I just finished reading aloud Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1: The Lightening Thief to my kids and it was my 8 and 10 year old;s favorite book in a long time. They literally begged me to read multiple chapters after every meal. We finished it in under a week, because they were so eager to listen. I’m so thankful there are more books in the series! We are now in the middle of Book 2 and they are enjoying it just as much.
Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publication Year: 2005
Age Group: Mid Elementary, Late Elementary
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Comments: This book had my second and fourth graders hooked almost instantly. They sat up in their seats as I read and begged me to keep reading when we finished the first chapter. My husband and I enjoyed it as well. It is written in a conversational style so it’s easy to read, but is still fast paced and fun. We read at least one (usually two) chapters after almost every meal and finished this book in 4 or 5 days.
Another thing I love about this book is that it is secretly educational. It includes so much Ancient Greek mythology. I have been supplementing this read aloud with D’Aulaire’s book of Greek Myths and my kids are fascinated. They are even reading it on their own.
I will be honest and say that although there was nothing in Percy Jackson and the Olympians that was inappropriate for my 3 and 5 year olds, they were not that interested in listening. They would frequently go off and play as soon as they were done eating. However, even my 5 year old is picking up information about Greek Mythology. He keeps asking “Who was the king of the gods, again?” even though he knows the answer is Zeus. Also he has decided he wants to be Poseidon for Halloween so he can have a trident.
I thought it would be really hard to get our family addicted to another series after we finished the Harry Potter novels, but Percy Jackson and the Olympians seems to be fitting the bill. Unfortunately, I thought the first movie was terrible. The problem was not that it was inappropriate, though my 5 year old thought it was a little scary. The problem was that it was not faithful to the book at all. I kept blurting at the TV, “Whoever made this didn’t even READ the book!” However, my kids enjoyed it. And even if the film series is not as worthwhile, we are all still excited about reading the rest of the books in the series.
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