Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Friday 20 October 2023

Northern Secondary Readers’ Cup

The Northern Secondary Schools’ Readers’ Cup also celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, with this special report from Jess Marston sharing her first experience in judging this competition. Jessica enjoyed this different secondary perspective rather than organising and participating in the Primary event (check it out here).

The Secondary Readers’ Cup for the North was in Term 3, with four teams competing for the prized trophy.

Hosts, Scotch Oakburn College, were also joined by teams from Newstead Christian School, Launceston Church Grammar School and Queechy High School.

The participants arrived with heads and hearts richer for the wonderful book list provided to them for this year’s event.

These were 2023 CBCA Shortlisted books The Way of Dog – Zana Fraillon and Xavier in the Meantime – Kate Gordon, along with tried and tested classics Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli, The Single Shard – Linda Sue Park, Millie and the Night Heron – Catherine Bateson and The Heaven Shop – Deborah Ellis.  These were all first time reads for me, and I found each to be so full of heart, with characters that will definitely stay with me for a long time.  Added to this impressive list of novels was Drew Daywalt’s delightful picture book The Day the Crayons Quit.

Our teams began the event with quiz rounds to test their recall knowledge of the books, their characters, settings, events and themes.  Questions were given to the participants aloud, with answers arrived at collaboratively within each team.  Quiz rounds were interspersed with Creative Presentations from each team.

This was my first experience with the Secondary Readers’ Cup so I was very eager to see each team’s approach to sharing the deeper messages and understandings they gained from the books.

Co-judge Carol Fuller and I were definitely treated with extremely thoughtful and creative responses that showed empathy, understanding and connection.  With the expectation that teams showcased a minimum of three titles, all teams chose to feature most, if not all, of the books, which we were very impressed with.  

Following the completion of the Quiz, Creative Presentations and a pizza lunch, the results of the 20th Northern Secondary Readers’ Cup were announced with Newstead Christian School the excited winners.

The winning team…

Newstead Christian School's Creative Performance

I would like to acknowledge the time and effort given by the school staff who support this wonderful expression of learning through literature, and for their part in promoting reading for enjoyment.

Particular thanks must go to host David Morris, Scotch Oakburn College Librarian, for his long-term commitment to the continuation of this important event, Petrarch’s Bookshop for their ongoing support of Readers’ Cup events in Northern Tasmania, and of course the CBCA Tasmanian Branch for their support and sponsorship.

Jess Marston 

Teacher Librarian, Hagley Farm School


  1. What a wonderful feat to see the Readers' Cup continuing for so long - a wonderful achievement. It is great to know that teenagers are being given the opportunity to read, engage and enjoy great literature. Well done! Jennie Bales

  2. It’s really wonderful Jessica that your involvement with Secondary students was so positive. Helen H