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The Flying Classroom

Written by Erich Kastner

Illustrated by Walter Trier

Classic Fiction Featured Books for 7+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on The Flying Classroom

One of our Books of the Year 2014   A perfect story for Christmas! Set in a school in the weeks running up to Christmas with all the excitement of an end of term play in the background, The Flying Classroom tells of the friendships and adventures of a group of lively boys. Events include the kidnapping of one of the boys by a gang from another school, a dare devil high-jump act as a boy tries to prove that he is not a coward and the tracking down of a long lost friend of their kindly school teacher. As Christmas gets ever closer, hopes and fears are raised and, in the final pages, beautifully resolved. 

A Piece of Passion from Gesche Ipsen, commissioning editor  I love Erich Kästner as much now as I did when I was young. His books are so precious to me, that I will buy new copies for friends who ask to borrow them, rather than lend them my own. Even my best friends… As a child, I devoured them without coming up for air. His plots are without fail exciting, and Trier’s illustrations both handsome and subtle – but there is much more even than that to it: Kästner writes like a dream, is very, very funny, and (most importantly) never patronises his readers. His child protagonists are never ‘just’ children. They are resourceful and imaginative, clever, cheerful, funny and brave – as well as sad, anxious and fearful. They are, in short, just like adults. Which is the truth about children, and is what makes Kästner irresistible even to readers of a rather more advanced age.


The Flying Classroom Synopsis

Martin's school is no ordinary school. There are snowball fights, kidnappings, cakes, a parachute jump, a mysterious man called 'No-Smoking' who lives in a railway carriage and a play about a flying classroom. As the Christmas holidays draw near, Martin and his friends - nervous Uli, cynical Sebastian, Johnny, who was rescued by a sea captain, and Matthias, who is always hungry (particularly after a meal) - are preparing for the end-of-term festivities. But there are surprises, sadness and trouble on the way - and a secret that changes everything.

The Flying Classroom is a magical, thrilling and bittersweet story about friendship, fun and being brave when you are at your most scared. (It also features a calf called Eduard, but you will have to read it to find out why.) 

Anthea Bell is an award-winning translator. Having studied English at Oxford University, she has had a long and successful career, translating works from French, German and Danish. She is best known for her translations of the much-loved Asterix books, Stefan Zweig and W.G. Sebald.

The Flying Classroom Press Reviews

A treasure-trove of childhood reading Huffington Post

Walter Trier's deceptively innocent drawings are as classic as Kastner's words; I never tire of them -- Quentin Blake

Praise for Emil and the Detectives:

'Marvellous' Philip Pullman (in the Independent's 'The 50 books every child should read');

'My favourite book as a child...funny, exciting and very atmospheric' Michael Rosen;

'A little masterpiece...Read it and you will be happy' Maurice Sendak

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781782690566
Publication date: 06/11/2014
Publisher: Pushkin Children's Books
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781782690566
Publication date: 6th November 2014
Author: Erich Kastner
Illustrator: Walter Trier
Publisher: Pushkin Children's Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 160 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Classic Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks

About 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 ...

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