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Arthur and the Minimoys

1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2005]
Physical Description:
219, 12 pages ; 22 cm
In search of a stolen treasure and his missing grandfather, ten-year-old Arthur travels to the land of the Minimoys, a tribe of tiny people whom he must save from destruction.
Reading Level:
Grs 3-7.
Program Information:
Accelerated reader MG 4-8 6.3 7.0.

Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.3 7.0 87844.


Call Number
Besson, L.

On Order



A dazzling success when published in France, this stunning debut by the film director of La Femme Nikita is an enchanting tale of unexpected heroism, love, and a small quest with huge consequences.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-A French film director tries his hand at fantasy for children. In order to save his grandparents' home from foreclosure and find his missing grandfather, Arthur magically enters the land of the Lilliputian Minimoys through the garden, where he falls in love with tiny Princess Selenia. Now Minimoy-sized, he travels with her and her younger brother towards Necropolis, the center of power for the evil Maltazard and the place where he believes his grandfather is a prisoner. The journey is perilous and replete with battles with the villain's henchmen, and the book ends with "our three heroes" facing new dangers on their way to Necropolis. The jacket blurb informs readers that there will be two films based on this book and its sequel. Indeed, the volume is full of situations that are likely to work more successfully on film than in print. The author informs readers about the characters' reactions and feelings rather than revealing them through the story, and sections of the book read almost like explanations of the characters to actors. Arthur shifts from being a very young-seeming 10-year-old to being in love with and wanting to marry the princess in a way that is not believable. The narrator's tone is condescending and there are asides that appear to be addressed to adult readers. With flat characters, pedestrian descriptions of the battles, and an ending that feels incomplete rather than cliff-hanging, this book will have trouble keeping an audience.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

French filmmaker Besson (La Femme Nikita) tries his hand at middle-grade fantasy; unfortunately, the results are thumbs-down. Half the book sets up the action: Arthur, 10, lives with his grandmother while his parents seek work elsewhere. His grandfather, an erstwhile anthropologist specializing in African tribes, disappeared nearly four years earlier. Grandma is out of money and a sinister developer with designs on her property is turning the screws. After antique dealers haul off Grandpa's artifacts (which they value at $300-but Grandma still winds up three dollars shy of what she needs to forestall eviction), Arthur finds clues that explain Grandpa's disappearance. One rather simplistic plot turn after another leads him to the Minimoys, a race of tiny people living in the garden. The pace picks up exponentially as Arthur joins the nasty but beautiful Princess Selenia in a mission to Necropolis, to seek his grandfather, his grandfather's treasure and to confront "M. the cursed," archenemy of the Minimoys. The action-adventure scenes feature some nice details (M.'s henchmen ride mosquitoes; the Minimoys attack them with a catapult that fires raisins) but loose threads and lapses in logic abound. One such thread, suggesting marriage between Arthur and Selenia, seems farfetched given his age and her malice. A sequel, Arthur and the Forbidden City (whose title suggests that the hero may finally get to Necropolis), is due this fall. Ages 8-12. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Ten-year-old Arthur and his grandmother will be driven from their home by the diabolical Mr. Davido unless Arthur finds a treasure left by his missing grandfather. A puzzle shows Arthur the way into the magical land of the less-than-one-inch-tall Minimoys, where he quests alongside a beautiful princess. High-energy adventures are maintained mostly through excess use of exclamation points. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Take equal parts of The Triplets of Belleville, Lemony Snickett, Middle Earth, Star Wars, the Arthurian legend, and of course, Harry Potter, and you get a slightly mad director's (The Fifth Element) idea of a children's fantasy. This is just awful and it's only the first half. However, it might possibly make an interesting movie, promised for 2006, especially since it reads like a script rather than a novel and it practically reeks with stage directions. Arthur lives with his grandmother; his parents, for unknown reasons, only call in occasionally, like for his tenth birthday. On that day, the evil Davido threatens his grandmother's ownership of their home and garden, as grandmother is short of funds since her husband disappeared four years earlier. Grandfather Archibald was a famous anthropologist; using some of his artifacts, Arthur escapes to the land of the Minimoys, small folk who live actually under his own garden, and whose existence is threatened by said Davido, who wants to pave it all. So he pulls the sword from the stone and takes off with the snarky princess and her brother in search of he-who-must-not-be-named. To be continued. Gregor the Overlander, anyone? (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. Although this was a best-seller in France, some of its charm must have been lost in translation. Ten-year-old Arthur lives with his grandmother. His dear grandfather, an inventor and visionary who spent much time in generic Africa, has been lost for six years, and a Snidely Whiplash villain wants to steal Grandmother's home. Arthur decides to go to the Land of the Minimoys, a tribe of people less than an inch tall that once befriended his grandfather, in hope of finding help. Once there, Arthur finds himself reduced to Minimoy size and with his work cut out for him--work that takes him into the next book. Besson, a movie writer and director ( The Fifth Element), offers a real hodge-podge here, which includes a nod to Arthurian legend. The only reason to have this on hand is the publisher's massive marketing campaign, with print and radio ads along with hype for a movie to be made from this book and its sequel, Arthur and the Forbidden City, to be released in the fall.There may be demand--then disappointment. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2005 Booklist