The Latest Percy Jackson Fan

Like all good procrastinators, when I do dive in to work I start with the work I enjoy most.  In this case, I’ve started my summer with kidlit, specifically with Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse (see fancy website here).  My friend/tech teacher extraordinaire Barbie said her son Logan was devouring these titles, then I saw some of the blog buzz and thought I’d better check them out.  So glad I did!

The basic storyline is a bit reminiscent of a lot of kid fantasy–unlikely hero finds he has extraordinary powers, is pursued by evil, destined to make a fateful decision.  It’s a classic style of story brought back into vogue by the Harry Potter books, but certainly not invented there.  The great hook in this series for me was that it involves the pantheon of Greek gods and monsters.  I spent a chunk of my childhood obsessed with Greek mythology, and reading Riordan’s imaginings of these mythological figures set in modern times brought back a lot of those classic stories and added to the fun.  For example, Dionysis is punished by Zeus, forced to “dry out” for a century as a camp director for a camp of kids who are the half-blood children of the gods, including Percy Jackson, the main character and son of Poseidon.

Written at upper fourth/early fifth levels, this series is going to be a big hit for years to come in my classroom library for those young readers who enjoy adventure and fantasy but don’t want a Potter-sized odyssey.  Riordan writes with humor, uses snappy dialogue, and keeps the action moving. 

Three really enjoyable kid lit titles down, 7 more to go to meet my summer goal!

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