Percy may be a Half Blood, but the book about him is full of action, humor, and heart.
In Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson is a difficult kid constantly being expelled from boarding school. After a teacher tries to kill Percy on a school field trip, his mom takes him to Camp Half Blood. Percy soon learns he is a child of an Olympic god and finds himself on a quest to stop a war from breaking out between the gods.
During one of my field experiences, the entire third grade read Percy Jackson and then had a huge party where they brought in blue snacks and watched the movie. After reading the book myself, I not only understand why all the snacks were blue, but why all the students were so excited about Percy Jackson. From the first page, I was completely engrossed in the story and didn’t want to put the book down.
First off, all of the characters in this book were great even if they weren’t a hero in the story. Percy is a hilarious protagonist and extremely realistic, despite being the son of Poseidon. In many similar books, the characters often act a lot older than their age, but Percy still acted like he was twelve. This forced him into many unfortunate circumstances, but as a result, his character really drove the book, not the plot.
Besides Percy, all of the characters were wonderfully done and each had their own motivations. I constantly hear people praise the friendship within these books and now I definitely see why. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover formed a great friendship within this book and motivated each other to reach their goals. Rick Riordan also did an excellent job of giving all the gods little quirks, like having Dionysus as the leader of the summer camp or having Poseidon dress in a Hawaiian shirt.
The book was also action-packed. Even if it became slightly predictable–Percy made a bad decision, so he needed to defeat a monster–each fight held your attention. I especially loved the foreshadowing between each fight that prepared you for what he would face, for example, at Aunty Em’s diner. I can imagine children reading this book in school using the context clues to predict what is coming next. In addition to the plot, I through the book’s structure could be emphasized in the classroom. Like in Greek epics, Percy’s fate is predicted before he begins his quest, and I really enjoyed Rick Riordan’s nod to classic literature.
Since I loved every aspect of this book, I give The Lightning Thief five out of five stars.