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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Emil and the Three Twins
by Erich Kastner
Age Range: 9-11
In this sequel story about Emil and his friends 'The Detectives', they visit the Baltic coast for a holiday where they meet a team of acrobats, ‘The Three Byrons’. The Detectives discover by accident that the father of one of the acrobats is planning to desert him. So of course they try and come to the rescue, but in doing so find themselves cast away on a desert island as well as having lots of other hair-raising adventures too.
Erich Kästner's second book written in 1933, two years after Emil and the Detectives, did not become as well known as the first, in large measure due to the fact that it was written just before the Nazis came to power. Publication of Kästner's books in Germany were forbidden and existing books ceremoniously burned, although his first Emil book escaped this fate as it was considered too popular and harmless.