Timeframe: I read this book during my week-long cruise of the Carribean last week. I mostly read it in the aternoons after returning from our excursions and before a nap. It was an easy read and not demanding.
Premise: This is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Percy is short for Perseus. Percy is in the sixth grade when he discovers that he is a half-blood, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.
My Thoughts: I love mythology. I have since I was little. My mom, also and English teacher, told me The Odyssey as a bedtime story. I like the idea that this story brings to light minor gods and their lesser-known stories. This story really displays the pettiness of the Greek gods that students sometimes miss.
My Concern: I am worried that this is an attempt to turn Harry Potter into a mythological story. Percy, like Harry, starts his story in 6th grade. Percy, like Harry, is a chosen one; Percy is the son of one of the "big three." Percy, like Harry, has a close female friend who is very smart (a daughter of Athena, in fact). Percy, like Harry, discovers that he has a nemesis.
My Delight: These are not the traits of Harry Potter. These are the traits of the heroes of all ages for all people. They are archetypes with whom people have identified for ages. Heroes are chosen; something about them calls them to be special. Heroes do not succeed on their own; they always need a wise friend to compliment their advenutous and spontaneous qualities. Heroes must have an enemy because a story is not deiven without conflict; evil is real in the hero's world, just like evil is present in the real world. I LOVE THEMES AND ARCHETYPES!
Recommendation: Read it! Read it yourself. Read it with your 8-12 year olds. Read it!
Information on this book can be found at http://www.rickriordan.com/index.php/books-for-children/the-lightning-thief/.