Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordian

Title: The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)
Author: Rick Riordian
Publisher / Date: Disney Book Group / 2010
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Greek Mythology
Summary: 12 year old Percy Jackson has been moved from school to school and labeled a trouble maker. Thought to have ADHD, Percy has never met his father and feels misunderstood. While at boarding school, Percy is surrounded by strange happenings, including his pre-algebra teacher turning into a flying monster that tries to kill him and discovering his best friend is a satyr. Percy soon finds himself on the way to "summer camp" where his mother says he will be safe. In order to get there he must first fight a Minotaur and save his friend from danger. Once at Camp Half-blood, Percy pieces together enough information to discover that his father is a Greek god and he is considered a half-blood. He soon learns that the Greek gods are alive and angry in modern day America. Percy is accused of stealing Zues's lightening bolt and must prove his innocence while also trying to bring peace and end the war between the gods.
Curriculum Connections: Grades 5-9: Greek Mythology; Literature: character development
(See the author's website link below for project ideas and more curriculum connections)
Notes: Action Packed! Be aware that some readers / parents may not like the paganism and violence portrayed in the book. See the author's website for a teacher's guide to the book, unit lesson plans, readers' guides, and a well written curriculum rationale for using The Lightening Thief in the classroom, a Readers' Theater short intro script based on the book, project ideas and video interviews with the author.

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