Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Author: Rick Riordan

1. The Lightning Thief
2. The Sea of Monsters
3. The Titans Curse
4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
5. The Last Olympian

Since I get to work with middle school students frequently I like to know what books they're into, and once movies are made due to popularity, I figure I should take a look myself.  And boy was I pleased.  First off, if you LOVE mythology like I do, you H-A-V-E to read this series. They're quick reads, but well written adventures.  Great for middle school levels and high school too, especially if in a mythology class. The ties to mythology are great learning opportunities.

For me it was fun to recall all the mythological creatures and stories, retold in a style for juvenile audiences.  It's full of action and adventure, combined with the typical adolescent hurdles.  Even though juvenile audiences are the target I enjoyed all 5 books and had a hard time putting them down.  It's a challenge to yourself to recall your studies of mythology.  And if you've never studied the subject this is an effective and engaging way to start.

The first two books, Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters have been made into movies. This series is a great option to get kids to read and then enjoy the accompanying movies too.  Pass it on!

Summary: (The Lightning Thief)
Percy Jackson is middle school age when he discovers that all the myths he's been learning about, Gods, Goddesses, and monsters, is all true.  Targeted by monsters he escapes with his friend Grover (who revealed himself as a satyr) to Camp Half Blood.  The camp is dedicated to protecting those who are half human and half God.  Except Percy is different, he's a demigod, the son of one of the big three Gods and this causes problems of its own.  Percy sets out on a quest with Grover and Annabeth, a daughter of Athena, to prevent a catastrophic war between the Gods.  They must find something the Gods can't and save everyone in the process, both humans and mythological creatures.  

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