After being asked several times recently for “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan, I realized that generally I was being asked for the book by the same audience- 4th-6th grade boys. So I decided to read it, to see what makes this title (first in the series) so popular.
I was immediately caught up in the fast paced story, which is a blend of fantasy, myth, and monsters. It’s a winning combination. Twelve year old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of school (again). How can he stand by and watch his scrawny best friend be bullied, or not defend himself when his algebra teacher turns herself into a monster and tries to kill him? It turns out that Percy is the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he loses his mother and finds himself in real danger, along with his new friends Grover, a satyr, and Annabelle, a daughter of Athena. The Greek gods are still very much alive and well in the modern world. They are feuding over Zeus’ lost thunderbolt, and Percy and his friends depart on a quest across America to retrieve it. Along the way, in addition to the non-stop action, issues are also raised about trust, family, and the environment.
Now I know why kids have been requesting these fast moving, humorous adventure stories- (what one reviewer called “an adventure quest with a hip edge.” ) They’re good reads.
The Lightning Thief