The Lightning Thief is being read in my son’s grade 4 class, so I decided to enjoy the same book during my commute. This first book in the Percy Jackson series is known to engage readers – especially reluctant readers – with its connection to the Greek Gods and the action packed chapters. The narration certainly keeps the listeners attention and I appreciate discussing the book with my son.
The book begins with Percy, 12 years old, about to be kicked out of yet another boarding school. Unexplained events were attributed to Percy both at school and on class trips which did not endear him to his teachers or principals. Percy struggled with both dyslexia and ADD which impacted his learning.
As Percy studied Greek mythology be began to realize that he had a connection to the Greek Gods. After school ended, living at home with his step-father was not an option so his mother drove him to Camp Halfblood, the drive starting a dangerous adventure. At camp he began to learn his heritage and was assigned the quest of finding and returning Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt.
Percy and his friends, Annabeth and Grover, embarked on a 10 day quest to the lightning bolt and encounteried monsters and great danger as they crossed the country. They narrowly avoided big turned into stone by Medusa and experienced the power of both Ares and Hades during the quest. Percy also met his father, Poseidon, God of the Sea.
Rick Riordan has published over 20 books resulting in over 50 million copies in the USA. A past teacher, Riordan began making up bedtime stories about the Greek Gods for his oldest son leading to the writing of The Lightning Thief. His writing is not only for young readers. He has also published a mystery series for adults. His newest novel, Magnus Chase 2 has been released this week.
Reading a book to discuss with my son has been a great way to connect about his school day and I hope will inspire him to follow up with the second novel. The text made me realize how much I had forgotten about Greek mythology which would have provided greater context while I listened to the story. I love that the teacher has chosen this book which would be engaging for both boys and girls due to the heroic acts of both male and female characters. I can imagine the students paying rapt attention as they listen to the adventure.
I have added a copy of the Lightning Thief to the Franklin Street Little Free Library for other young readers to enjoy. Rick Riordan is traveling to Vancouver and I will watch to see if he visits Toronto as it would be a great trip to share together!