined to win a medal at the Olympic Games one day. Problem is, she hasn't found a sport she's any good at yet. But everyone says if you work hard enough you can achieve anything, right? So when Vivian discovers she has a talent for cross country running, finally, her Olympic dream might actually come true.

'But then a family illness is uncovered and all of Vivian's plans begin to unravel. Can she keep her dream alive? Or will she be stopped in her tracks?

'A funny, heartfelt novel about resilience, acceptance and dreaming big.' 

(Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon The Girl, the Cat and the Navigator Matilda Woods , London : Scholastic UK , 2019 15649417 2019 single work children's fiction children's

'Curious, pin-bright Oona Britt dreams of setting sail with her ship’s captain father for a life of excitement on the wild waves. She has read stories of a magical creature—the Nardoo—who swims through the stars at night, and stows away on whaling boat the Plucky Leopard for an adventure full of myths and marvel among the ice-caps.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon The Peacock Detectives Carly Nugent , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018 12286482 2018 single work children's fiction children's

'The last time William Shakespeare and Virginia went missing Cassie found them sitting on a coiled hose behind the fire station, and Dad called her ‘Cassie Andersen, Peacock Detective’. So this time she knows what to do—she’ll look for clues and track them down. But the clues lead her in an unexpected direction and Cassie finds herself investigating a confusing mystery about her family. The Peacock Detectives is a warm and engaging story for middlegrade readers about dealing with change and finding out who you are.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon The Exile Jo Sandhu , Sydney : Puffin , 2017 11589108 2017 single work children's fiction children's adventure historical fiction

'Tarin longs to be a hunter, but his twisted leg means he is feared and bullied. After a disastrous mishap, Tarin is forced to leave his family and travel alone across wild, unknown land to save the Mammoth Clan. Battling the hostile and savage Boar Clan, a deadly illness and treacherous terrain with twins Kaija and Luuka and their wolf cubs, Tarin realises that if they are all to survive he must conquer his greatest fear – his true self – and embrace the magic that is hiding within him.' (Synopsis)

Works About this Award

y separately published work icon Books about the Australian Bushfires Leanne Hall (presenter), Angela Crocombe (presenter), Melbourne : Readings , 2020 18804892 2020 single work podcast

'In the fourth episode of the Readings Kids Podcast, Leanne and Angela share books to help facilitate conversations about the recent Australian bushfires with kids, and also discuss the six books shortlisted for this year's Readings Children's Book Prize.'

Source: Soundcloud.

y separately published work icon The Readings Children's Book Prize Shortlist 2018 Bronte Coates (interviewer), Melbourne : Readings , 2018 23467293 2018 single work podcast interview

'Prize Manager Bronte Coates chats about this year's Readings Children's Book Prize shortlist with Kim Gruschow, chair of the judging panel.'  (Production summary)