The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan Book 1 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

It takes a lot to stand out among the multitudes of new fantasy series that seem... read more

It takes a lot to stand out among the multitudes of new fantasy series that seem to be multiplying faster than the proverbial rabbits, but the first volume in Percy Jackson & the Olympians succeeds with ease. In an original premise, Rick Riordan offers up the difficulties faced by the twenty-first century offspring of Olympic gods. Percy Jackson, twelve-year-old boarding school renegade, is being asked to exit yet another academic institution as the novel opens. He thought he was a regular kid (even if a bit of a trouble-magnet), but his outlook makes a dramatic turn when he discovers that his best friend has hooves, his mother is annihilated by a Minotaur, and he’s the newest inductee to Camp Half-Blood, a safe haven for demigods. Percy misses his mother and struggles with the unknown identity of his father—he must be a god, but which one? And why has he been such a deadbeat dad for the past twelve years? Percy must put aside these questions as he sets out on a quest to track down Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt and exonerate himself as the primary suspect. Accompanied by his satyr buddy and a formidable daughter of Athena, Percy travels from Long Island to L.A., battling hostile forces that include Medusa and the god Ares en route. While it holds obvious appeal for the many fans of Harry Potter, The Lightning Thief deserves recognition on its own merits, with witty narration, clever plotting, and characters readers will look forward to rejoining in Book 2 of Percy Jackson & the Olympians. (Ages 11–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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