We’re thrilled to announce that OverDrive is partnering with the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) to support their Shadow Judging Book of the Year Awards. This collaboration gives schools across Australia the opportunity to connect young people to great literature at no cost.

For the duration of the Sun Project: Shadow Judging program, students can read digital versions of the available Book of the Year shortlisted titles in Sora’s Ebooks NOW collection of more than 8,000 premium ebooks, audiobooks and comics, at no cost to the school.

Inviting students to join the Book of the Year conversation

The Sun Project invites students to become ‘shadowers’ and join in the conversation about the annual Book of the Year shortlist to choose their own winners. The CBCA describes their Sun Project: Shadow Judging as a powerful way to connect young readers with the books in a safe space where their opinions and responses can be heard.

“Our mission at OverDrive is to create a world enlightened by reading; it’s why we always aim to eliminate barriers to reading access,” said Malcolm O’Brien, Regional Manager, Australia & New Zealand at OverDrive. “This partnership with CBCA will help us do that while also helping students feel empowered to read, collaborate and share their unique perspectives.”

The Sun Project: Shadow Judging program invites students to read all six books in one category from the shortlist, discuss the books as a group with their peers and create Creative Responses.

Creative Responses: “Deeply personal” perspectives

CBCA shares that a Creative Response is “deeply personal, reflecting an individual’s perspective and experiences. It often challenges the status quo, pushing the boundaries of what is known or accepted. Whether in the form of a poem, a painting, a scientific theory, or an innovative business idea, a creative response has the power to captivate, inspire, and leave a lasting impact on its audience.”

This prompt allows students to enhance their reading comprehension skills and even reading confidence by challenging them to reflect on what they’ve read and respond to it in a personal way. Students can record notes and highlights to capture their organic responses in Sora while reading. They can reflect on these even after the book has been returned.

“I love having the opportunity to give students access to books, but more so I love that with Sora and partnerships like this, we get to help foster a real love of reading beyond reading for necessity,” said Janet Galimi MEd. (TeachLib), Account Executive, Australia & New Zealand for OverDrive. “I can’t wait to see how students respond to these wonderful titles and look forward to the winners’ announcement in August! CBCA Book week is a highlight of the year for Australian school libraries.”

Sign up for Ebooks NOW to read shortlisted Book of the Year titles

The Sun Project: Shadow Judging program will run until 16 August, 2024 when the CBCA announces the Book of the Year winning titles.

Schools interested in a free trial of Sora’s Ebooks NOW to access the available digital titles can learn more here and complete the form to sign up. Schools already using Sora can reach out to their account manager to have the shortlisted titles added to their digital collection.