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The Letter for the King

The Letter for the KingJuly's kids' book of the month is a million copy bestselling classic described as 'brilliant, extraordinary' by The Times, and 'gripping, delightful' by The Guardian.

The fate of a kingdom depends on just one person...

When sixteen-year-old Tiuri answers a desperate call for help, he finds himself on a perilous mission that could cost him his life. He must deliver a secret letter to the King who lives across the Great Mountains a letter upon which the future of the entire realm depends.

It means abandoning his home, breaking all the rules and leaving everything behind even the knighthood that he has dreamed of for so long.

He must trust no one.
He must keep his true identity secret.
Above all, he must never reveal what is in the letter.

Author Tonke Dragt was born in 1930 in Indonesia. When she was twelve, she was imprisoned in a Japanese camp during the war, where she wrote her very first book using begged and borrowed paper. After the war, she and her family moved to the Netherlands, where she became an art teacher. She published her first book in 1961, and a year later this was followed by her most famous story, The Letter for the King, which won the Children's Book of the Year Award and has been translated into sixteen languages. It's also been voted the best Dutch children's book in the last 50 years. She was awarded the State Prize for Youth Literature in 1976 and was knighted in 2001.

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Yet, despite phenomenal sales figures and its unquestionable standing as a classic of Dutch literature, The Letter for the King was not available in the English language. In Spring 2012, independent publisher Pushkin Press announced the launch of a new children’s books imprint – born, in part, out of Publisher Adam Freudenheim’s frustration at the limited range of literature available to his own children. Pushkin Children’s Books was created with the purpose of sharing the best tales from all over the world, and on hearing about its launch, celebrated translator Laura Watkinson got in touch, eager to relay her passion for The Letter for the King. 

All our free copies are now gone - but The Letter for the King is available from all good book sellers.