I love Percy Jackson

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I just wanted to make a recommendation for those of you who have 8-12-year-old readers, or who love adventure novels yourself, for the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. My 8-year-old read the first book (The Lightning Thief) and started talking about Greek gods and goddesses, and using words like "satyr" and "herculean" in casual conversation. Then he asked for the other four books in the series, which he raced through, and then he asked me if I'd read them so we could talk about them together.

I've enjoyed these books thoroughly. I had zero interest growing up in Greek mythology, so I was almost completely ignorant of it, but after reading the PJ books I have a firm grasp of which gods and goddesses did what and when, and a bunch of the stories. I also loved that Percy doesn't have to reject his mom (who's really strong and clever, even though she's not an Olympian herself) to fulfill his destiny, and that there are loads of heroes, small and big, male and female, humanoid and not. The series also teases out the idea that everyone has flaws and what makes you a hero is recognizing your flaws and choosing not to give in to them.

I was having dinner with another mom friend and she expressed wonder that our kids are ripping through these 300-page books with such dense vocabulary. I just think good storytelling sucks people in. And Rick Riordan is a good storyteller.

He's starting a new series based on the Percy Jackson characters, and the first one's coming out in October. I just preordered it, but may end up fighting with my 8-year-old about which of us gets to read it first.

Has anyone else read the PJ books? Which is your favorite? (Mine is The Battle of the Labyrinth.)

24 thoughts on “I love Percy Jackson”

  1. Riordan also did a series based on Ancient Egypt called the Kane Chronicles. I’m still in the first book of that series – I really like it for similar reasons.

  2. Haven’t read those yet – kinda waiting for Mouse, who’s only 6. Love young adult SF though – have you tried some of the Earthsea stuff by Ursula LeGuin with your son? (Which OMG Miyazaki is making a movie of btw!!!)

  3. I love them too, they’re great for middle schoolers learning ancient history too!Actually, the 7 year old across the street loves them too, so I think there is broad appeal.
    The first in the Kane Chronicle series is good, but not as strong as the Percy Jackson books.

  4. My husband and I read YA fiction out loud to each other at night (GEEKS) and we’ve exhausted Harry Potter and His Dark Materials among others so thanks for the recommendation!

  5. OK, OK, I give in. He wants me to read them but I hadn’t. I sort of thought I’d wait a year and then read them aloud to his little brother.Have you gotten into the 39 Clues books? Riordian wrote the first and we’ve just gotten the second which is by a different author. The idea intrigues me but also makes me wonder if it will be a money suck since the books in the library don’t include collecting clue cards.

  6. any suggestions for good chapter books for a 7 year old? I’m trying to buy a gift and am a bit stuck. This kid has read and loved the Magic Treehouse series. i would like to buy something fun and imaginative that is also wholesome (ie, no crass humor). These PJ books sound great but are probably still a little too advanced.thanks for any advice!

  7. @janel, if a girl, the Ivy and Bean series is super cute. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is surprising easy to read, though after that the other books in the series are kind of at a higher level.

  8. @janel: We covered all the Beverly Cleary books at that age. She has wonderful books that I read as a kid and also some I wasn’t familiar with. For a boy, start with Mouse and the Motorcycle, for a girl, start with Ramona – the first one might be Beezus & Ramona, but they don’t really have to be in order.

  9. Hey, I just started reading Percy Jackson! Kindle, FTW! I love getting new books whenever they strike my fancy. Plus, nobody chastises me about reading children’s books when they can’t see the jacket.I just finished reading the Septimus Heap books, and they were a pretty fun read.

  10. My 9 yr old boy LOVED this series. Thanks to Percy, he now loves reading. He zoomed through all the books in 4 months – these were the first big chapter books he’s read on his own and I was really skeptical he would be able to get through them. But he did. yippee!

  11. Those are great books. I actually made my husband read them and now we can’t wait until our almost 7 year old is ready to give them a shot.@Janel – I liked Frances Hodgson Burnett (Secret Garden, etc.), Louisa May Alcott (Little Women, etc.), and Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie, etc.) books when I was around that age. That assumes the child is a girl…
    @Charisse & Koshercow – thanks for the recommendations – I’m going to check out the Ivy & Bean and Fairy Realm books right now for my daughter.

  12. my sister’s almost eight year old twin boys LOVE these books.i pre-ordered the first in the new series just now via your link, moxie. THANKS for sharing that.

  13. @Janel, my 6 yo son loves the Magic School Bus chapter books, the Boxcar Children, the Andrew Lost series (Andrew Lost in the Garden, on the Dog, etc), Nate the Great. The Ramona books are also good.If you haven’t gotten any suggestions you think are a good fit for ability or content, pick the brains of a children’s librarian. The ones at our library have so many great suggestions for my son, who is in first grade but reading several grade levels ahead.

  14. I enjoyed these quite a bit, although I found them somewhat predictable. Rick Riordan used to teach 6th grade, so ancient history is really up his alley.

  15. As one of those weird “wizard-behind-the-curtain” type pop acts where a “group” has one member who never leaves the studio or hits the stage, La Rouafdx can be a bit of a head scratcher. Elly Jackson is the voice and face of the British electro pop outfit responsible for the infectious hit “Bulletproof,” but there’s also a guy in the back mixing up the special sauce. His name? Ben Langmaid.

  16. HI the PJ books appropriate for 8 year old? Are there real violence and deaths? Is it real dark like Harry Potter’s later books? Are there romance? I cut my 8 year old off on Harry Potter after the Globlet of Fire which Cedric dies in it. And I won’t let her read Half Blood Prince with all the detail kissing scenes. I enjoyed the HP books but I feel its too dark for 8 year old. There is a lot of “hate” in the later HP books. Or that everyone has a secret dark past (like HPs dad was a bully, Dumbledore was a muggle hater at one point). I really don’t like that for a 8 year old.

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