Brighton Festival - Emil and the Detectives

Michael Rosen's Favourite Book Chosen For Young City Reads

Brighton Festival

Erich Kästner’s children’s classic Emil and the Detectives has been selected by Brighton Festival 2013 Guest Director Michael Rosen as the ‘big read’ for children across Brighton & Hove as part of the inaugural Young City Reads.

Young City Reads is a chance for children across Brighton & Hove to read and explore a book together. It launches on World Book Day (7 March) and runs until 24 May. The venture is being delivered by Collected Works CIC, the organisation behind Brighton & Hove’s annual citywide reading festival City Reads.

The concept is simple: one book by one author is selected for the whole community to read, discuss, debate and creatively engage with in a series of special events, workshops and performances. Primary school classes are also invited to register as a group to read together as a class and participate in a range of special activities. For more information you can visit

Poet, writer, broadcaster, former Children’s Laureate and Brighton Festival 2013 Guest Director Michael Rosen will also present a very special closing event for schools as part of the project.

Michael Rosen, Brighton Festival 2013 Guest Director said of the project, “I think it's wonderful that a whole city is going to read the book at the same time. I think this will build up a great sense of everyone exploring the book together. I think it'll make more and more people eager to find out what the book is like, and everyone will have ideas about it.”

Emil and the Detectives sold two million copies when it was first published in Germany in 1928 and has since been translated into 59 languages. A children’s adventure story, the novel follows country boy Emil Tischbein as he visits the big city for the first time and unexpectedly falls into a game of cat and mouse with a thief.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: “We are delighted that the first ever Young City Reads will be part of Brighton Festival in 2013. It’s entirely fitting that this exciting endeavour for the children of Brighton and Hove should take place on a year when former Children’s Laureate and celebrated author and poet Michael Rosen is our Guest Director. I am sure his selection of Emil and the Detectives as the chosen text for the project and his passion and enthusiasm for reading will spark the imagination of participants and inspire an extraordinary range of ideas and discussion.”

Sarah Hutchings, Artists Director, Collected Works CIC, commented, “A key part of the government’s commitment to improving literacy skills for all pupils is in promoting the importance of reading for pleasure. Young City Reads is a project that encourages children to share their enjoyment of literature. There is a power in sharing books and stories together, and the younger we start the more fulfilling our lives will be.”