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Riordan, Rick.
New York : Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children, 2005.
IL 5-8, RL 4.9
ISBN 0786856297

(4 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Percy Jackson was pegged as trouble almost from the moment he was born.  Of course, he never did anything intentionally, but that didn’t stop him from getting blamed for things.  Now, at the age of 12, Percy is trying his best not to get thrown out of yet another private school.  Unfortunately, it isn’t long before school is the least of his worries.  Odd things had been happening to him throughout most of his life, but he never really tried piecing any of it together. Then one day his class takes a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It’s there amidst the Greek artifacts that his powers are finally released. He’s also forced to fight his first monster, a winged hag, who, up until a few moments ago, was also his Pre-Algebra teacher. 

From that point on everyone seems to know more than they’re willing to tell and it’s not until Percy’s attacked by yet another monster that the truth finally comes out.  The Greek gods are alive and well in the 21st century and trouble is brewing on Mt. Olympus.  Zeus’s most powerful weapon has been stolen, everyone is blaming everyone else, and Percy is a prime suspect.  Unless he and his friends can get to California to find out what's really happening, World War III may be just around the corner.  However, it doesn’t take Percy long to realize that things are not always what they seem in his new myth-infested world and he’s going to need all of his wits to get past the traps the gods have set for him.  (Miranda J. Hawkins, Grapevine Public Library)

Booktalk #2

The ancient Greek and Romans had many gods and goddesses who interacted with humans, often interfering in ways that caused all sorts of problems, like the Trojan War, for instance. Most of us learned about these gods and goddesses in mythology---myths told by early cultures to explain happenings that had no scientific explanation.

Only myths, not really true - or were they? Percy Jackson, 12 year old schoolboy, finds out for himself. His quest is to return Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt to its rightful owner, discover who his own father is, rescue his mother from the minotaur, and keep the three most powerful gods from waging World War III.

Percy, and the readers of this realistic and imaginative story, learn many details about the gods that were not covered in the mythology unit! An informative read for teens and adults.

My father had left before I was born and I had been in and out of one school after another. At twelve years of age, I was finally in a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York. I had never seen my real father, and my mother was married to a foul smelling, lazy drinking, smoking, useless piece of ...

It really started going bad on a field trip to Manhattan in May at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Brunner, our Latin teacher, led the trip in his wheel-chair, but Nancy Bobofit was there creating her usual trouble, as was my best friend, scrawny Grover. Nancy dropped her lunch in Grover’s lap (on purpose), and I tried to count to ten. The next thing I knew, Nancy was on her behind in the fountain yelling that I had pushed her.

Mrs. Dodds, always quick to Nancy’s defense, was right there ordering me to follow her. She led me into the Greek and Roman section and told me to confess. I didn’t know what I was expected to confess to, and she said my time was up. Then, she started to change into something with big bat wings, claws, and a mouth of yellow fangs.

Mr. Brunner wheeled his chair into the doorway holding a pen and tossed it to me. I snatched it out of the air, but now it was a sword. As Mrs. Dodds flew toward me, I swung the sword, it passed through her body and she evaporated into yellow powder.

The pen was back in my hand, and Mr. Brunner was no longer there. When I returned to the rest of the class, they acted like they’d never heard of Mrs. Dodds and there was now a new teacher in her place named Mrs. Kerr.

Things were definitely getting weird.  (Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2007-2008)

Booktalk #3

The absolutely worst thing has just happened to you…you’ve been kicked out of your 5th school in 5 years, a school that is specially designed for “trouble makers” like you one that you were really trying to stay in.  Okay, so maybe being kicked out of your 5th school in 5 years isn’t the worse thing that can happen to you. Especially when monsters from those Greek Mythology books you love seem to be coming to life and are determined to get you. You see, it isn’t really your fault that your pre-Algebra teacher just happens to be a winged hag who decides that it’s finally time to take you out of the picture during a field trip to New York’s Metropolitan Museum. And she wouldn’t have even done anything to you if it hadn’t been for Nancy.  Mom will freak out. Things really could be a lot worse.  You soon find yourself at Camp Half-Blood, where there are a lot of other kids like you. Turns out you’re the son of one of the Greek Gods. Yes, they’re still around and kicking, and living in New York City. The absolute worst part? You’re accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt, and if you don’t get it back, well that could be the end of the world as we know it. So with your new friends from Camp, who are also demi-Gods, you’re off to the underworld, to visit Hades and get the lightning bolt back. And you thought being kicked out of your 5th…no, wait a minute it’s actually 6th boarding school in 6 years was the worst thing to happen. Find out what happens and whether you’ll get that lightning bolt back and save the world in The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. This is the first book in a series that, if your students are anything like mine, will have your students begging for the next book and gobbling up your Greek Mythology books to find out more about their favorite characters.   (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Read Award committee)

Booktalk #4

Percy could hardly believe his eyes; Camp Halfblood wasn’t like any summer camp he had ever heard about.  All the campers seemed to have a relationship to the gods of ancient Greece.  Where did he fit in?  Join Percy and his new friends as they fight the evils of the ancient Underworld.  Lightning Thief is the first book in a series of intriguing Olympian adventures.    (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2007-2008)

SUBJECTS:     Gods -- Fiction.
                        Camps -- Fiction.
                        Voyages and travels -- Fiction.

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