The Lightning Thief | Rick Riordan
Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson thought getting kicked out of school was bad luck, and he’s used to bad luck. But when his math teacher turns into a monster, and his Latin teacher helps save his life, things start to change. Percy discovers he is a half-blood—the son of an ancient Greek god. Accused of stealing the master lightning bolt of Zeus himself, Percy now has ten days to return the powerful weapon before war breaks out on Mount Olympus. Armed with a sword, a magical hat, flying shoes, and an oracle warning of betrayal, Percy and his friends battle against ancient monsters on a quest torn out of the pages of the past.
Children born out of wedlock. Vivid depiction of monsters. Mild violence. Hint at domestic abuse.
This was a case of watching the movie before reading the book—a grievous literary sin. In my defense, I watched the movie when it came out (in 2010), and it’s cute. This book is also cute—with a catch. There’s a lot here kids will love. There’re also a lot of adult themes lying right under the surface.
The infidelity and promiscuity of the Greek gods is infamous. You can’t have a novel about those gods without it. Mr. Riordan does a fair job alluding to that legacy without going into too much detail. That being said, I wouldn’t hand this book to any child under the age of eight or nine without serious thought. The jury is still out on whether my son (8) will read these this year. I’m certain he will love them if he does read them.
I always read books before my kids, but, I can’t decide if I want to read to the end of this series. There are four more books, and a few companion series. If I do read the sequels, I’ll definitely review them on the blog.
ps. This series is five books long and continues with The Sea of Monsters.