Detailed descriptions of sex acts, coarse language and scenes of drug-taking are at the heart of why a novel was voted the best children’s book of the year, the award’s head judge says.
Ted Dawe’s Into the River won the top honour at the annual New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.
However, its racy content has led one bookstore to refuse to stock it, and award organisers are sending “explicit content” stickers to all booksellers to warn potential buyers.
The book uses expletives including the c-word and depicts drug use and sex scenes, including one where a baby mimics the sounds of intercourse.
The chief judge of the awards, author Bernard Beckett, said Into the River was in the young adult category, for ages 14 to 18, and was aimed at those aged 15 and older.
The content that had offended some needed to be taken in context, he said….
Bob McCoskrie, of lobby group Family First, claimed the author and judges were out to “pollute the moral innocence of kids”.
“I think every New Zealand parent would be saying, ‘What were the judges thinking?’ This is an adult book that even adults would find offensive.”
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Otago Daily Times
Graphic content in winning children’s book defended