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The Wish List
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About the Author

Eoin Colfer followed his parents into teaching and soon began to invent stories for his pupils. THE WISH LIST was published in Ireland to critical acclaim in 2000, preceding the publication of ARTEMIS FOWL, shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and winner of the Children's Book of the Year at the British Books Awards and the WHSmith Children's Book of the Year. THE WISH LIST won the Bisto Merit Award in 2001. Eoin lives in Wexford, Ireland.

Reviews

Gr 7 Up-This unusual fantasy takes on heaven, hell, and the limbo in between and is populated with all manner of demons, angels, and familiar key players like Satan and St. Peter. Bringing them to life is the voice of James Wilby who provides a tour de force performance. His talented reading enriches our understanding of the characters and plot. Eoin Colfer's novel (Hyperion/Miramax, 2003) will garner instant attention from his legions of Artemis Fowl fans. Told with much dry wit and black humor, Meg Finn's short, sad life is brought to a sudden end by the bungling of Belch Brennan. On the way to a Final Reckoning, Meg turns out to have a one-in-a-million soul, exactly balanced between good and evil. Belch, on the other hand, goes straight to a hell peopled with techies and film stars who enable Satan and his sleazy assistant Beelzebub to continue their evil ways. An odd arrangement between St. Peter and Beelzebub sends Meg back to Earth to help Dublin pensioner Lowrie McCall carry out his final wishes, with a Belch-and-dog soul blend trying to thwart her every good deed. If only she can earn enough points to get to heaven and see her beloved mother, Meg will be saved. Wilby brings a different accent, tone, and pitch to every character, whether ordinary or bizarre, helping listeners to sort them all out. Colfer's teen fans will be challenged, entertained, and amused. Taking conventional religious ideas about the soul and good and evil and placing them in a fantasy setting brings up the only potential downside; some may find this unconventional view of the afterlife to be offensive. Barring that, this compelling audiobook will appeal to those with a taste for the quirky.-Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl books, turns his keen wit to the afterlife in this darkly humorous tale. Left in the care of a brutish stepfather after her mother's death, troubled 14-year-old Meg Finn gets more than she bargains for when a break-in at the home of Lowrie McCall, an elderly neighbor, goes horribly wrong and her soul is "knocked clean out of her skin." A last-minute change of heart (Meg keeps her accomplice from killing the old man) earns her the rare distinction of a balanced life account ("dead even")-which means a return trip to earth as a ghost with a chance to redeem herself. Meanwhile, her partner in crime-now an unearthly amalgam of thug and pit bull-is sent back as a "Soul Man" charged with tipping Meg's balance sheet in evil's favor. Fueled by wisecracks, the story is also unexpectedly tender in its delineation of the bond that forms between Meg and Lowrie, whom she joins on his unlikely quest to right his life's wrongs before he dies. With its appealing Irish setting and strong characterizations-including a Gameboy-playing Satan with a, well, devilish sense of humor; his platinum-blonde receptionist ("The Lord of Darkness will see you now"); and a hilariously jaded Beelzebub ("A lawyers' convention bus goes over the edge of the Grand Canyon this afternoon. We're expecting a bit of a glut")-the tale will have readers rooting for plucky Meg, who, in a moving conclusion, winds up altering more fates than just her own. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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