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Book giveaway: The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt - CLOSED

(36 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 14-Nov-13 13:47:26

There are two great children's books up for grabs this week. First up: We're giving away fifty copies of Pushkin children's latest beautiful book: The Letter For the King by Tonke Dragt. Already published in 16 languages this thrilling story of one boy's battle against evil is considered a children's classic and is published in English for the first time today. Find out more about this wonderful story and if you think you know someone who may enjoy this, apply for your free copy. We do ask if you receive a copy that you post a review or join us back on this thread to let us know what you think.

crunchbag Thu 14-Nov-13 19:08:48

I remember reading his as a child, would love a copy for my children.

tully67 Thu 14-Nov-13 22:38:50

I have never read this but I have a feeling that my boys would love this one. I would love to win it for them.

Belo Fri 15-Nov-13 10:09:37

This sounds a lovely book. Does anybody know what age group it is appropriate for?

crunchbag Fri 15-Nov-13 18:48:03

It's 9+

Ruby6918 Sat 16-Nov-13 12:32:21

this book sounds really exciting, id love to read it and review it with my two daughters,

pointyfangs Mon 18-Nov-13 21:27:49

OMG I have been checking for YEARS whether this has been translated into English. I read this again and again as a child - I am so totally getting it for my girls! Thank you for letting me know, MNHQ! flowers

pointyfangs Mon 18-Nov-13 21:31:29

And please tell me they are also going to translate and publish the sequel 'Geheimen van het Wilde Woud'?

Haven't been this excited about a book for decades. Literally.

Naoko Mon 18-Nov-13 21:38:19

Oh, this has finally appeared in English? How wonderful. Tonke Dragt was one of my favourite authors as a child in the Netherlands. I adored her books. This wasn't one of my favourites (although it's very good), but maybe now the others will appear in translation too! I still reread Torenhoog en Mijlen breed every few years or so. It's every bit as good as an adult. One Dutch reviewer said of her (I'm paraphrasing as I can't remember the exact wording) that she writes for children, in appropriate language, but talks to them knowing they are thinking people in their own right, without dumbing things down or assuming they will not understand. It always appealed to me.

pointyfangs Mon 18-Nov-13 21:51:09

Naoko I was just thinking of Torenhoog en Mijlen Breed - outstanding science fiction for young adults in my opinion. It's probably my favourite of hers, although I do really like the Tiuri books - read together they have a lot to say about the nature of human evil and weakness. I always felt that the second book was in many ways better than the first, more character driven and you end up feeling real sympathy for the younger of the two princes although he is technically the evil one of the two. And the way she writes an ending that is unflinchingly tragic is just another sign of her not talking down to her readers.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 18-Nov-13 21:55:19

My 12 year old daughter was lucky enough to be chosen to receive a pre publication copy of this book to review for the publishers.

She loved it (her review us on the lovereading4kids website)

crunchbag Thu 05-Dec-13 13:14:15

We received the book today, now just have to find time to read it

sallyc06 Fri 06-Dec-13 16:20:59

I gave this book to Jake aged 12 and he can't put it down, he loves it. I read a bit of it too, think we will be fighting over who reads it next. A fab storyline, something different.

UniS Fri 06-Dec-13 22:54:12

Thank you for "The letter for the king" , I'd not come across this author before and it was a surprise to see that the original was published back in the 1960s. I wonder if that is why it has such a retro style cover illustration.

I've started, will post a review once I've finished , then pass this copy on to some Year 6 or 7s.

Hopezibah Fri 06-Dec-13 23:02:32

This is a big chunky book - a great read to get into. Beautifully done - perfect as a gift. It will take me too long to read and then review but from the snippets I've scanned through and the descriptions it does sound truly mesmerising.

My 9 year old is going to love it - he is a speedy reader and loves long books to get into.

I think it would probably be better for children a bit older than him but as he is such a good reader, then I think he'll get on with it well.

It is going to prove to keep us all busy reading over the Christmas holidays. I think everything good I have heard about this book will prove to be true from initial glances at it. Certainly a book that is hard to put down and the reader wants to keep on reading as I discovered when I was just trying to have a quick look at it.

Thanks so much for our copy, I am going to wrap it and put it under the tree for DS. I have read the first three chapters and I already want to know what happens next! I really look forward to sharing it with DS - I will probably end up reading at least some of it to him as I'm not sure he would feel confident to take on a 450 page book on his own (he is 8). Seems like a gripping read and I love the cover and map.
Thanks once again! smile

Zoidberg Sun 08-Dec-13 20:50:55

I started it this morning and read 50 pages before I had to get up (as an aside, I was reading in bed so long that DD aged 4 came to join me and for the first time read a book herself), it's wonderful. The writing is so fluid and precise it slips along seamlessly and the story is well-paced. Full of intrigue at the moment, the start of a classic quest.

I love the illustrations.

I'll come back and say more when I've finished it. Feel v lucky to have got one, thanks.

Jesstryinghard Mon 09-Dec-13 12:03:22

We received this and it's a stunning looking book - my son is, I think, a little kind for it so I'm going to read it and look forward to sharing it with him later smile

lorka Fri 13-Dec-13 11:52:16

Thank you so much for the lovely book. It looks great. I'm going to give it to my son for Christmas and will be back with the review once he has read it. Thanks again. smile

cavylover Fri 13-Dec-13 17:11:54

Was extremely impressed with this entertaining and well-written book and surprised I haven't heard of it before. I believe this book isn't just restricted to children of around 10 and upwards either as I thoroughly enjoyed it and suspect I'm not the only adult who would either.

The main character, a young knight-to-be, has you rooting for him from the start with the difficult choices he has to make, choices which are not in his own best interests but he makes them nevertheless for the greater good. Other characters he meets along his journey are well-written too and the book moves along at the right pace.

Look forward to the sequel of this recommended read and thank you very much for sending it to me!

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sat 14-Dec-13 14:25:08

We just picked ours up today and DD2 is immersed in it - as in, cannot be spoken to, fed or otherwise removed from it. I love the cover with the original illustrations, we will provide a full review when we have all read it. I'm really looking forward to reading the English version and seeing how it's been done!

rosesuzhan Sat 14-Dec-13 16:56:27

I am very blessed to have received this book and have decided to read this before passing onto my children.

From reading the above threads I am sure we will enjoy this very much.

Babelange Sun 15-Dec-13 21:58:45

The day I received this book (over a week ago now) I read it cover to cover (450 pages) in one day. This is a book with wide appeal for able readers 9-13 (or older!) with a fast paced adventure story set in a fantasy kingdom in a time of legends (knights and chivalry). Interestingly although the book includes mystery and superstition, it doesn’t have magic so for non-Harry Potter fans it would be ideal. The story arc is not dissimilar to The Hobbit (a quest), and although it is a substantial read, there are no long descriptive passages to get bogged down in and the level of vocabulary is very accessible. The book is well written, fluid and I can imagine that it would be a nice bedtime story for a parent to read to their child (although I selfishly kept the book to myself). The central character, Tiuri, is a 16 year old knight-to-be – but everything changes when he is interrupted on his vigil the night before the ceremony; the action kicks off right from the outset. Later in the book, Tiuri teams up with another character (who I won’t name so as not to spoil the surprise) and their relationship is touchingly portrayed - I felt the characters were quite multi-dimensional in the context of the book. In many ways, this is a straight forward (and relatively) uncomplicated exploration of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. It does read like a classic children’s book – such an injustice that it has taken so long to reach us in translation (and apparently there are sequels)! There was also the sense that as young people, the characters encountered things (politics) beyond their understanding so at times they are in the midst of the action and then they are observers as the events unravel. A writer of adult fiction might have felt tempted to clarify further, but this writer seems to have had a genuine compassion for her readers. The other thing to mention is that the book is a beautiful imprint (hard back with a dust cover); the cover design and occasional book illustrations are wonderful (simple graphic style) so I would recommend it highly as a gift

Yasmin1 Mon 16-Dec-13 17:20:33

Got this book and have given this to my 13 yr old to read. Quite a thick book, so will have to come back and review. Thanks for sending the book

Bakingtins Tue 17-Dec-13 16:08:43

Thankyou for our copy. I have been reading it to my 7 yr old as a bedtime story. I think it would be a bit daunting for him to tackle by himself, but one short chapter each is perfect. We are only in part 2 but keen to see what happens to Tiuri next. it is a very engaging story.

telsa Wed 18-Dec-13 08:52:46

Just starting to read this to my 8 year old who loves knights. The book looks very handsome and the illustrations are good. Will be back with update once we have progressed a bit, but so far so good.

ShanghaiDiva Wed 18-Dec-13 08:56:34

Not received my copy yet, but looking forward to reading it. We have a few of Dragt's books in the school library, but only in German.

pixieindisguise Wed 18-Dec-13 09:15:53

As soon as I started reading this book, I was so drawn it that I used all my spare time to read it! I've just finished it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have a kindle so don't normally buy books, and if given to me as gifts, I'll read them then give away, but I will definitely be keeping this for my daughters to read when they are old enough! The format of the book is beautiful, the story is amazing and full of morals, and I think every child should read this! I wish it had been translated into English when I was young. Children will love this story, even more so than adults. An absolute classic.

UniS Fri 20-Dec-13 22:38:53

Quite a book. Looks a bit on the daunting big side and took me some days to read it. BUT, I'd have loved it as a young teen.

The story romps along once it gets going, No magic involved which makes a nice change from many similar structured stories . This is a plain old tale of adventure and a young man on a quest. along the way he meets people to trust and people to doubt.

The book is very attractive , I like the paper dust jacket being the same design as the hard back covers. I'm putting my copy into the school library, I think it will be fine for Year 6 and good readers in Year 5. The kids who are wolfing down Harry Potter and the like.

maryburrows Sat 21-Dec-13 17:07:41

It is a beautifully produced book which any young adult of 12+ years or indeed any adult fan of thoughtful adventure stories would enjoy reading and maybe rereading from time to time. The enduring popularity of the good versus evil sagas of C.S. Lewis's Narnia, Tolkien,etc have seen a huge surge in recent years with the addition of authors like Pullman,Paolini, and J.K.Rowling- a genre that will deserved endure and a fine addition to the in print in English chidrens classics. I haven't finished reading my copy yet but will certainly do so when I can get some undisturbed me time-definitely hooked!

PointyChristmasFairyWand Sun 29-Dec-13 16:40:19

OK, here's DD2's opinion:

This book pulls you in really quickly even though it starts slowly. The descriptions are well done but not too long. My favourite character is Piak, because he is a happy youthful person but is very smart and has good ideas.

My favourite part of the book is where Jaro is sent to kill Tiuri but can't do it after Tiuri saves his life and then tells him about the plot and about Slither.

The end is satisfying because King Dagonaut's statement that a tap on the shoulder with a sword doesn't make someone a knight, their actions do, means you know Tiuri is going to be a knight.

Yasmin1 Mon 30-Dec-13 15:23:50

Thanks for the book, I gave it to my 13yr old who loved the book it took him longer than expected to finish it as Xmas holidays have kept him busy. He thought the book is well written and easy to follow the story. This book will appeal more to older and capable readers. The book is full of adventure and is easy to read and follow the story of Tiuri and the quests that lie ahead of him and the choices he makes.
Great book to give as a gift to an adult as well. Thanks

ShanghaiDiva Wed 08-Jan-14 09:29:30

Adventure, quests, good versus evil - what more can you ask for? Great that this is now available in English and a welcome addition to any school library. Recommend for year 6 up.
Presentation is beautiful too.

Belo Tue 21-Jan-14 11:37:12

We gave this to my daughter for Christmas. She only started it on Saturday but is already 25% off the way through it. She is not the fastest reader in the world, but this has really gripped her. Previous to this she was reading Harry Potter. She says this is better than Harry Potter as it is all new (i.e. hasn't seen the films). She loves how the book looks as well. It's beautifully printed and beautifully bound.

Thank you very much for sending us our book.

vanbandi Mon 03-Feb-14 20:18:49

Thank you for the free copy. That will be my next book to read and will post my opinion as soon as I finish with it. smile

nwstokes Sun 23-Feb-14 21:40:22

Last of 3 books received Thank you to who ever pulled my name out.
As for the book .It was thoroughly enjoyed. Good impression to start with; hardback with dust cover/black and white drawings/clear print with manageable chapters. A storyline of good over evil winning if you do not take a selfish attitude - abit surprised this author's work has taken such a while to be made available.

Another book well worth reading; a gift definitely

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