Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thoughts on Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer

I picked Benny and Omar to read, because I simply adore Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. I was a bit nervous, wondering if I'd like something other than fantasy by Colfer. (Also liked Wish List, Supernaturalist, and Airman, but not as much as Artemis and Holly.) The description didn't leave me much hope. Okay, an Irish boy moving to Tunisia and befriending a Tunisian boy. Doesn't sound too exciting, but I'm willing to try.

While definitely not a favorite, I found a lot to like here, especially the humor. Omar's English skills (learned from watching TV) were the highlight of the book for me. For the two boys to communicate just by using ad slogans and catch phrases from television shows, gives the reader an idea of Colfer's genius. Just trying to envision the conversations between the boys had me chuckling.

I wish the story moved quicker, for I think many readers won't stick with it. And that's my biggest complaint with the book. Too slow. I also wonder how much my students will connect with these characters. Will they be able to identify with Benny's insecurities, even though he uses unfamiliar slang? That will be the biggest test.

C+ rating.

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