The Teachers' Scrounge

News and comments from the world of public education. A middle school math teacher shared what he learned today.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan, a Texas author, has written an incredible series of children's books. Many have called it "The next Harry Potter," at which point someone always shouts, "No, it's better than Harry Potter." I think they're both right.

The Lightning Thief is about Percy Jackson, a sixth grader who discovers that his father is a Greek god. You know, those residents of Mount Olympus (which it turns out is now hovering over NYC). Yep, Percy is a demigod. And what do demigods do? They go on quests! And so Percy travels across modern America on his quest. Without giving too much away, I have to tell you that Medusa is running a roadside stand... selling concrete lawn ornaments!

Amazingly creative and very well written. The books are action packed. Short chapters move quickly from one adventure to the next. The Percy Jackson series will eventually include five books. The fifth and final book is due out spring of 2009. So far, each book is approximately the same length (which makes me believe Riordan has planned his plots very well and is a disciplined writer).

This book has been popular among my eighth graders for many years (though Rick Riordan is a local author, so that may skew the sample). But when the most recent book was released recently, I had more than a dozen kids reading it in class the very next day.

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