Fictional stories for kids: The Lightning Thief

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The Lightning Thief by Miramax Books is one of the Reading Kingdom’s recommended fictional stories for kids. Melissa Gaynor explains why:


What You Need to Know:

• The Lightning Thief’s enormous popularity led to a major motion picture in 2010 although please note that the movie  is VERY different from the book.
• It was a New York Times Notable Book of 2005 and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.
• While this series definitely stands on its own, there are some obvious similarities to Harry Potter.
• Greek Mythology plays a central role in the story so this could attract or discourage some young readers.
• There is some violence in this story – lots of fighting and horrifying monsters – but no death or killing.
• Readers may find inspiration in the fact that the main character becomes a hero despite his Dyslexia and ADHD.

Summary:

Well, everyone seems to know about Percy Jackson since the movie came out but for those of you who have either been under a rock or avoiding fantasy books, here’s the scoop. Percy Jackson is a 12 year-old boy (he’s older in the movie so keep that in mind if you’re taking your kids) who has never really fit in and is definitely lacking in confidence. He’s been kicked out of a bunch of schools, doesn’t do well in most of his classes and pretty much expects his life to continue on that monotonous path. When the book starts he is at Yancy Academy in upstate New York while his mom and smelly step-dad Gabe are in the City. His class is on a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and this is where the adventure begins…. The story is easy to read and feels very current (i.e. instant messaging) even though it incorporates ideas from ancient Greece. The characters are easy to relate to although they do lack some depth. Some serious concepts are also introduced such as the uncertain future of Western Civilization as we know it and the importance of caring for the environment. Riordan even offers aspects of Greek Mythology to explain some current events or situations like why people are afraid of the dark.”

Have your children read The Lightning Thief? What did they think of the book?

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