Girls take up the Premiers' Reading Challenge

For 13-year-old Elissa-Kate, who reads up to three books a day, reading offers fun new adventures – on and off the page.

From Hating Alison Ashley to all seven Harry Potter books, stories give children like Elissa-Kate the opportunity to make new friends while building literacy skills.

'My friends and I often read the same book at the same time,' the Grade Eight student says.

'We've just finished 'Words in Deep Blue' by Cath Crowley.

'When we all finished the book, we talked about it at school to see which characters we liked best.

'Making friends is pretty easy because I read.'

Spotlight on female authors

The Premiers' Reading Challenge overlaps with International Women's Day (IWD) which celebrates women's achievements — past and present.

Book lists for the Challenge include some dazzling female talent, with international writers like J.K. Rowling and Sue Townsend steady favourites.

The lists also boasts home grown authors Cath Crowley, Jane Godwin, and Demet Divaroren, who also won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award in the Young Adult category.

Elissa-Kate's reading goals

Elissa-Kate and her new school friends have pledged to read 20 books by September as part of this year's Challenge.

'My friends and I love Cath Crowley,' Elissa-Kate says.  

'Her books are so good, they make me imagine everything that's happening. It's like she's making a movie in my head.'

'We're all reading different books for the Challenge. My friends can tell me the stories they've read and I can tell them what I've read. Then I can borrow their books and read even more!'

The Premiers' Reading Challenge in the Education State

Research shows that reading helps children develop resilience so they can cope with life's challenges. Reading gives children the means to connect with others, develop empathy and complete their goals.

Young people of all ages across Victoria are setting reading goals between now and September for the 2018 Premiers' Reading Challenge. From drama to magic, adventure to comedy, we're expecting more than 250,000 eager to take part.

Speak with your child's school to register for the Victorian Premiers' Reading Challenge.

For more information, see Victorian Premiers' Reading Challenge.

Here are some books written by, and about, great girls and women from the Premiers' Reading Challenge book list:

Early Childhood:

  • All Through The Year, by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker
  • Florette by Anna Walker
  • One Very Tired Wombat, by Renee Treml
  • Some Girls by Melbourne comedian Nelly Thomas


  • The Little People, Big Dreams picture books series featuring amazing women through history: Ella Fitzgerald, Ada Lovelace, Emmeline Pankhurst, Audrey Hepburn, Agatha Christie, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, Coco Chanel and Maya Angelou.
  • Andrea Beaty's books about young girls enjoying STEAM activities: Rosie Revere, Engineer; Ada Twist, Scientist; and Iggy Peck, Architect.
  • Freckle Juice by Judy Bloom
  • Billy the Punk by Jessica Carroll
  • Ruby Redfort Series by Lauren Child
  • For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzi's Story by Rebecca Langston-George and Janna Bock
  • The Our Australian Girls series tells adventures of brave, diverse girls with Australian history as the backdrop: the colonisation of Australia, European migration, the Stolen Generation and war.

High School:

  • Words in Deep Blue, by Cath Crowley
  • Wavesong by Isobelle Carmody (for those who love fantasy worlds)
  • I Am Malala - The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzi