Artemis Fowl

Author: Eoin Colfer
My recommended reading age: 11 and up
Guided Reading Level: Y
Lexile 600L
Fantasy Fiction

"Twelve year old, Artemis is the greatest criminal mastermind that has ever lived. Now the Fowls have been criminals for centuries -- pirates, forgers, gunrunners, robbers, con men, etc. -- but Artemis is something special. He's as cool as a cucumber, with an authority well beyond his 12 years. He has a commanding persona that's as smooth as China silk and is merciless in achieving his goals." Barnes and Noble
Brilliant Artemis has devised a plan to restore his family's fortune.  He has discovered the underground fairy world and he is going to exploit it!  Artemis kidnaps an unsuspecting, but smart, fairy and then holds her ransom all in hopes of stealing the fairy gold.  This causes a small war to break out, with both sides using James Bond type weapons to accomplish their goals.   Artemis Fowl is an anti-hero mastermind who borders on likable.  His side-kick body-guard, Butler, is dangerous yet totally loveable, and together the two create a pair similar to Sherlock Holmes and Watson. 

The subject matter is in itself, questionable...extortion.  But it is written in a lighthearted manner which I found enjoyable to read.  There is swearing in the book, which although not excessive, is noticeable especially for kids who don't hear/read it much.  Colfer is extremely creative as he invents gadgets and gizmos that alone are worth the read.  My sons favorite character was a Dwarf named Mulch who must use his tunneling skills to save the day.  (This "tunneling" includes chewing his way through any type of ground material and then expelling the material through the other end...as you can imagine the "expel" part smells...I'll admit it, I laughed.)  There is a little violence and tense situations but nothing to lose sleep over.

Overall, I liked the book and will continue on in the series.
Happy Reading
~Liz

Becky says:

The first 1/3 of this book was a bit hard for me to get into.  Admittedly I was listening on
audiobook while cleaning my house, but the "setting the stage" portion of the book just felt long.  Once the actual plot picks up I zipped through the book and couldn't wait for more. 

Personally, the moral dilemma I faced while reading this book was that Artemis is really a criminal; and yet, he was so cool I wanted him to win.  Is it ok to cheer for the bad guy, but I did.  I guess if you recognize this for the fun, totally unrealistic read that it is, then you're probably ok.  Perhaps that is rationalization, but I would totally recommend this book, especially for totally gifted kids that can identify with Artemis.

Enjoy!
Becky

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