The CBCA Shadow Judging program has gone national in 2022. To find the new site and more go to shadowjudging.cbca.org.au.

The Shadow Judges

The Children’s Book Council has announced the Book of the Year winners for 2021.

Explore this site to discover what our the CBCA Shadow Judges adjudicated as the best books after their review of the nominated titles.

The Shadow Judging Program for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards is an initiative of the CBCA (Victorian Branch) Inc. 17 Victorian and 3 NSW schools and libraries were selected as Shadow Judges of the 18 titles selected to be on the 2021 CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist.

This program encourages all readers, from emerging to young adult, to express their opinions about the titles selected by the CBCA Judges as contenders for this year’s Book of the Year Award.

The readers choose to focus on one of six categories: Older Readers, Younger Readers, Early Childhood, Picture Book, New Illustrator or the Eve Pownall Information Book.

The CBCA Journey

For 76 years, the CBCA has brought children and books together across Australia for the CBCA Book Week. During this time schools and public libraries spend one glorious week celebrating books, as well as Australian children’s authors and illustrators. Our aim is to make the Shadow Judging Program another powerful way in which classroom teachers, teacher-librarians and public librarians can participate in the lead up to the week.

In addition to the colourful displays, parades of favourite characters, competitions and stories relating to the year’s theme, Shadow Judging allows our students to dive deeply into the Short List and give their personal responses to great literature it highlights.


Although our Shadow Judges for 2021 have now been selected, you can still form your own group to judge the CBCA Shortlisted books at your school or library. Drop us a line if you, your school or library is interested. By registering, you will receive Shadow Judge certificates when you have finished discussing the list and chosen your own winner!

Send an email to The CBCA Vic office here:

Story Box Library is a partner in the CBCA Shadow Judging Program and gives a six month free subscription to participating schools and libraries. All 2021 CBCA Book of the Year shortlisted books for the Early Childhood category and the Picture Book category are available from Story Box Library. 

We gratefully acknowledge the support of ‘The Kid’s Bookshop’ and ‘Readings Kids’ who delivered shortlist packs to our participating schools and Libraries at 20% discount.