The author of sexually explicit New Zealand youth novel Into the River is releasing a sequel which deals with similarly controversial issues.

Into the River by former high school English teacher Ted Dawe had an interim ban placed on it last September -- the first New Zealand book to be slapped with an interim ban for at least 22 years.

The ban was lifted by the New Zealand Film and Literature Board just over a month later. The book, which featured sexually explicit content, drug use and use of slang for female genitalia, also had previous classifications removed.

Advanced copies of the book's sequel Into the World can be ordered through Dawe's website. Its official launch is being held in Mt Eden, Auckland, next Tuesday.


Into the World, which took Dawe two years to get published, begins five minutes after the end of Into the River.

It follows that book's protagonist, Devon, who has been expelled from an exclusive boys' school.

Devon spends the first half of the novel getting himself into trouble and the second half working through the trouble, Dawe told the Herald.

The book is written in a similar tone and also deals with "social realism much needed in Young Adult fiction", he said.

"People who were offended by Into the River will be offended by Into the World.

"There's sex, violence and racism; issues similar to Into the River but Devon has left school now so the book is more adult, more political."

Despite the "more adult" story, the book was still aimed at youth, Dawe said.

"It deals with young person issues in a way that no other New Zealand author does. I'm aware several of my readers are middle-aged women, but it's aimed at youth, particularly teenage boys.

"When I was a high school English teacher I found the boys I taught were great readers but they didn't read novels.

"They said it was because there wasn't anything that related to them; Young Adult fiction was either dystopian or set overseas, so I tried to fill that gap with issues and language relevant to them."

Into the World will not have any classifications or restrictions when it is released.

Family First director Bob Croskie, who campaigned for the ban on Into the River, wasn't aware Dawe had written a sequel but said he wouldn't be taking any follow-up action after its release.

"[I] won't be interested in the book at all unless it receives a Children's Book of the Year Award.

"I think parents have ample warning of his style of writing now."

Into the River won the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year prize in 2013. Dawe said he would love to make it into a film, with New Zealand director Taika Waititi being his ultimate choice of director.

Into the World is being launched at Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden at 6pm on Tuesday, March 15.