A favorite: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Okay, so I’ve already read books 1-4 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, but I’m re-reading them because they rock.  This week I finished book two (The Sea of Monsters) which puts me at two books for the week already.http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=142313494X&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifr

The purpose of this particular post is to shamelessly extol the awesomeness that is Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which I will hereafter refer to as PJ.  PJ is a series that follows a kid, Perseus Jackson, who finds out that he is the son of a Greek god.  Mount Olympus and its residents of gods and goddesses are still around, hiding out in the modern world and influencing Western civilization as it has supposedly done for thousands of years. That also means that gods and goddesses are still have children with mortals, and these children inherit some of their parents’ powers.  They also inherit their problems, which is why they end up at Camp Half-Blood–a place for young heroes to train, protected by magical borders and inhabited by some truly strange characters.

Percy inherits a whole world of trouble, being a forbidden child of one of “The Big Three,” who swore after WWII to never have children with mortals again.  His ensuing adventures with friends Annabeth and Grover are many–and hilarious. I’m in my 20s and I laugh out loud at these books so much it’s embarrassing.  Imagine how much a middle-schooler (the intended audience) would love them.http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1423103343&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifr

I won’t tell you too much about the plot because there are so many pleasant plot surprises.  I will, instead, list some of the things I think makes PJ unique and fun:
1. Witty and lengthy chapter titles
2. An average and quite vulnerable hero–someone out of real life thrust into a fantasy story.
3. An interesting premise that draws kids’ attention to mythology and history.
4. A fast-paced plot full of adventure, action, suspense, and humor.
5. Excellent lessons about friendship and growing up.
6. Probably my favorite thing that Riordan does is to take events or people that are historically famous and tie them into the premise of the story, somehow relating them to the world of Greek gods.  He’s also got some great pop-culture references that adults will understand and kids won’t. No wonder he’s published by Disney!

If you know someone who has middle school kids who haven’t read this yet, definitely let them know that they NEED to. Literally everyone loves this series.  Also, grown-ups, don’t be turned off by the young target audience. They really are amazing in every way. I recommended these books to everyone at Barnes & Noble, and I recommend them to everyone who reads this, too.

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