King Matt the First

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Janusz Korczak was a Polish physician and educator who wrote over twenty books—his fiction was in his time as well known as Peter Pan, and his nonfiction works bore passionate messages of child advocacy. During World War II, the Jewish orphanage he directed was relocated to the Warsaw ghetto. Although Korczak's celebrity afforded him many chances to escape, he refused to abandon the children. He was killed at Treblinka along with the children.

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Overview

Janusz Korczak was a Polish physician and educator who wrote over twenty books—his fiction was in his time as well known as Peter Pan, and his nonfiction works bore passionate messages of child advocacy. During World War II, the Jewish orphanage he directed was relocated to the Warsaw ghetto. Although Korczak's celebrity afforded him many chances to escape, he refused to abandon the children. He was killed at Treblinka along with the children.

King Matt the First, one of Korczak's most beloved tales, is the story of a boy who becomes king and sets out to reform his kingdom. He decrees that all children are to be given a piece of chocolate at the end of each day. He visits faraway lands and befriends cannibal kings. Whenever his ministers tell him something's impossible, he puts them in jail. He disguises himself as a soldier and becomes a hero. But, as in real life, fantasy is tempered by reality:Matt's fellow kings become jealous of his success—and in the end, Matt falls, although it's clear that he was the greatest king there ever was.

Now this rediscovered classic is available again, and with a vibrant new cover by award-winning artist Brian Selznick. This timeless tale shows that only through the honesty and spontaneity of children can grown-ups begin to imagine and to create a better world.

A child king introduces reforms to give children the same rights as adults.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Matt becomes King Matt at a young age, after both his royal parents die. Immediately, because of his young age, three kings declare war on the country. Matt runs away to the front, and eventually becomes a spy and defeats the other kings in war. King Matt then decides to become a "Reformer King." He opens a zoo, summer camps for children, and establishes two parliaments (one for adults and one for children). He also becomes the first king to visit the cannibal kings in Africa. King Matt learns that reforms are expensive and difficult. Ultimately, King Matt fails, but the reader knows that he was still a great king. These 352 pages include the many adventures of King Matt and are told the way that a child thinks. This book would work well as a story to read aloud to children. A rediscovered classic, the book was first published in Polish in 1923. The author is a Polish-Jewish physician, educator and writer at the turn of the twentieth century. Korczak was a strong believer in the rights of children. During World War II, he was the director of a Jewish orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto. He died with the children in a concentration camp in 1942. 2004, Algonquin Books, Ages 8 to 12.
—Lynn O'Connell
Library Journal
Korczak, a well-known Warsaw pediatrician who ran an orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto during Hitler's occupation, eventually accompanied the orphans to Treblinka and died alongside them. His strong belief in children's rights comes through in this adventurous tale, originally written in 1923. When young King Matt ascends the throne, three countries immediately declare war on his "leaderless" country. Matt runs away to the front with a friend, and his success as a spy in the war allows him to step back to the throne in victory. Matt wants to be the Reformer King and so decides to build a zoo, open summer camps for children, visit the king of the cannibal tribes in Africa, and establish two parliaments (for adults and children). He soon learns that reforms are neither easy nor inexpensive, and outside kings look to take over Matt's wealth. In the end, King Matt is dethroned but still displays the wisdom and kindness that set him apart from other rulers. Recommended for the young and not-so-young at public and academic libraries. (Introduction not seen.) Heather Wright, ASRC Aerospace Corp., Cincinnati Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565124424
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition description: Translatio
  • Pages: 352
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A nationally renowned advocate for literacy and literature-based instruction, Esmé Raji Codell is today "one of the nation's most sought-after voices for empowering teachers" (People) and a "Superstar of Education" (Scolastic Instructor). Esmé has been interviewed on CBS This Morning, CNN, C-SPAN’s Book Talk, and NPR. The author of How to Get Your Child to Love Reading as well as award-winning books for children, Esmé lives with her husband and son in Chicago, where she spent many years as an educator in Chicago public schools and now runs the popular children's literature Web site PlanetEsme.com and the unique literary salon, the PlanetEsme Bookroom.

Janusz KorczakK wrote the classic children’s book King Matt the First and many nonfiction works. To mark the centennial of Korczak’s birth, the United Nations declared 1979 the International Year of the Child and dedicated it to him. Korczak perished in 1942 in Treblinka, along with the Jewish orphans he refused to abandon.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2007

    this book was awesome i couldnt put it down

    this book is full of action and adventure and is very hard to put down this book was very enjoyable and i would recomend it to boys that dont like reading because its full of stuff to keep you reading

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2009

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