YOUNG ADULT READING by Rick Riordan: The Lightning Thief

This is the first book in Riordan’s series, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”  In The Lightning Thief, the protagonist is a junior high school boy with a touch of ADHD who has been kicked out of yet another boarding school, as the story opens. He has studied Greek Mythology under Mr. Brunner, his teacher, but is shocked when the mythology begins to affect and appear in his own life. Percy has a special bond with his mom and a hazardous relationship with his repulsive stepfather. Unsuccessfully, Percy tries to get his mom to talk about his father, hoping perhaps to go and live with him. His mother is evasive and mysterious which only fuels Percy’s determination to find him.

At a summer camp where Mr. Brunner is a counselor, Percy runs into Grover, a friend from school and meets Annabeth, and the three form an alliance against the bullies at camp. Later after it is revealed that Percy is a halfling like Annabeth, in fact the son of Poseidon (Annabeth is the daughter of Athena), he and his trio are given a quest to find and recover Zeus’ thunderbolt, a weapon that has been stolen, threatening to start an all-out war between the gods of Mount Olympus.

The story has “electrifying moments” and is packed with action and attacks on the three friends as they travel. The themes of heroism, family, friendship, and loyalty are developed throughout the novel. It is oft times humorous, often wistful, and always action-packed. The kids’ quest leads from the Atlantic to the Pacific–literally, and there is never a boring moment or lull in the story. It is a great read for any age, and the promise of a wonderful series.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

7 thoughts on “YOUNG ADULT READING by Rick Riordan: The Lightning Thief”

  1. I am delighted you enjoyed this one so much, Rae. My granddaughter has read or listened to the whole series and it really inspired her to battle on with her reading – important given her severe dyslexia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s my Rick Riordan story:

    Once, long ago, I was at the Texas Library Association Conference. I saw a man sitting by himself, with a huge stack of books. He was wildly friendly and encouraged me to take a copy of his book and read it. I felt a little sorry for him, so I took one. That night, I picked up the book (it had a terrible cover—mostly white, with a lightning bolt on it) and told myself that I’d just read a few paragraphs and then put it down….so I started it…and couldn’t put it down. Next thing you know, I’ve read the whole book and loved it, and The Lightning Thief was a bestseller.

    Liked by 1 person

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