Riordan, Rick. (2006). The Lightning Thief. New York: Hyperion Books.
Subgenre: Adventure/ Fantasy
Textbook: Chapter 6
Curriculum Connections: Integrated Social Studies unit on Greek Gods and Goddesses; Mythology
The Lightning Thief is the first novel in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. As the book begins, Percy Jackson is attending an alternative school with his friend, Glover, who is in a wheelchair. Both Percy and Glover are outcasts, and the only class they do well in is Latin. However, soon, really strange things start happening to Percy. He and his mother try to go to the coast for a summer vacation, and they are attacked! Percy even thinks his mother is killed. After this attack, Percy learns that he is actually being targeted by Greek gods because he is half god, and his father is Poseidon. Percy and Glover are taken to Camp Halfblood, where Percy learns that Glover is actually a satyr. They are both given a quest with Annabeth, daughter of Athena, to recover Zeus's lost lightning bolt. The quest is full of twists and turns, and the trio eventally ends up at Mt. Olympus, which is actually above the Empire State Building! This is just the beginning of many adventures for Percy Jackson and his friends!
Personal Reaction/ Why Teens Would Want to Read this book:
I loved The Lightning Thief! I thought that Riordan did a great job of combining Greek mythology with an interesting plot. I am not a huge fan of mythology in general, but learning about the different gods' characteristics through the novel has peaked my interest in learning more! I can see why many middle school students are interested in the Percy Jackson series because of the action and adventure aspects of the novel. I think that deep down, all of us wish that we would wake up and find out we had hidden powers, which is a similar theme that we find in Harry Potter and other popular young adult books. I have not seen the movie about this novel yet, but I hear it is good!