The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: New York: Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children 2005
Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Genre: Myth Fantasy
Media Type: Book
Grade level: 6-adult
Reader's annotation: Percy was always told he was different, special, but not until he had to fight a minotaur did he realize quite what they meant.
Summary: Percy Jackson was on a field trip to the museum with his boarding school class when things started getting a little weird. After this classmates and teacher had no idea who Mrs. Dodd was, the teacher who just transformed herself into some mythic creature that Percy slayed with a pen turned sword, Percy knew something was wrong. When he was told he would not be returning to this school again in the fall he was disappointed but not surprised. Now he has to start all over again at a new place in the fall. When he gets home he is thrilled to discover that his mother has a weekend trip to the beach on Long Island all planned out. Unfortunately, they aren’t there long when something comes after them and his mother reveals that she knows that he is being pursued by unknown evils. As she tried to get him to a safe zone - a summer camp called Camp Half-Blood, they were attacked by a Minotaur and Percy barely made it alive onto the property. There he discovers people he knew are really satyrs and centaurs and his father was one of the Greek Gods. This marks the beginning of a new era for Percy where he discovers his differences are not necessarily bad.
Evaluation: There is a certain urban edginess to Percy that draws teens to his character. He’s not perfect and gets in trouble which is appealing to kids. The mix of myth and modern day life is a great combination, it’s a promising start to a series.
Series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians
- I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.