Polis Books Acquires North American Rights to Ted Dawes Into the River

It’s been a pretty wild year for Ted Dawe and his book Into the River. First, Dawe’s home country of New Zealand made international headlines by banning the young adult novel. Now, publisher Polis Books is bringing the book to a North American Audience.

Dawe’s novel is about a native Maori boy from rural New Zealand who struggles to fit in at an elite boarding school. Into the River won the hearts of critics and readers when it was released in 2013, but it also caught the eye of family-focused advocates like Family First, a New Zealand group that lobbied to restrict the book. Though Family First only asked for an age restriction, the book ended up being banned entirely by New Zealand’s Film and Literature Board.

The ban brought international attention to Dawe’s acclaimed novel, and no doubt generated interest in foreign publishing rights. Polis Books has secured the rights to the U.S. and Canadian releases. We’ll have to wait a little while before the book becomes available stateside: Polis Books says that the North American release is coming in June of 2016.


Stephen Lovely, writer