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The Lightning Thief is a children's fantasy novel, written by Rick Riordan, and published in 2005. It is the first book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.

Percy Jackson is a troubled young boy who can never stay in the same school for more than two years. He has ADHD and dyslexia, and a disgusting stepfather. Percy Jackson is soon confronted by a mythical Fury and his life turns upside down. His friend Grover has goat legs and Percy finds that his real father controls the sea. Now he has to find out who he can trust, on a quest to stop the end of the world. Rick Riordan's world of Greek gods in the present day has a mystery to solve: who is the real lightning thief?

Reader's Reviews

===Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief ===

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is written by Rick Riordan, and chronicles the adventures of a group of demi gods as they attempt to discover who stole Zeus lightning. In Riordan’s world demi gods are half-human, half- Greek god, and as such are constantly on the run from monsters. The only place where they can find safety is at Camp Half Blood, a summer school specially created for the these special children. Upon discovering he is the son of the Sea God Poseidon, Percy Jackson, and his friends Annabeth and Grover, are sent on a mission to try and retrieve it and prevent a war among the Gods. On the way they encounter many different monsters, and are betrayed by those they most trust.

An alternative take on the Greek myths, it certainly has a place in Primary schools. Riordan ensures the book flows throughout, and each chapter centres on the next conflict or challenge the heroes have to overcome. It is designed for children, and I would recommend it to a competent reader of any age, though it would arguably be most relevant to children from the age of seven to eleven.

As a teaching resource it can be used to challenge the way in which myths are perceived, and how they alter over time. It has obvious ties to the study of the Greeks as a topic, and can be a fun and interesting way of exploring different themes and concepts.

The themes Riordan draws into the Lightning Thief also have relevance within the classroom. All demigods are born with ADHD and dyslexia, which enables them to be quicker in battle and read Ancient Greek. This is an important message as many children who face these challenges struggle in school with poor self-esteem. By teaching them that no matter your problems you still have a special gift, Riordan is appealing to those with a disadvantage and providing them with heroes they can relate too.

I would recommend Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief to any child with an interest in Ancient History or fantasy as a genre, and too any teacher looking to try something new within their classroom.

. Percy Jackson:

Percy Jackson is a ‘normal’ twelve year old boy. That is until his maths teacher tries to kill him. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is about a twelve year old ADHD, dyslexic boy who discovers that he is a Half-blood, and a son of a Greek God. I’m not going to tell you which one, as that would spoil the story! After Percy is nearly killed by a monster/his maths teacher he eventually ends up at Camp Half-blood. Here he finds out that he is a Half-blood and meets others who are like him and discovers why he feels so different in ‘normal’ life. Percy then goes on a quest for the Camp with a satyr and another Half-blood. He goes on a quest to try and Zeus’ Lightening Bolt. The quest takes Percy all over America and he meets lots of different characters that come from Greek myths such as Medusa, Chimera, centaurs and a Minotaur. I would read this book even if you are not really interested in Greek Mythology, I just could not put it down!

Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 12+
  • Reading Aloud Age: 11+

The main character is a twelve year old, so the reading age would be around there. The book says that the characters swear, but the specific swear words aren't written out. (For example: Annabeth cursed under her breath.) Dionysus used to drink wine (because of who he is), but he doesn't in the book.

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External Links

The official website of the Percy Jackson books.

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