Join Emil's gang - a team of detective children, in this captivating mini-masterpiece of children's writing
Erich Kastner was born in Dresden in 1899, the son of a saddle maker and a maidservant. He was drafted into the army in 1917, and his experiences there were to influence his later pacifism. He published Emil and the Detectives in 1928 to great success. A sequel, Emil and the Three Twins, appeared in 1933, but soon afterwards his books were labelled "contrary to the German spirit" and burned in public by the Nazis. He was interviewed by the Gestapo several times, but remained in Berlin until 1945, when he fled the city to avoid the Soviet assault. After the war he continued to write and remained committed to anti-war movements until his death in 1974.
"This is a well-presented edition of a real classic, and I hope it helps it find the new audience it deserves" The Bookbag "Both boys - me in 1955, my son in 1996 - seemed to be drawn into this story in some way beyond the usual...The main pleasure of the book is in the way in which it plays to the fantasy of omnipotence in a child: that a team of kids could really organise themselves into a team of detectives and catch a thief" -- Michael Rosen Guardian "A great political story: democracy in action" -- Philip Pullman Ten books every Year 7 child should read "The perfect introduction to the world of fictional crime detection" Independent "Emil is a wonder... the book had, and still has, the effect of making me feel part of Emil's little gang of boys... Emil and the Detectives is a little masterpiece... Read it and you will be happy" -- Maurice Sendak