No place for adult book on kids' shelves

New Zealand Post has a rich history reaching back 170 years, serving the country with its communication system.

Now I find it ironic that it is responsible, through the 2013 NZ Post Children's Book Award, for approving a book for 13-year-olds that is beyond belief in its content.

Ironic that such a service is now allowing a message that is in this ''winning'' book to be communicated to our children.

The three judges who approved of the book should be held even more responsible for approving such graphic content.

No heroes or heroines in this story. No uplifting exploits to inspire children. Only the author Ted Dawe's explicit descriptions of drug-taking and the glorifying of it and the misuse of adult power and many other abhorrent themes too graphic to be printed here.

Children deserve better than this.

NZ Post has agreed that a label reading ''Parental Advisory: Explicit Content'' be affixed to each copy for sale and in libraries but this is an adult book and has no place in the bookshops for that age group, children's public library or in our schools.

NZ Post should be asked to withdraw its award.



Dawe's book Into the River is a prequel to his Thunder Road, which itself won the NZ Post Children's Book Awards Young Adult Fiction category in 2004. The awards manager did advise that the prequel ''explores themes including sex and drug-taking, and features some coarse language''. The judges said that the prequel captures the essence of who we are and the problems we face in a way that perhaps only a novel can. - Editor

The Southland Times