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Celebrate Australian Reading Hour 2021

  •  The much-loved annual Australian Reading Hour returns Tuesday 14 September 2021
  • With activities in schools, libraries, bookshops, shopping centres & public transport
  • Four new SPECIAL EDITIONS from some of Australia’s best book creators for young people
  • Supported by a national publicity and marketing campaign

Host an ARH 21 event

Sign-up to host an event for ARH 21 with our Ambassadors around the theme Stories that Matter: The Story of Me, the Story of You, and How we are becoming Us. Curated by Australia Reads these events explore how the stories we read and write shape our sense of identity, belonging and wellbeing.
Register your interest at Australia Reads


With four special editions for young readers

In-store September 2021 | $4.99 | 96 pages | B format Paperback

Learn, laugh and love with four brand new Australia Reads Special Editions especially created to help make good books more readily accessible for young people from the award-winning team of Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner, acclaimed YA rom-com writer Jenna Guillaume, the dynamic duo of Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith and First Dog on the Moon, and the AFL kids’ fiction series writers Nicole Hayes and Adrian Beck.

Dump bins, posters, bookmarks available from ADS.

Phone: 02 4390 1300 or

Downloadable assets coming soon via Hachette Hub.


The Magnificent Hercules Quick

Hercules Quick dreams of being a magnificent magician. He is saving up to buy a box of magic tricks. Luckily, he has plenty of neighbours who need his help. Whether it’s lending a hand to Professor Calamari or doing an out of season spring-clean for Queen Claude, no job is too odd for Hercules.

A hilarious story about an ordinary boy who does odd jobs for his eccentric neighbours. From the current Australian Children’s Laureate, and the bestselling creators of The Terrible Plop.

Title: The Magnificent Hercules Quick
Author: Ursula Dubosarsky, with illustrations by Andrew Joyner
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 9781761065712
Order: phone UBD on 1800 338 836 or


The Deep End

When Josie humiliates herself in front of the whole school at the swimming carnival, she vows to never step foot in the water again. Then Jake Owen, the best swimmer (and hottest boy) in her year drops a note in her bag to meet him at the pool – with her swimmers. Against all the voices in her head screaming it’s a bad idea, she takes him up on his offer. As the pair bond over failed freestyles and parental pressures, they learn more from each other than they ever could have anticipated.

Title: The Deep End
Author: Jenna Guillaume
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781760987305
Order: phone ADS 02 4390 1300 or


Little Book Big Universe: A Guide to Exploring Australia's Night Skies

Look up! This brilliant step-by-step fun guide to exploring Australia’s night skies is full of mind-blowing facts about our cosmos, perfect for aspiring amateur astronomers and curious minds.

Want to watch spectacular meteors rain down on Earth? Wave to real-life astronauts as they fly overhead? Find your way home using only the Southern Cross?

With Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith’s talent for making the secrets of the universe accessible and First Dog on the Moon’s awesome drawings you will master time travel and planet hunting, learn how to take amazing photos in the dark and use helpful gadgets to supercharge your new backyard hobby.

Title: Little Book Big Universe: A Guide to Exploring Australia’s Night Skies
Author: Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith with illustrations by First Dog on the Moon
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Order: phone ADS 02 4390 1300 or


Little Legends: The Missing Cup

Little Legends: The Missing Cup continues the hilarious and action-packed adventures of star Australian Rules players, Oz, Ellie and Sanjay Little, in the only official AFL junior fiction series.

After winning a prestigious lightning footy tournament in its centennial year, the Fresca Bay Falcons are invited to the grand unveiling of their special Cup at the MCG sports museum. But when the Cup goes missing, it’s up to their star players – Ellie, Oz and Sanjay – to figure out where it went and uncover the other secrets the mighty MCG holds.

Little Legends is packed with fun and perfect for fans of Tiny Timmy, Real Pigeons and Weirdo.

Title: Little Legends: The Missing Cup
Author: Nicole Hayes & Adrian Beck
Publisher: Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing
ISBN: 9781760509828
Order: phone HarperCollins 1300 551 721 or


A word on reading from our 2021 special edition book creators


‘By simply picking up a book we can experience adventures in other worlds, solve mysteries, fall in love AND defeat the baddies, all from the comfort of our couch. Humans are hardwired to share stories.’
—Adrian Beck

Adrian Beck is a part-time TV producer, full-time AFL fan, and part-time writer of funny, action-packed adventure stories that are fun to read – even for kids who struggle to get interested in books.


‘When I’m not making books I like to read them, especially poetry books. I don’t mean to be prescriptive, but I think more people should read poetry. Go on, give it a try.’
Andrew Joyner

Andrew Joyner is a highly acclaimed picture book creator who has illustrated many of Ursula Dubosarsky’s picture book texts to great success. Together they have won and been short-listed for many awards. His books have been published in more than twenty-five countries.


‘READING! I LOVE TO READ! BOOKS ARE OUR FRIENDS! THE MAGIC OF WORDS! I’m getting a bit teary just thinking about it.’—
First Dog on the Moon

First Dog on the Moon is an award-winning political cartoonist who has written and illustrated various books and performed live onstage in a number of shows.



‘Reading offers an escape like no other. Immersing myself in different lives and worlds is one of my favourite things to do. Books are essential. They’re fun and beautiful and thought-provoking and life-changing.’
—Jenna Guillaume

Jenna Guillaume is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist (SMH, Junkee, BuzzFeed, MTV, The Guardian, Girlfriend) and author of YA rom-coms What I Like About Me and You Were Made For Me.


‘However busy you are, I reckon there is always time before bed to read a few pages. In my experience a few pages turn into a few chapters…’
Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astrophysicist, author, and Australian Government Women in STEM Ambassador with a talent for making the secrets of the universe accessible to all. She has appeared on ABC TV’s Stargazing Live and in her own stage show, When Galaxies Collide.


‘Reading is a way for us to escape and explore. It’s how we process and understand the world around us – and the worlds we don’t know yet. Reading is freedom. Its benefits are limitless.’
—Nicole Hayes

Nicole Hayes is an award-winning author, podcaster and footy fanatic. She is one-sixth of the award-winning all-female Australian football podcast and radio show, The Outer Sanctum (on the ABC).


‘Read at breakfast with that first cup of tea or coffee – or bowl of cereal! Nobody likes talking at breakfast time (do they?) so it’s a great time to read a book… Soon you won’t be able to start the day without it.’
Ursula Dubosarsky

Ursula Dubosarsky is the current Australian Children’s Laureate. She is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 60 books.


Give-away advance reading copies

We have 4 sets of the Australia Reads Special Editions (see below) to give-away. Email Australia Reads and tell us (in 10-30 words) what you believe about the value of reading and why.


With appreciation

Our thanks to ADS, Allen & Unwin, Hachette Australia, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, Pan Macmillan and Thames & Hudson who have made the publication, sales & distribution of the Special Editions books possible!

Australia Reads is also grateful for the ongoing support of the Australian Booksellers Association, Australian Library & Information Service, Australian Publishers Association, and the Australian Society of Authors, as well as Books+Publishing and the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.


About Australia Reads

Australia Reads is a not-for-profit joint initiative of the book industry on a mission to get more people reading more books more often. For more information visit:




Contact us


Kelsey Oldham

Digital editor
Brad Jefferies

Acting editor, Daily
Matthia Dempsey

Editorial assistant
Anthea Yang

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