Criteria for the selection of books on the Premier’s Reading Challenge booklist

The aim of the Premier’s Reading Challenge is to encourage a love of reading for pleasure, interest and information.

In order to achieve this, the booklist panel undertakes to provide a list of diverse and interesting books of the highest quality, which are easily accessible for libraries and schools through publishers. The booklists include:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Illustrated and picture books
  • Poetry and drama
  • Classic, modern and contemporary books
  • Graphic novels

Each book will be in one of the four recommended age-appropriate reading lists: Reception-2, Years 3-5, Years 6-9 and Mature (Years 9-12).

Each book will include an annotation and allocated at least one category to indicate what the book is about.

Recommendations come from many sources including teacher librarians, teachers, public librarians, students, reviewing journals and websites, Children’s Book Council notable and short listed titles, Book Cup organisers, publishers, authors and booklist panel members.

Books will only be accepted of the highest quality for each of the reading levels and of a similar level to those already on the booklists.

Selections are made with attention to the integrity required for a program bearing the Premier of South Australia’s name.

When selecting books, the panel is mindful of the following:

  • The diverse interests of students including recreational needs
  • Respecting inclusivity
  • Students with specific needs
  • The Australian Curriculum, SACSA Framework and ESL Scope and Scales
  • Availability
  • Publishing dates of books to keep lists current, if relevant
  • Books reflecting the local community, South Australian and Australian heritage as well as books covering global issues
  • The content is already well represented in the booklists
  • A range of formats, including Braille, large print, electronic, and audio books
  • Not clearly being able to be allocated into a specific reading level
  • The authority and reputation of the authors and publishers
  • Appropriateness of the plot, theme and characters for the year level
  • Well-designed, high quality books with clear print and illustrations that complement the text, enhancing the reading experience
  • Editorial rigour in proofing, editing, layout and illustrations
  • Avoidance of bias, stereotypes and clichés

Novelty books and products generally will not be accepted.

Non-fiction books should:

  • be current, with relevant and accurate information and illustrations with captions
  • be organised with information made accessible through such things as layout, a table of contents, index and a glossary
  • include such things as diagrams, maps, graphs, photographs, and drawings which are labelled and acknowledged.

The panel has expertise in selecting books for school and public libraries and meets regularly to update and review the booklists. Books are occasionally removed to keep the booklists current or because of a request to review the book.

All selections are made in line with:

  • DECD (2004) Choosing and Using Teaching and Learning Materials: Guidelines for Preschools and Schools

How to Submit a Book for Consideration for the Challenge Book List

Our panel of qualified librarians donate their time in assessing books for inclusion on the Premier’s Reading Challenge book list, according to the above criteria.


To submit books for consideration, please send hard copies with a return address to:

Department for Education
Premier’s Reading Challenge
ATTN: Manager, Premier’s Challenges
GPO Box 1152

Round Drop: R11/37A

Please note that all mail addressed to the Education Support Hub, 8 Milner Street, Hindmarsh SA 5007 will be returned to sender by Australia Post.

Our panel will then assess them for inclusion. Please keep in mind that our panel are busy librarians who volunteer their time, so assessment of books can take some time.

We donate the chosen books to school libraries, so if you would prefer to have your book returned, please let us know when you send it. Books that are not chosen will be returned to the address included with the item when received.

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Have a question about the Challenge?

Please email our Premier’s Reading Challenge mailbox or call for assistance. We look forward to hearing from you.