Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Reads #1 - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

Published by Miramax Books (Hyperion)
Publication Date: 2005 (Hardcover) 2006 (paperback)
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary from back cover:  Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

The Lightning Thief is a fun, fast paced, action-packed book. Rick Riordan combines Greek myths with references to modern culture. Greek gods, a cross country adventure, a reluctant hero’s quest, a traitor and friends who stick by you no matter what can all be found in The Lightning Thief.

Percy Jackson is not your average 12 year-old. For one thing, he’s been kicked out of six schools in six years for behavioral problems. He has trouble making friends; however, he does have one good, but odd, friend named Grover. Percy also has dyslexia and ADHD. Despite all of this, Percy’s Latin teacher has faith that he will succeed and pushes him to do well.

Soon, Percy learns that his father, who his mother always said was lost at sea, is really a Greek god. Injured during a run in with a mythological creature, Percy finds his way to Camp Half-Blood, where he learns about the gods and meets Annabeth, one of Athena’s half-blood children. When Zeus’ master lightning bolt is stolen, Percy becomes suspect number one. To prove his innocence, he must go on a quest for the lightning bolt. Percy is a reluctant hero at best, but he sets off with Annabeth and Grover on a cross country search for the lightning bolt.

I originally read the Percy Jackson books for a children’s literature class I took last year. The Lightning Thief was a required book and once I finished with it, I read the rest very quickly. I can see why the series is very popular and appeal to wide age range. The characters are very realistic and three dimensional. Percy is easy to relate to. I think it’s great that the main characters have learning disabilities, but still end up heroes. The action sequences were a lot of fun to read and made the story move very quickly. Percy is the narrator and the way the book is formatted, it is like he’s telling you about his crazy adventure.

I wholeheartedly recommend The Lightning Thief to kids of all ages, especially those who enjoy adventures and lots of action!

Looking for more information about Rick Riordan or the Percy Jackson series? Pay a visit to:

Rick Riordan's website
The Percy Jackson website


  1. Sounds like a fun series to read, I should definitely start...Great review! =)

  2. This is such a great summer read! The series just gets better as it goes on! :)

  3. This book is on my TBR pile. I've seen the movie like six times and absolutely loved it. I can't wait to read the book when I get the chance. Great review XD

  4. I've got to pick up this book for my daughter! She started reading her scorekeeper's copy at the bowling alley one day and had a hard time putting it down for her turns to bowl.


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