Sunday, July 4, 2010
Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
Pub. Date: January 2010
Age Range: 9 to 12
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series
Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he’s not even sure he believes himself.
Until the Minotaur chases him to summer camp.
Suddenly, mythical creatures seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. The gods of Mount Olympus, he’s coming to realize, are very much alive in the twenty-first century. And worse, he’s angered a few of them: Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy has just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property, and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. On a daring...
This series appealed to me when the movie was in the theater but I was busy and never got to it. When I saw that it was soon being released on DVD I decided I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. I belong to the school of though that most of the time, the book is better than the movie and this is another story that I believe that holds true for.
I shared this book with my children, we read almost the entire thing aloud and then borrowed the audio book to listen to in the car on a long trip. One thing I liked about listening was hearing someone else pronounce the names for the Greek gods, I just wasn't entirely sure of the pronunciation of some of them which is no big deal when you are reading silently to yourself but becomes a bigger problem when you are reading aloud!
Parts of this book reminded me of Harry Potter (another series I am working through with my children this summer) and somewhat of the Spiderwick Chronicles which we have already finished. I like that this opened their minds to the idea of Greek myths because I think we are going to moving into those in a few weeks. This book was engrossing enough for adults or children and I highly recommend it. When we went to the beach last week my children were throwing shells back in telling me that they were offering for Poseidon the sea god!
I enjoyed the movie but saw a lot of changes from the book to the movie. I know based on time constraints they have to cut things out, but it seemed odd that they aged the characters from 12 to at least 16, Percy no longer goes to boarding school, some of the gods who had large rolls were cut out and even omitted and even the towns they visit on their cross country trek are changed. The basic story was still there and if looked at without the book it was pretty good but a little more obvious as to who is behind the theft. Whenever you narrow the field of suspects it makes it easier to find the right one. Still I would recommend the movie as well.