Book of the Year Awards 2017

Each year Speech Pathology Australia conducts its Book of the Year Awards.

Nominations for 2017

Nominations for the Association’s Book of the Year 2017 awards are now closed.  Contact Speech Pathology Australia if you wish to receive a nomination form for the Book of the Year 2018 Awards.

Shortlisted books 2017

Nominations have now closed for the Book of the Year Awards for 2017. There were 151 books nominated for this year’s awards and these titles have now been shortlisted. View a list of the books shortlisted in each of the five categories.

The shortlisted books are now being judged against criteria relevant to each category by a panel of experts in oral language and literacy development.

The winning books in 2016

The winning books in the Book of the Year’s five categories were announced on Thursday, 13 October 2016 at a ceremony at the State Library of Queensland. The winners in the five categories in are:

  • Indigenous children: The Pearl-shell Diver by Kay Crabbe
  • Birth to 3 years: Once I Heard a Little Wombat by Renée Treml
  • Three to 5 years: Something Wonderful by Raweyn Caisley (Illustrated by Karen Blair)
  • Five to 8 years: Funky Chicken: Chooks in Space by Chris Collin (Illustrations by Megan Kitchin)
  • Eight to 10 years: New Boy by Nick Earls.

In addition, well-known Australian children’s author, Alison Lester, was awarded the Association’s Children’s Language and Literature Award and inducted into the Speech Pathology Australia's Book of the Year Hall of Fame.

Let's Read

As in 2015, the Birth to 3 Years category is proudly supported by Let's Read, a national early literacy initiative that promotes reading with children from birth. Let’s Read was developed by the Centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) and The Royal Children’s Hospital. The MCRI and The Smith Family have partnered to implement Let’s Read with communities across Australia.


Literacy is based on good oral language skills. The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards aim to promote quality Australian books that help children get the best, most literate start in life.

Books are awarded for “Best Book for Language and Literacy Development” in the following categories:

  • Birth to 3 years
  • 3 to 5 years
  • 5 to 8 years
  • 8 to 10 years
  • Indigenous Children.

Each book is judged on its appeal to children, interactive quality and ability to assist speech pathologists and parents in communication and literacy development. Learn more about the selection criteria for the Book of the Year Awards .

Why a book award?

The Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards aim to promote children’s books as literacy tools, as well as raising awareness of the role of speech pathologists play in helping children develop language and literacy skills. The awards:

  • promote quality Australian children’s literature;
  • enhance awareness of the role speech pathologists play in language and literacy development; and
  • encourage a love of reading.

Past Winners

Past winners of the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards include Mem Fox, Graeme Base, and Morris Gleitzman. Who else has won the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards?

Hall of Fame Award

A Hall of Fame Award (‘Children’s Language and Literature Award’) is awarded to an outstanding candidate who has made a significant and sustained contribution to Australian children’s language and literature.

A children’s author may be nominated if they satisfy the following criteria:

  • The author is Australian or resides permanently in Australia
  • The author has published a significant number of books for children over a 10-year or longer period
  • The books published by this author are, or have been, readily available in Australia
  • The books published by this author must facilitate interaction and communication
  • The books published by this author have quality graphics, design and production.

Nominate an author for the Hall of Fame (Children’s Language and Literature Award)

Previous Book of the Years

For information about the Book of the Year Awards in past years, contact the Association.

No Bars on Books

No Bars on Books was a very successful award winning book drive conducted by Speech Pathology Australia’s Tasmania Branch in 2015. With the support of the local community, speech pathologists collected community donations of new and second-hand books to help restock the local prison’s existing Books-on-CD program.

In the Books-on-CD program, incarcerated parents are supported to record themselves reading a book, and then both the book and recording are given to their children. It is a program which has an evidence-base showing effective support for the maintenance of family connectedness during a term of incarceration.

While the No Bars on Books Facebook page continues to receive likes and members of the community continue to donate books; local charity, Chatter Matters Tasmania, will continue to distribute the books into the prison. For further information contact No Bars on Books.