Into the River


Author – Ted Dawe

Age – 15+

Te Arepa lives with his grandfather (Ra) and sister (Rawinia). His best mate is Wiremu and the story begins with them sneaking onto Pakeha Goldsmith’s farm to go eeling. They catch a giant eel and take it home to Ra who speaks of taking something from the river he shouldn’t.

Te Arepa is smart for his age and gets a scholarship for a private school in Auckland called Barwell’s. He leaves his family behind, also leaving his traditions and rituals of the karakia’s and stories of his ancestors behind. One ancestor in particular has made an impression on him, Diego Santos from Spain. Many years before, Diego was wronged by his own family and ended up in NZ. He helped a tribe defeat another violent tribe and has part of family folklore ever since.

TeArepa soon embarks on a new life at Barwells, making new friends and finding it easier to shun his maori background – becoming Devon instead. He works hard, and with the help of his friend Steph (Stephen) he moves up to the highest class in school. But in the meantime he is battling with where he fits in…

This is a story about growing up. It does include many contenscious issues that were much discussed when it won awards at the 2013 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards. (Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and winner of the Young Adult Fiction Section)

(Identity, Sex, Fitting in, Private School, Maori, NZ Author, Homosexuality, Friendship, Relationships, Growing up, Bullying, Conflict, Family)


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