Bibliographic Information: Colfer, Eoin. (2001). Artemis Fowl. New York: Laurel-Leaf.
Plot Description: Twelve year old genius, Artemis Fowl comes from a long line of criminals. After his father disappears, it is up to him to regain his family’s wealth by whatever means necessary. He comes up with an scheme to steal gold from the elves by kidnapping and holding LEPrecon Captain Holly Short ransom. He has his loyal bodyguard Butler at his side, as well as the help of Juliet, Butler’s sister. Artemis’ two sidekicks come from a long line of security experts, who have served the Fowl’s for generations. However, the three get more than they bargained for when they go up against Holly’s Commander, Root, who is determined to get her back and brings elf magic, time-stops and trolls enter into the equation.
Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Measure: 600L, Interest Level: Middle Grades, ATOS Book Level: 5
Qualitative Reading Analysis: The book contains some abstract and figurative language, such as the use of alliterations (ex: villainous venture) and similes (ex: mopeds part like fish). Some vocabulary, such as bamboozled, may be unfamiliar to students, but context clues should provide meaning for most. There are many complex sentences, which include subordinate clauses and transition words. Set in our world and a magical world below the earth’s surface, the story will not be familiar to students’ experiences. However, themes of loss, responsibility, and determination may be familiar to some students. The text structure includes subplots and more complex characters. The story is told in the third person and the narrator is reliable, but as the story switches back and forth between the elves’ world and our own, the reader only sees what is happening in one place at a time. There are some references to other works or cultural elements, most are well known, and those of the elf world are explained.
Content Area: Reading, Literature
Content Area Standard:
English Language Arts Standards for Reading: Literature: Key Ideas and Details: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
English Language Arts Standards for Reading: Literature: Key Ideas and Details: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3 Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
Curriculum Suggestions: Have students choose two of their favorite characters from the novel and then look for descriptions or passages in the text that explain who the character is (their personality). Students then draw what they imagine the character to look like and copy the passage they found under the picture. Have students look for passages that describe the setting (both underground in the elf world and above ground where the Mud People reside). Compare and contrast the two different settings and discuss how the difference in setting affects the actions of the characters and their strategies.
Supporting Digital Content:
Awards: BCCB Blue Ribbon Book; Young Reader’s Choice Award/Nominee; VOYA Award/Honor
Series information: 1st book in the Artemis Fowl Series
Character names/descriptions: Artemis Fowl, a twelve year old criminal mastermind. Butler, his bodyguard. Juliet, Butler’s sister. Elf Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon, who is kidnapped by Artemis.
Personal Thoughts: I found that I did not sympathize with Artemis as much as I generally do with a main character. He is a cheat and a criminal, but I thought I would grow to like him and I didn’t really. I felt more for the faerie characters.
High interest annotation: A criminal mastermind plots against the elf people to steal their gold. Who would dare invoke the wrath of these magical creatures? Twelve year old Artemis Fowl, that’s who