Part of creating a reading list for children that was inspired by winter quarter of Stanford University’s Structured Liberal Education program, meant finding a kiddie version of Machiavelli’s famous treatise on power, The Prince. This task proved very tricky. I had to really search through my teacher-brain to come up with something close. Then I realized that Bruce(6) and I had already read the perfect selection earlier that year —Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer!
Artemis Fowl is rich, arrogant, power-hungry, and will do anything to get what he wants. For 90% of the book he exemplifies the credo “The ends justify the means” and continues to carry out his scheming plans even though they involve hurting other life forms. By the last few chapters however, Artemis has developed a conscious, and begins to rethink his past choices. This fits in perfectly with the second teaching objective for my Part 2 Reading List.
Learning Goals for Children
- We are all capable of thinking our own thoughts and forming our own ideas. We do not need to be slaves to the thinking of others.
- We are responsible for our own actions, and are accountable for our actions to our own conscious, our families, and our community. Many people in the world believe we are also accountable to God.
Artemis Fowl is not classical children literature in my opinion, but it is entertaining. It is written at the 6th grade reading level, or Guided Reading Level Y.