Colfer, Eoin. 2001. Artemis Fowl. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.
Poor little rich boy, Artemis Fowl’s family has fallen on hard times. His father is missing and presumed dead and his mother can barely cope with reality and is locked in her memories of the past, leaving Artemis to get by on his own, with help, of course, from his butler, Butler, a highly skilled, deadly, bodyguard with a heart of gold. After unlocking the code in the Book, the fairies’ Bible, of sorts, incredibly gifted, twelve year old Artemis devises a plan to kidnap an elf and receive a ransom of gold. Little does he know when he captures Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance) Unit that he has met his match. Eoin Colfer’s magical world of fairies and elves comes alive with colorful creatures and technical gadgets such as Foaly, a centaur, who controls all communication and transport devices, Mulch Diggums, a tunnel digging dwarf with a criminal history, and tough talking, cigar chewing, LEP Commander Julius Root. The ransom is paid and Holly is saved but it comes at a much higher price-- in the process, she saves Butler’s life and it seems that there is a connection here to be continued in future novels. There are talks of this series being made into a movie and the action packed drama and humorous dialog will appeal to readers of all ages. The story ends nicely with the main characters safe and sound and the objects being returned to their rightful owners. Artemis’ mother is restored to her normal self and readers are left with a happy ending but just enough loose ends to warrant anticipation for a sequel. The audio book version of this novel is outstanding as well. Read by the talented Nathaniel Parker the characters come alive with his gift of dialects and voice—don’t miss it!