The Letter for the King

The Letter for the King

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782690818
Publisher: Steerforth Press
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 113,906
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 11 - 14 Years

About the Author

Tonke Dragt was born in Jakarta in 1930 and spent most of her childhood there. When she was twelve, she was interned in a camp run by the Japanese occupiers, where she wrote (with a friend) her very first book using begged and borrowed paper. Her family moved to the Netherlands after the war and, after studying at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Dragt became an art teacher. She published her first book in 1961, followed a year later by The Letter for the King, which won the Children's Book of the Year award and has been translated into sixteen languages. Dragt was awarded the State Prize for Youth Literature in 1976 and was knighted in 2001.

Read an Excerpt

From The Letter for the King: He could still hear noises on the other side of the door. Had the entire company of Grey Knights and their squires gathered outside the room? Tiuri took the letter from beneath the tablecloth and thought frantically. He needed to read the letter and destroy it, but how? If only there was a fire in the room! He was going to have to tear the letter into a thousand tiny pieces—and swallow them if necessary. But first he had to read it . . . And quickly! He broke the second seal. I need to commit the message to memory, he thought. But what if someone comes? Then it's all over . . .

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The Letter for the King 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CaptainsQuarters More than 1 year ago
Ahoy there me mateys!  I always be interested in fairy tales from other lands.  This translation caught me eye because the author was born in Indonesia, imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp in WWII, and then moved to the Netherlands.  She published this book in 1962 and it won the Children's Book of the Year Award and was subsequently translated into sixteen languages.  Apparently it is also becoming a Netflix series.  So I had to know what the hype was about. And sadly I have to say that I don't really get it.  The story follows a boy named Tiuri.  He was standing vigil on the night before becoming a Knight when he chooses to leave the chapel in order to deliver an urgent message.  What was supposed to be a simple task instead becomes a quest to deliver a message to a king in another land. This book is a fairly straightforward and simplistic tale where the young squire is always meeting people at just the right time to help him and nothing bad really ever happens.  Tiuri is supposed to be 16 but comes across as being much younger.  His naivete seemed to make him more like ten or so.  He is honorable and makes friends wherever he goes. Unfortunately there was no real tension and I was pretty disconnected from the story.  It was a quick read even though the time dragged when actually reading it.   The world building wasn't that exciting either.  With slow pacing and not much action, I was tempted to not finish this one.  I did finish it but didn't really like it and will not reread it.  I wish it had been better. I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for me honest musings. Arrr!
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Synopsis- From The Publisher: “Sixteen-year-old Tiuri must spend hours locked in a chapel in silent contemplation if he is to be knighted the next day. But as he waits by the light of a flickering candle, he hears a knock at the door and a voice desperately asking for help. A secret letter must be delivered to King Unauwen across the Great Mountains–a letter upon which the fate of the entire kingdom depends. Tiuri has a vital role to play, one that might cost him his knighthood. He must trust no one. He must keep his true identity secret. Above all, he must never reveal what is in the letter . . . Tiuri’s journey will take him through dark, menacing forests, across treacherous rivers, to sinister castles and strange cities. He will encounter evil enemies who would kill to get the letter, but also the best of friends in the most unexpected places.” What I Thought- I love books with a medieval setting like this. When done correctly, they can really insert you into the story line. Ms. Dragt does a great job of creating a realistic world with a code of chivalry. There are pretty neat black-and-white sketches for the different sections of the book. I really enjoyed the story. Tiuri is a marvelous character who you connected with. He is *this* close to becoming a knight, but, by doing the right thing, may lose his entire chance to become a doer of good, full-time. You feel for him, as he is conflicted by this question of character. Ms. Dragt is a masterful author, and Ms. Watkinson did a great job translating it into English. I really recommend this book to everyone who likes a good coming-of-age book! *Note* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review