Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner
  

Emil and the Detectives

Written by Erich Kastner
Part of the A Puffin Book Series

7+ readers   9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A classic detective story told at a cracking pace, this features one of the first fictional child detectives. When Emil is robbed of his mother’s hard earned savings from right out of his pocket as he is asleep on a train, he takes swift action. Emil has no confidence in the police and so recruits his own assistant, Gustav. The two boys round up a group of friends and catch the thief. Emil is handsomely rewarded and all ends happily. Emil is charming and clever, the ideal hero of this terrific adventure.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Travelling alone on a train to visit his grandparents. Emil is robbed of the hard-earned money which his mother has given him. Instead of calling the police. Emil, with the help of a gang of children, chases the thief himself. A wonderful piece of child enterprise that foreshadows Tintin.
~

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One of Philip Pullman's favourites: "A great political story: democracy in action."

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Synopsis

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner

Emil and The Detectives by Erich Kastner has been in print ever since it was first published in 1928.

Young Emil is robbed on his first real railway journey of money entrusted to him by his hard-working mother for the relatives he is to stay with in Berlin. A gang of boys about his own age come to his aid, and a thrilling adventure full of surprises ensues as they use their wits to devise a wonderfully simple but practical trick to capture the thief.

With every detail clearly drawn - from the tiresome business of getting into best clothes for the journey, down to the final anxiety as to what shall be done with a gloriously unexpected reward - this is a story all young readers will enjoy. Reissued in the 'A Puffin Book' series of children's modern classics.

About the Author

Erich Kastner

Erich Kästner began his career as a journalist and, later, a freelance theatre critic. In 1929 he published his first book for children, Emil and the Detectives, which has since been translated into nearly 60 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. He then went on to publish Dot and Anton in 1931 and The Flying Classroom in 1933, both illustrated by Walter Trier, whose elegant, perceptive illustrations grace numerous Kästner books.

After the Nazis took power in Germany, Kästner’s books – thinly veiled critiques of society’s fall to fascism – were denounced and burnt. He faced repeated arrest and interrogation by the Gestapo, resulting in his blacklisting and exclusion from the writers’ guild. As such, his stories celebrate democracy, kindness, independent thinking and courage, and denounce unfairness, bullying, assumed authority and tyranny of any kind.

After the end of World War II, Kästner moved to Munich and published The Parent Trap, later adapted into a hit film by Walt Disney. In 1957 he received the Georg Büchner Prize and, later, the Order of Merit and the Hans Christian Andersen Award for his contribution to children’s literature. One of the best loved and most read children’s authors around the world, Kästner died in Munich in 1974.

Erich Kästner is the only writer known to have been present at the burning of his own books (‘Against decadence and the decline of morals!’ they yelled), on Berlin’s Opernplatz on 10 May 1933:

‘… And then Goebbels appeared. He stood in front of a balustrade besieged by microphones and gesticulated before the light of the fire like a little devil before Hell. He vociferated and spouted, called writers by their names and committed their books to the flames and oblivion. This was no Grand Inquisitor, but a little molesting pyrotechnician… Our intention to attend this apocalyptic public festival, as thorough chroniclers, to the end was thwarted by an unforeseen episode. ‘There’s Kästner!’ a young woman called out suddenly, as she passed by with her boyfriend. Her surprise at seeing me, so to speak, among the mourners at my own funeral, was so great that she even pointed at me. I must admit that I didn’t feel exactly comfortable. Shortly before, someone else had already called my name, loudly – that student of Gundolf’s, on his microphone-besieged balustrade…’ (from ‘Can Books Be Burnt? On the Anniversary of an Outrage’, 1947; published in On the Burning of Books, Atrium Verlag, 2013)

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
192 pages
Interest Age: From 7

Author

Erich Kastner
More books by Erich Kastner

Publisher

Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

2nd July 2015

ISBN

9780141362625

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