The 2015 ALEC International Literacy Day Award Goes To Ted Dawe For Into The River


Just when I thought there wasn’t anything more annoying than the design fail over the proposed choices for the New New Zealand flag. Then there was this.

Award winning New Zealand author Ted Dawe had his book banned. I haven’t read this book. But you can be damn sure that now I’m going to.

The irony is that it’s International Literacy Day.

Actually, I’m jealous.

If there was ever a way to generate sales it’s this. Get your book banned by Christian fundamentalists. On International Literacy Day nonetheless.

Ted is in good company. There are lists of banned books you can browse on wikipedia (the lists that is). I’d gladly give up all feeling on my left side to write a book worthy of banning in this company.

So, I’d like to award Ted Dawe the ALEC 2015 Supreme International Literacy Day Award. Kia kaha bro.

Unfortunately, this award doesn’t confer any prize other than my admiration.

Fortunately, JK Rowling already created an army of kids (and parents) who understand censorship and book book banning.

And I just ordered this on Amazon. Happy to lend it out as well. Anyone interested?

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

9 thoughts

  1. I’m with you on this one Graeme (and the flag and other things!). What a great way to get book sales going – I love it. I’m buying this one too! Back in the old days in SA, when the government banned any and everything that was considered seditious or a threat (including our psych text books written by Russian authors), we’d all buy them or watch the movies anyway. 🙂 Rock on you rebel you!

  2. I saw the book being sold for two dollars the other day, out the front of a shop in the ‘just make it go away box’. They couldn’t give it away, because it’s rubbish. Now more kids will want to see what the fuss is all about. I agree – let books be free and the market will sort it out. Take Huckleberry Fin, another book removed from shelves and school libraries – but is actually a masterpiece – although time has made some of its phrases unpalatable to the modern reader. It’s very similar to the Gamer gate issue. Don’t tell us what we can and cannot play.

    The book will benefit from the ‘Streisand effect’.

    I have a whole post written called ‘On banned books’ but have never had the guts to publish it. It was in response to Huck Fin.

  3. Sorry, final note. The worst thing that could happen to the book is that teachers recommend it. I remember at school having to read the recommended books in primary school (and thinking they were so boring), and us boys all passing around the Terminator and just reading all the gory bits. The Terminator was off limits officially, but boy was it a cracker!

    1. Ted Dawe just got handed a gift… He should be embarking on a speaking tour of the world, and starting a campaign for his next novel… one with a big picture of the Red Peak flag on the cover for good measure. This is the best publicity an author could ask for

  4. Sorry final note – I actually didn’t realise that it has been totally banned. I thought it was just withdrawn from schools, but a total ban? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Well, Ted will be happy!

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