The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has been the home of the Book of the Year Awards since 1946. These stories connect our communities, and through them children grow shared values and empathy. In these uniquely Australian stories celebrated on the CBCA Shortlist, children will see themselves.
The CBCA wishes to celebrate not only the finished product, but all the words and plots Australian creators tried and tested, and all the illustrations and storyboards they drafted and ditched. These shortlisted books as they stand today are the result of a long process, shaped by our skilled creatives and their publishing mentors through hard work and collaboration. The judges reward the exceptional development of characters and place with highly-crafted lyrical language and illustrative excellence. This year, concerns around climatic and social change are effectively woven through contemporary stories with skill and a real respect for the young reader.
We celebrate the persistence and agility of our story-makers – world-building writers, illustrators and publishers, who during the year that was 2020, maintained and nurtured our thriving Australian children’s literature community.
For a full list of the Notable books of the year, please head to the CBCA website.
BOOK OF THE YEAR: OLDER READERS
Entries in this category may be fiction, drama or poetry and should be appropriate in style and content for readers in their secondary years of schooling. Ages 13-18 years.
Note: Books in this category are for mature readers and some may deal with particularly challenging themes including violence and suicide. Parental guidance is recommended
BOOK OF THE YEAR: YOUNGER READERS
Entries in this category may be fiction, drama or poetry and should be appropriate in style and content for readers from the middle to upper primary years. 7-12 years.
BOOK OF THE YEAR: EARLY CHILDHOOD
Entries in this category may be fiction, drama or poetry and should be appropriate in style and content for children who are at pre-reading or early stages of reading. Ages 0-6 years.
PICTURE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Entries in this category should be outstanding books of the Picture Book genre in which the author and illustrator achieve artistic and literary unity or, in wordless picture books, where the story, theme or concept is unified through illustrations. Ages 0-18 years. (NB. Some of these books may be for mature readers).
EVE POWNALL AWARD
Entries in this category should be books which have the prime intention of documenting factual material with consideration given to imaginative presentation, interpretation and variation of style. Ages 0-18 years.
CBCA AWARD FOR NEW ILLUSTRATOR
This Award aims to recognise and encourage new talent in the field of Australian children’s book illustration. Ages 0-18 years.