One of the challenges of parenting is finding activities that you enjoy and that your kids enjoy. The same is true with reading. There are books you like and there are books your kids like, but there are very few that you both like. The Lightning Thief is one of those few books.
Percy Jackson is a misfit at school, having been kicked out of school after school. At first it seems that he is just another New York kid diagnosed with ADHD. It turns out he is half-blood offspring of one of the Greek gods and that Mount Olympus has migrated to the 600th floor of the Empire State Building
It’s easy to compare Percy Jackson to Harry Potter. Both take kids and immerse them in a fantasy world with some friend to help them out. With Harry Potter, it was magic and wizards. Percy Jackson substitutes ancient Greek mythology.
Instead of Harry’s Ron and Hermione, Percy’s friends are a disguised satyr and the half-blood daughter of Athena. Percy has to travel from New York to Los Angeles to prevent a war between Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon by finding the lightning thief. Along the way they encounter the Minotaur, the Furies, Medusa, and Ares, the god of war, decked out as a motorcycle thug.
The characters are not as interesting as the Harry Potter characters, but the storytelling is more light-hearted. Percy is more rebellious and snarkier than Harry Potter.
The true test was that when we finished the book, I thought it was good enough that I wanted to read the second book. Even better, my son asked me to read the next book. I’m heading tomorrow out to get The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2).