Novels Pre-intermediate

Emil and the Detectives by Kastner Erich

It’s an exciting story for children from the German author Erich Kastner. He loved children very much and always wanted to become a teacher. But hard times for Germany at the beginning of the XX century changed his plans. He became a children’s author and had a great success. Erich Kastner understood the inner world of a child and reminded the adults, that they were the children too. That’s why his books are so popular. The writer believed in human kindness, honesty and integrity and included all these things into his works. This book is about Emil Fischer. He is a schoolboy and lives with his mother in the village. Once his mother gave him a lot of money for his grandma. She asked him to pass it to granny when he would arrive at the city. It’s Emil’s first trip and he’s nervous. He tried to hide this money in his pocket. After he had woken up, he discovered the absence of the sum. Now he has to get granny’s money back.

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Emil and the Detectives by Kastner Erich

‘Now, Emil,’ said his mother, ‘get ready. Your clothes are on your bed. Get dressed, and then we’ll have our dinner.’

‘Yes, Mother.’

‘Wait a minute. Have I forgotten anything? Your other clothes are in your case. There’s some food for your journey. These flowers are for your aunt. I’ll give you the money for your grandmother after dinner. No, that’s all, I think.’

Emil and the Detectives by Kastner Erich

Emil left the room and Mrs Fisher turned to her neighbour, Mrs Martin. ‘My son’s going to the city for two or three weeks. At first he didn’t want to go. But what can he do here while his school’s closed? My sister’s asked us again and again to visit her. I can’t go, because I have so much work. Emil’s never travelled alone before, but he’s old enough now. He’ll be all right: his grandmother’s going to meet him at the station.’

‘I think he’ll enjoy the city,’ said Mrs Martin. ‘All boys like it. There are so many things to see. I must go now, Mrs Fisher. Goodbye.’

Emil came back into the room and sat down at the table. His hair was tidy and he was wearing his best jacket. While he ate, he watched his mother. ‘I mustn’t eat too much,’ he thought. ‘She won’t like it when I’m going away for the first time.’

But his mother was thinking about other things. ‘Don’t forget to write to me when you arrive,’ she said.

‘All right.’

‘Give my love to your aunt and your grandmother and your cousin Polly. Look after yourself. And be good. I don’t want anyone to say that you’re not a polite boy.’

‘I promise.’

After dinner Emil’s mother went to the sitting-room. There was a tin box on one of the shelves. She took out some money and came back to the table.

‘Here’s seventy pounds,’ she said. ‘Five ten-pound notes and four five-pound notes. Give your grandmother sixty pounds. I couldn’t send the money to her before. But I’ve worked hard and I’ve saved it for her. The other ten pounds is for you. Your return journey will cost about three pounds. Use the other seven pounds when you go out. I’ll put the money in this little bag. Now don’t lose it! Where will you put it…

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