CBCA Book Week Ideas 2019

March 31, 2019

The 2019 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week theme is ‘Reading is my Secret Power’.

So let me get you sorted for Book Week in August!



The perfect secret power… Who would ever suspect the kid with a book? Ways reading can be my secret power- literally!

  • Throwing books at bad guys
  • Giving a book to the enemy so they get paper cuts
  • Setting up bookshelves to fall on the bad guys heads
  • Giving the enemy such a good book that they can’t put it down and they are trapped forever
  • Give the bad guys a library of good books and poor lighting so they are blinded
  • Lay some secret middle of the night book traps so they trip over them or stub their toes








The best thing about your secret reading power? People under-estimate your power. Nobody would every guess that a kid or teen like you could:

  • infiltrate other cultures (books about language, customs or culture anyone? Black Cockatoo would give you a head start if you visited or moved to a remote Aboriginal town for example… and shameless plug)
  • time travel and change our future (read books about the mistakes of people and cultures of the past to change our future now- Rabbit Proof Fence, Shaun Tan’s Rabbits, Dark Emu)
  • travel to different worlds and change ours (stop mining companies like Pocahontus or Avatar? Avoid politics gone too far like in 1984, Animal Farm or Handmade’s Tale (should Trump voters have read these books before their last election?), avoid nuclear disaster or survive after like in Obernewtyn Chronicles or Taronga)
  • amaze people with your new karate, or knot tying, or bush tucker finding skills (non-fiction books can be deadly!)
  • be confident and cool like how your favourite book characters got their popularity or fame

What other ways can books be your secret power? Add your ideas in our comments section below!


We’ve even got your costume ideas sorted. Did you notice that 13 of the 36 books on the CBCA shortlist 2019 had birds on their cover? And 6 of those were about birds, or had birds as characters. Even the poster for CBCA Book Week has a bird on it! Sooooooo… this Book Week why not go with it?

Free bird masks to download and make http://www.supercoloring.com/coloring-pages/cockatoo-mask and  https://cdn0.woolworths.media/content/banners/masks.pdf

Check out some of these bird themed beaks that you can buy from Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/au/market/bird_beak_mask

Pinterest has some cool ideas for you mob who can sew or have family who can help you make your costumes: https://www.pinterest.com.au/backyardchirper/bird-costumes/?lp=true



Discussion points:

  • Why is reading an easy super power to get?
  • Why is reading a good super power to have?
  • What is your favourite book and how has reading it made you more powerful?

Art and craft ideas:

  • Origami ninja stars- label with your reading powers
  • Design the ‘Super Reader’ logo, chest plate, uniform, powers and enemy
  • Use a page of an old book to
  • Make a superhero outfit from old newspapers
  • Draw a self portrait with secret powers you have got from books
  • Cut and paste things from books/magazines/newspapers/brochures etc to make your secret super hero

Class activities:

  • Practice a new reading superpower each week- super knowledge, super ‘how to’ power, super problem solving, super time travel, super world travels etc.
  • Design a reading superpower boardgame/card game where players have to read stuff to win
  • Brainstorm ways reading makes you powerful
  • Race to list as many books that have characters with powers (secret or not).

#CBCA2019 #CBCABookAwards #BookWeek #BlackCockatoo

PS- While you are here… our novella Black Cockatoo is on the shortlist! Check out our FREE differentiated, comprehensive teaching pack here. 
PPS- You might also like the extra ideas on our second blog post here: http://carlandhakea.com.au/cbca-book-week-ideas/


  1. Robin "Handmade's (sic)..."??
    July 27, 2019 at 8:24 am · Reply
    • Hakea Whoops! Thanks Robin!
      August 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm · Reply

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