The Lighting Thief
By: Rick Riordan This book is about a young boy who learns that he has superpowers and is destined to be a hero enters a new school where he makes fast friends with a brainy girl and a geeky boy, makes fast enemies with an entire section of the school, and excels at their unique sport. No, I’m not talking about Harry Potter. The hero in question is Percy Jackson, who may not have a lightning scar, but does set out on a quest to return a lightning bolt in the first book of the series. Instead of simply being gifted with magic, Percy is the son of a Greek God. His friends aren’t mere mortals with spell books. They are Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, and Grover, a satyr. The section of school that hates him isn’t the old home of the series’ big evil, but the most competitive section of students, the children of the God of War, Ares. And instead of Quidditch, Percy finds himself participating in a chariot race. The world of The Lightning Thief brings Greek mythology into the modern world. Who knew that Mount Olympus was located on floor 1000 of the Empire State Building? Or that the Greek gods are responsible for the spread of Western civilization? Unbeknownst to us, we walk among monsters who scour the Earth hoping to find the children of Gods before the Gods do in order to eliminate their competition. How do the kids stay safe? They head to Camp Half-Blood, where Dionysus, the God of wine, helps train the kids in the ways of half-bloods, those who are half-human and half-God. My favorite part of the book is the opening. It directly addresses the reader, inviting those who read the book to imagine this world as a part of their own. Like Hogwarts, the camp is divided into different sections of students, and these factions war with one another. They are, of course, based on who your Godly parent is. When Percy first arrives at the camp, he has no idea who that could be. His father never stepped up...
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