Sunday, February 14, 2010

Greek Mythology in a Fun Story

Book Title/Author: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Number of House Points awarded (out of 9): 7
First impressions (starting the book): The beginning of the book was pretty good because of the crazy adventure Percy had at the Museum. I like that you could relate with the school setting, but the reader could be a bit confused about what is happening. After the museum situation it is a bit slow explaining everything, but it is obviously building for all the excitement to come.
Plot (excitement/interest & feasibility): The plot is great, and Riordan did a great job of pulling you in as a reader. I really like the adventure story with the Greek Mythology thrown in there. Though, I have to admit I did not know/remember a lot of my Greek Mythology. Therefore, it was nice that it was cleverly explained and mixed in with the story.
Pacing: At times I felt it was a little slow, but for the most part it has a pretty good pace.
Characterization (strong or weak characters/readers' connections to MCs, etc): I think Percy is easy for kids to connect and relate with, though an adult reader would connect more with some of his thought processes. However, Percy, as a whole, is a character that many would want to be like or at least have an adventure like.
Originality (concept/subject/etc): Very original story that teaches you at the same time. Which, as a teacher, is always a plus in my book.
Readability (vacation read v. heavy duty stuff): Definitely more of a vacation read.
Writing quality (car lot commercial fare or poetic): I would say for a juvenile book, it is closer to poetic than car lot commercial quick series writing. However, I would say it is right in the middle of the two extremes.
Last impressions (finishing the book): Satisfied ending but I’m definitely excited to read the other books in the series. On another aspect of lasting impressions, I haven’t seen the movie yet but I hope it doesn’t change my lasting impressions on the story and book.
Contribution to the YA genre (obviously for some books this will just be n/a): This is more of a late juvenile book; however, as far as contributions go, it is a great addition to fantasy books. It is not your typical fantasy, but it has gathered more interested readers similar to the way Harry Potter did.


  1. My friend told me today that the movie is based "LOOSELY" on the book... extremely loosely, but still enjoyed it

  2. My impressions of this book were that kids, especially tweens, would love this book. It's certainly not babyish. I also think kids that don't normally do fantasy would like this too, although I don't have any proof to substantiate this claim!

    I liked the book, but it wasn't my favorite. I never really connected to PJ, or any of the characters. I am interested to see the movie though.

    I totally agree with you that the book is exteremely helpful at teaching Greek mythology and there are SO many teacher tie-ins here! You could have students read a text v. this book, or discuss the origins of myth and legend and how the same characters and stories repeat throughout time, or what makes a story worth reading, or what purpose would mythology serve in today's modern world... Sigh... the possibilities are endless!!

  3. The movie is oh so very different. "Loosely" would definitely be a word that would work for this book/movie combination. I, as well as many of my 6th grade students, were frustrated and disappointed with how different the movie was. However, those like my husband, who have never read the book, enjoyed the movie well enough. It wasn't great, but it was alright.

    I totally agree that those readers who wouldn't normally like fantasy would enjoy that. This is a good book/series to get an uninterested reader interested in a book/series.