Module 5 – Fantasy and Science Fiction/SLIS 5420
Colfer, Eoin. (2001). Artemis Fowl. New York: Scholastic Press.
This fast-paced fantasy is part action/adventure, part magical tale. Who is Artemis Fowl? He’s the adolescent mastermind who not only knows that magic is real, but has already figured out a practical way to use it for his criminal enterprise. The wealthy son of a missing Irish crimelord, Artemis doesn’t get much parental supervision. He and his trusty bodyguard Butler are free to pursue the criminal plan that Artemis has hatched to get his hands on some fairy magic and use it for their evil purposes. Fairies, sprites, trolls and other magical creatures are fighting Artemis all the way. This book is a fun, action-paced adventure story that will appeal to advanced older elementary readers, middle schoolers, and high schoolers alike. First in a series.
“Some critics have called Artemis Fowl (2001) a Harry Potter wannabe. I disagree. Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books have more in common with the Lemony Snickett series—with its dark, irreverent humor—than they do with Harry Potter’s less sardonic take on things. Who is Artemis Fowl? He’s a 12-year-old genius who is the greatest criminal mastermind the world has ever known. But like most dutiful sons, Artemis loves his dear ailing mother, and he’s convinced that there’s no better way to help her than to get his hands on a stash of fairy gold. To accomplish his devious plan, Artemis and his sidekicks kidnap Holly Short, one of “The People” (an assortment of elves, fairies, and leprechauns), and hold her for ransom. But even geniuses make mistakes, and the young antihero soon discovers that he’s messing with the wrong person. Short happens to be the captain of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance) Unit, and in no time at all, the fairy forces have surrounded Fowl Manor, confident they’ll soon have their colleague back. But don’t be too quick to count Artemis out—the crafty kid has a plan. The adventures of Artemis and Holly continue in Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident (2002) and Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code (2003, all Hyperion). In book three, Artemis promises his father that he will finally leave his life of crime behind… after one last job.”
Kunzel, Bonnie. (2005, February 1). Thanks to a certain young wizard… School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com
Great for reluctant readers and fantasy fans, Artemis Fowl translates well visually. Having students create pictures of scenes from Artemis Fowl or act out scenes together (with props “drawn” from a box, for example) would be a fun way to get readers engaged in series that is more accessible to younger readers than the Potter books and yet still great for teaching learning skills.