2024 Book of the Year Award Shortlist released

CBCA 2024 Book of the Year Awards Shortlist is released

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) proudly announces the Book of the Year Shortlist. From 656 entries across 6 categories, 36 quality Australian children’s books are celebrated. This year's shortlist includes a number of dynamic debut authors (including Brisbane’s Megan Williams whose YA novel Let’s Never Speak of This Again won the 2022 Text Prize), alongside some of the most experienced names in Australian children’s literature such as Bob Graham, Jane Godwin, Margrete Lamond, Tristan Bancks, Terry Denton, Briony Stewart, the team behind the hit series Real Pigeons Andrew McDonald and Ben Woods, and the first picture book illustrated by accomplished creative Erica Wagner.

Fifteen expert judges across 6 judging panels carefully considered the criteria and each entry's ability to engage, educate, and entertain a diverse population of young readers. The CBCA Shortlist is perfect for young readers to explore, and an important guide for grandparents, parents, teachers and librarians—anyone interested in well-crafted stories. A critique of all Shortlisted titles has been made available for interested book-purchase decision makers.

Through strong characters like fearful bears, brave ducklings, cunning pigeons, fantastic gymnasts, truck drivers, stray dogs, beautiful bowerbirds, musicians and street artists, our debut and experienced creatives make a connection directly to the reader, providing them with a lens to comprehend and ‘fit into’ a world that has changed post-pandemic and an environment requiring care and attention. This list is a testament to the important social value we place on having stories that inspire, comfort and guide our young minds.

These stories connect young readers to themselves and each other during a time when they feel intensely disconnected.

This year's shortlist lays bare what matters most to young people across Australia through a rich tapestry of genres, themes, and voices, reflecting the dynamic nature of contemporary Australian children's literature.

Wendy Rapee, CBCA National Chair.

In Australia, children’s book sales hold a 29% market share of the book market. The CBCA prides itself on supporting this industry and talented Australian creatives. Since its inception almost 80 years ago, the CBCA, through their Book of the Year Awards, has advocated strongly for a thriving reading culture for our young people.

The announcement of the shortlist also heralds the commencement of the Sun Project: Shadow Judging the Book of the Year program. Now in its third year, registrations are open for groups of children to meet, discuss, respond creatively and vote on their choice of winning book from 5 categories. Last year 225 groups participated, and the program continues to grow giving children the opportunity to develop their reading repertoire, have a voice in our literary discourse while enhancing their wellbeing.

From enchanting picture books that spark imaginations to compelling middle-grade and young adult novels addressing important societal issues, the 2024 shortlist promises an unforgettable literary journey for readers of all ages.

View the 2024 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Shortlist, register your group of 'Shadower's' and mark your calendar for midday Friday, 17 August (AEST.) to find out the 2024 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Winners and Honours.

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