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BOOKBEAT By CHERYL KELLY, Children’s Librarian, Salem Public Library

February 21, 2010
Salem News

Eoin (pronounced Owen) Colfer is one of a few Irish children's authors to have successfully won a place in the American children's book market. Colfer, from Wexford on the southeast coast of Ireland, started out as a primary school teacher but then, with his wife, worked overseas in such places as Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Italy.

It was his experience in Saudi Arabia that inspired Colfer to write his first book, "Benny and Omar," but it wasn't until he published his first Artemis Fowl book in 2001 that he was successful enough to quit teaching and devote himself totally to his writing.

Colfer's Artemis Fowl series features a youthful but talented criminal mastermind who is able to navigate between parallel worlds to thwart other criminals. His personal bodyguard, Butler, is also his trusty assistant in these adventures.

They work together with an Elfin pilot, Holly Short, who is a member of the Lower Elements Police and is savvy enough to use the most advanced technology to help her in her work.

This fantasy adventure series has sold over nine million copies in the United States alone.

Colfer has written in other genres and other reading levels. His mystery series, Half Moon Investigators, is also popular as are his few young adult novels. One of his more popular young adult novels, "Airman," combines adventure, 19th century science fiction, and superheroes to create a story that some consider his best work yet.

Colfer's books can be found in both the Children's and Young Adult Departments of Salem Public Library.

Patrons can reserve copies by visiting the library's website at



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