My agent suggested that I read The Lightning Thief because I’m writing a Middle Grade book and the pacing in this MG series is considered perfect.
The books are exciting page turners. I also adore this series because it’s all about the gods and goddesses from the Greek myths (existing above modern day Manhattan.) I loved the Greek myths as a kid and love them now. I’ve heard the Greek myths described as the narratives of the patriarchy taking over the matriarchy. I don’t know if that’s true, but I can see why the theory exists. There are many strong, cool females in those myths– many more than we have in books or movies that dominate the culture in 2012. The women of the Greek myths are also beautiful and smart and strong– a combination pretty forbidden nowadays. But the men rule. That is true in this series as well.
Our hero is Percy. He is the son of Poseidon, the sea god. Percy, like all heroes, is a half-blood: half god and half human. I like this kid. He’s smart, funny, resourceful, sweet, and humble. He, like many modern day heroes in kidworld, has a smart, strong girl sidekick: Annabeth, daughter of Athena. She helps him along on his quest. There’s quite a lot of talk in this book about “the big three:” Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. Those are the three most powerful gods whose children are the most powerful heroes. If you read this series with your kids, I suggest discussing with them why the goddesses aren’t allowed to be in the big three and why that’s not fair, beyond their specific roles in the myths.
Besides Annabeth, there are other strong females in this series.
I recommend reading it to your sons and daughters. I’d love to recommend many more companion books where the boys help the girls along on their quests.
My eight year daughter tore through this series and said she liked it better than Harry Potter (but that could’ve been because she was done with HP– she lives in the present.)
Reel Girl rates The Lighting Thief ***H***