King Matt the First: 03/25/10
King Matt the First by Janusz Korczak is one of those gems picked at random from the library. The title caught my eye and although the cover art and blurb made it sound hokey, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did even though it brought me to tears in a couple places.
Although my library puts the book in the children's section, I'd call it an adult book that happens to have a child protagonist. The book was first published in 1923 and was one of twenty novels by child advocate Henryk Goldszmit writing under the pen name Janusz Korczak. To learn more about his life and his mission, read the Boylan Blog post.
Matt becomes king at the tender age of five when his ailing father dies. He's just old enough to remember the good times when both his parents were alive. He's smart enough to know that his advisors plan to use him as a tool for their own agendas until he's of age. He also knows he has a lot to learn before he can be an effective monarch.
This 300 page novel chronicles the rise and fall of King Matt the First. His kingdom goes through war, through peace, the threat of another war and social justice reforms on the home front. Much of what King Matt tries to accomplish especially for his fellow children mirror the author's own causes.
Comment #1: Thursday, March, 25, 2010 at 19:19:35
I admit, the cover doesn't appeal to me. However, your description does. Great post!
Comment #2: Friday, March 26, 2010 at 14:53:19
The cover is an injustice to King Matt the First. It really is worth reading.