Artemis Fowl

Chapter Book

Bibliographic Information: Riordan, Eoin. Artemis Fowl. New York: Scholastic, 2001.

Plot Description:
Artemis Fowl is a rich, Irish, child genius with a bodyguard named Butler. He found out about the existance of fairies, a magical race that predates humanity on the Earth. He thinks if he kidnaps a fairy, he can get a hefty ransom for its return. He bribes an outcast fairy for a copy of The Booke of the People and sets his plan in motion. The fairy he captures is Holly Short, a member of the Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance unit, or LEPrecon. She had been sent topside to recharge her magic, accomplished by planting an acorn from an oak tree growing in the bend of a river picked by the light of the moon. Her cell in Artemis’ basement is newly-poured concrete with a metal bed. The LEP set up a time field around the Fowl estate, suspending time for three days and preserving the mental state of those inside (those awake stay awake, and those asleep stay asleep, and the two categories exist in separate layers of reality). Holly’s superior tries to reason with Artemis, who demands gold for her release. He reluctantly agrees and sends in the gold. Some higher-ups send in a troll to try to kill Artemis instead. Holly escapes her cell after smashing throgh the concrete floor and planting her acorn, which had fallen into her boot. With magic fully charged, and quite upset that the LEP had sent in a mindless beast that would kill her too, she beats the troll and heals Butler, who had been mortally wounded. She gets outside the perimeter just in time to see a “Blue Rinse” executed; it’s a force field that kills all living beings within it. The fairies really don’t want to part with their gold. Artemis foils this by administering sleeping pills to himself and his staff, and the drugs release them from the time field and subsequent termination. According to the rules of magic, Artemis has won his right to keep the gold, despite the fairies’ best efforts to reclaim it.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 600; Accelerated Reader: 5.0

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing both on Artemis’ and the fairies’ plots. It teaches about friendship in the face of danger. The text is 5th grade reading level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts; #8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great chapter book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 3rd grade through 6th grade. It explores themes like cleverness and adventure.

Note: Along the bottom of every page is a line of symbols in Gnommish, the language of the fairies. It’s a simple shift cypher. While the decoded story doesn’t impact the main plot, it gives fascinating insight to the fairy culture.

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