Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Children's Book Week: Day Three: Artemis Fowl

Check out Day Two: Mahtab's Story Here

And so we move on to day three, the halfway mark of children's book week. Today we're actually going back two years to a time when I taught contracts for terms rather than having my own class. At one point in time I had a non-gifted (but still some quite bright) class of grade 5s. Knowing I'd only have them for a term, I needed something which would grab them quickly and keep them going, but would be easy to complete in 10 weeks.

Enter Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Artemis is a genius. A criminal mastermind. And a 12 year old boy. He wants gold, but not just any gold - he wants fairy gold. And he's willing to kidnap to get it. On the opposing side is Holly Short, pointy eared and occasionally neglectful of the more important things. Also, desperate to prove herself in the male-dominated LEP-recon world.

This really is a scream of a book - fantasy, action and comedy all poured into one. For reading outloud it's perfect, with plenty of opportunities for voices. I was also able to tell immediately at one point which children were really listening - they were the ones who knew there was a rip-snorter of a fart joke coming.

I've had a few kids really get into reading through these series of books and others simply devour them. Well worth a read, but even better to read out loud.


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