For Benny, an average Irish schoolboy and sporting fanatic, his family's move to Africa is a catastrophe. How will he survive in a place like this?
Determined to find fault with everything, Benny finally meets his match in Omar, a wild orphan boy. Omar's English has been learnt from TV, and through his 'telly-speak' a madcap friendship develops between the two boys. Their crazy escapades quickly become the bane of village life and lead to a ton of trouble, as well as some heart-breaking challenges.
About the author
Eoin Colfer (pronounced "Owen") (born May 14, 1965) is an Irish author. Eoin Colfer grew up in Wexford, Ireland, along with his four brothers, Paul, Eamon, Donal, and Niall. He first developed a passion for writing in primary school, reading viking books inspired by his history lessons at the time. His father was a primary school teacher, as well as an artist and historian. His mother is a drama teacher. In 1986, Colfer became a Primary School teacher, but continued to write in his free time.
About the Benny books
Eoin Colfer spent four years in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Italy, and wrote a chilren's book, Benny and Omar (1998), drawing on these experiences. Its sequel, Benny and Babe, was published in 1999 and shortlisted for the 2000 Bisto Book of the Year Award, and for the Reading Association of Ireland Award 2001.
Eoin Colfer talks about Benny and Omar:
"Benny & Omar was my first book. I'd been writing stories for years before that, but it took a trip to Africa to give me really exciting subject matter. Within a month of arriving in Tunisia, a dozen possible storylines were bouncing around in my head. But the thing that hit me hardest was the difference in the quality of life for Europeans and Tunisians. Things that we take for granted, like running water and electricity, are often luxuries in Africa. I decided that the best way to bring this point home was to pair a Tunisian boy with an Irish chap and see what happened. As you may know, quite a lot happened, not all of it good. But at least the smartalec Benny got a taste of real life."
Sources: www.contemporarywriters.com and www.obrien.ie
Benny and Omar, the audio book
The audio book, which features Euan as a narrator, was released on April 1st 2007, buy your copy now on Amazon.com.
Selection of articles
: interview with Eoin Colfer