Wanted: Janosik - Andrew  Matthews, Dylan Gibson
Oh . . .

Mr. Matthews, if you're going to write a book about a semi-historical hero from a culture you're probably not all that familiar with (and this is a pretty darn good assumption after what I just read), then you need to do some research!

This book made me want to cry. I believe this is the only children's novel about Juraj Jánošík in English right now, and it does nothing to teach anyone about him. It's obvious Matthews didn't even bother to do something even so little as a wikipedia search on Janosik, because he got the most basic facts wrong. I can't believe this got published when no one checked it for historical accuracy!

-Janosik was not born in Poland! He was born in what's now Slovakia . . . If you're going to blatantly say it, why stray from the truth?

-Janosik's parents were Martin and Anna, not Tomas and Rosa. Martin and Anna . . . these names aren't really all that difficult to swallow, so why was there need to change them? Did Matthews just not bother to look them up? Heck, this information is also in--what--the third paragraph of Janosik's wikipedia page? Also, Janosik's first name is Juraj (or Jerzy if Matthews wanted his book in the Polish perspective) . . . his first name isn't actually Janosik . . . (face-palm).

Okay, besides those horrible, horrible lies, HOW DARE JANOSIK BE ANGLICIZED? FYI, Janosik was not Robin Hood under a different name. He kind of became a Robin Hood-like figure in legend, but he wasn't the same exact guy! This book was basically a Robin Hood story with some of the names changed. I'm serious, there's a "Sheriff of Nottingham," too, named Duke Edmund who collected taxes from the farmers, which drove Robi--I mean, Janosik to steal from the rich and give to the poor.

It's one thing to take some creative liberties, but this is outrageous. The whole thing about Janosik is that he's the SLAVIC hero. Yet this book completely destroys his entire culture. There's nothing about the costumes in the many illustrations to suggest Carpathian Mountain culture, either. He even wears a freaking hood! Where's his hat, his belt, his trousers? Where's any iconic remnant of who he really was? (hint: there isn't. Don't try too hard to find one.)

Not to mention this entire novel seems to take place in . . . you guessed it! The the time period of . . . the ROBIN HOOD legends, the late 1100s! No way, right? Never mind that a simple google search will reveal that Janosik was born in 1688, hundreds of years later! But we've already established that this author doesn't give a turd for historical accuracy, so I guess this really shouldn't sting by now. But Janosik's brigand years were such a colorful time in Carpathian Mountain history! This was the Wild West of Europe! They had pistols and ciupagi (axes) and highwaymen and bandits and everything that could've made this book unique, historically accurate, and engaging for readers who've only been exposed to Robin Hood.

. . . and who the heck is Leon (Janosik's right hand man in this horror)? Come on, get some names right. You've got maybe 2-3 good names in here, get at least some of his band right. GOOD GRACIOUS.

I'm done. I'm so disappointed.