Feb 18, 2020


The Readings Children’s Book Prize shortlist 2020

We’re very excited to reveal this year’s shortlist for the Readings Children’s Book Prize. This prize celebrates exciting new voices in Australian children’s literature for readers aged 5 to 12.

The six shortlisted books are:

This year’s shortlist reflects the rich array of children’s publishing in Australia: there is a book for every child here. Beginner readers will delight in a highly appealing and hilarious graphic novel; more advanced readers will be captivated by a gripping, action-packed tale touching on climate crisis, and a moving novel that incorporates comics in its exploration of grief and immigration. Families will discover some great read-alouds: Indigenous fables, a timeless adventure, a single transformative year for a nine-year-old. Each book on this shortlist is of the highest quality and digs into themes relevant to young people; we predict these books will be adored by readers.

You can read the judges’ comments for each shortlisted title below.

The Secrets of Magnolia Moon by Edwina Wyatt & illustrated by Katherine Quinn

Join Magnolia Moon for a year of her life. In each self-contained chapter of this book, she shares new experiences in her world, including farewelling a best friend and becoming a big sister. There are surprises and changes, upsets and joys. There are goodbyes, hellos, and everything in between. But Magnolia always manages to get along in unexpected and clever ways.

The Secrets of Magnolia Moon is for the whimsical child in your life. A curious and irrepressible nine-year-old, Magnolia is fascinated by mythology and approaches the world with a sense of wonder that’s infectious. The challenges she encounters throughout a single year will be deeply relatable to children, and Edwina Wyatt’s serious and generous depiction of them will be appreciated. Rich storytelling and lovely illustrations from New Zealand-based illustrator Katherine Quinn make this a sweet and charming read-aloud to share together.

For ages 6+ as a family read-aloud, or for independent readers aged 7+.

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