“ Author: Rick Riordan / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 04 July 2013 / Genre: Children's General Fiction / Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd / Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief / ISBN 13: 9780141346809 / ISBN 10: 0141346809 / Alternative EAN: 9780141319131 „
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A lot of children's fantasy and adventure books involve children finding out that they aren't just normal kids, but that they are something else altogether. Harry Potter is a fine example: he did not know he was a wizard until Hagrid told him this was so, and Percy Jackson is the same. He does realise that there is something strange going on, though (unless he is going mad!) and this is reinforced after he blows his maths teacher up and no one seems to know what he is talking about after when he mentions her; it is as though his maths teacher never existed...
I have been reading quite a lot of teen fiction of late. I devoured the Darren Shan books, just loved them! So when I saw the first Percy Jackson book in Waterstones for just £1, I knew I had to get it. It was a promotion thing, in case you were wondering, where the first of each famous children's fiction series was being sold for a pound - they also had Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver, and later Artimis Fowl, The Demonata, amongst quite a few others. I bought them with my daughter in mind, but I knew I could and would read them too.
I don't know what it is about teen fiction I like, but I guess it is probably because they are straight to the point and great little adventures. There is far too much padding going on in adult books these days! Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is such a read. Easy going, and full of fun and adventure, by Rick Riordan, the American born author, who has written four other books based on the same character. The full list is as follows:
The Lightning Thief (published in June 28, 2005)
The Sea of Monsters (May 3, 2006)
The Titan's Curse (May 1, 2007)
The Battle of the Labyrinth (May 6, 2008)
The Last Olympian (May 5, 2009)
Born in 1964, he has also written several other series, such as the Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus.
But what of The Lightning Thief? As I have said, Percy is just like all other kids really. He does have problems with his writing and his Attention Deficit Disorder, though, and can't seem to stay in one school for more than a year.
We are introduced to Percy when he is twelve years old and studying at Yancy Academy. Here his maths teacher tries to attack him and he suddenly finds power to destroy her, but after this no one seems to remember her having existed before. He goes home for summer. His mother is married to a gruel man, but she puts up with him for both her and Percy's sake: he is Percy's step dad and they do not get on.
His mother and Percy take a three day trip to Long Island, but during their stay, Grover (who is Percy's only friend at school) comes to see him, revealing that his is a satyr and that Percy is a demigod, and in trouble. Three furies are after him. Percy's mother says they have all to go to camp half blood, a place where all young demigods (half human and half god), stay. On their way there they are attached by a Minotaur and his mother is attached and disappears, feared dead.
Percy continues his trip to Camp Half Blood, where is finds out he is the son of Poseidon and that he has to try and stop a war between his father and Zeus and Hades... He, Grover and a half blood called Annabeth set off on a thrilling journey were they meet other Gods, such as Medusa and journey to hell itself...
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is a well told story. I don't think it is as good as the aforementioned Harry Potter series or the Darren Shan books, but it is well worth a read nonetheless. Heck, it kept me reading and I found it near enough un-put-down-able, so that has to be an accolade it itself...
Now onto the second book...
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Puffin (1 May 2008)
Percy Jackson is a twelve year old boy who suffers from dyslexia and ADHD and has to keep moving schools due to getting into trouble that somehow happens even though he never means it to. During a school trip to a museum in New York with his newest school Percy is attacked by his teacher who turns into a flying creature. He is saved by another professor but when he tries to talk about what happened no one seems to remember even though Percy is convinced his best friend Grover is lying about not remembering.
When Percy returns home after school finished he is again attacked by a creature and his mum informs him that he is a half blood which is the child of a Greek God to a mortal. She tells him that they have to go to half blood hill which is a safe place for half bloods like him. Unfortunately during the trip his mother is kidnapped and Percy finds out that someone has stolen Zeus's lightening bolt a magical artefact that carries great power for whoever holds it. As he is the most powerful half blood to come along in a long time he is the prime suspect and Zeus will stop at nothing to retrieve it. This leads Percy along with two of his new friends from half blood hill on a quest to retrieve the lightening bolt and find out who stole it before its too late.
I had heard such good things about the Percy Jackson series but I was reluctant to read them as I thought as they were young adult books I wouldn't enjoy them but being a fan of Harry Potter and having withdrawals from that series I decided to give it a try.
As soon as I started reading the book I was sucked into the story and found myself being swept along in the adventure. I thought the concept of the book was really clever and a really good way of getting both children and adults interested in history and mythology as it is explained in such a fun interesting way.
The character of Percy is different from the usual hero's in books being dyslexic and having ADHD. I really think this would be a great book to give to child who suffers from those like Percy to show them that they are not alone and even though he has behavioural problems he is a good kid at heart and wants to do the best for those he cares about.
The other characters are equally interesting with the majority of the children being outcasts like Percy and there is even the comedic relief in the character of Grover who does manage to become a more fleshed out character in his own right by the end of the book and not just the sidekick but someone with an important personal quest of his own.
The gods are portrayed in different ways with some of them being haughty and believing they are better than humanity but knowing they need them to survive and others more in tune with the modern world and embracing the technologies of present day. The historical facts and mythology stories that we are all familiar with such as medusa are present but all given their own little twists.
I think the book is clever but it's certainly not high art by any means, at its core it is an old fashioned adventure story given a modern twist and this works really well and is what makes the book so good as you become really engrossed within the quest and are rooting for the characters to succeed.
Percy Jackson and the lightening thief is a brilliant book for all ages and is the perfect book to get kids into learning a bit more about ancient history whilst giving the adults a guilty pleasure.
Percy Jackson is a twelve year old American boy who is dyslexic and has trouble at school. He lives with his mum, who has never let on that much about who his father was. One day he learns why, when his teacher turns into a mythical monster and tries to kill him. Percy's father was Poseidon, the Greek God of the sea, and the time has come for Percy to learn about his heritage and meet other 'half bloods,' or demigods, at Camp Half Blood, a place of refuge and training for those who have one mortal and one immortal parent. He soon finds he has some interesting inherited abilities and makes new friends - and enemies - amongst the other campers. But trouble is brewing and it is not long before he is called upon to fulfil a Quest to find out who stole Zeus's lightning bolt and return it and help stop a battle of the Gods.
This is an exciting book that I read when I was in my twenties - and I have subsequently read the rest of the series as it has come along - that will appeal to all ages, from nine or ten up. The half blood characters are relatable, especially Percy, and the Gods and mythical creatures are fascinating and entertaining. Much is taken from Greek myth, which makes for an interesting and even educational read with a twist. The school and camp scenarios grounds the story in reality, whilst the mythical side is a fantastic adventure, making it a very appealing 'it could be true' book.
This is the first book in a series of 6 books called "Percy Jackson and the Olympians". This is a book I didn't intend to get! I knew, thanks to a certain website, that I would get this book through the post sometime soon, however, my library (as some of you may already be aware of) gets this book catalogue, and I frequently order out of it. This book was in there, but I am almost positively sure that I didn't order this book, but when my order came through and I collected it from the library, this book was in there, I asked if all these books were mine, and the librarian thought I had forgotten what I ordered, however she said they were all mine as no one else ordered anything. So I had nothing else to say and took the books. I have to admit there is a chance that this book is rightfully mine, and that I may have actually ordered it without realising it. But it looks like we will never ever know.
Rick Riordan, is a new author to me, I have never ever read any of his books until this one came along. I had heard that there was a film due out in the cinemas for this book so I tried desperately to finish the book so that I could watch the film on the big screen. And even though I finished the book in time, I never got round to watching the film. Before this series he wrote a book series called "Tres Navarre", which I have never heard of, however I will add the first book to my wish list. He also wrote a novel called "Cold Springs" again I have never heard of but plan on putting it on my wish list. He has done many other books since completing this series and it looks like there's going to be a companion series called "Heroes of Olympus". I think this author is amazing as I was really into this book, and although I am basing his writing style on this book alone, I feel that all his other books will be just as good.
Here is the plot taken from "Fantasticfiction.co.uk", I decided to copy and paste it and make a few changes here and there as I personally could think of a better plot outline, and anyway if I did write a plot outline for you then it'll be similar to this one, and maybe far less exciting and interesting.
"Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse.
Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe.
She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea.
Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends - one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena - Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods." But can he do it in time?
Since this is a children's book (in theory, though I personally think otherwise as you will later find out) there has to be a moral to the story-line or some sort of message that is conveyed within the book. And this is totally true, though whether I found that message or not is another matter. I believe that the message to people are that people out there cannot be trusted and that many people may seem friendly but could be totally mean and horrible to you, also people may not be who they say they are, this is also frequently shown. I think it is meant to teach kids about "stranger danger" and also it kind of teaches adults about people around them, as adults need reminding too, in my opinion.
There are many books I really want to relate this book to, but the one that sticks out at me and jumps right in front of my eyes, is Harry Potter. This book has that potential of being that great; however there are many reasons why it isn't. One specific reason which comes to mind is the fact that popularity has changed and because of the "Twilight" series people are more interested in Vampires and Werewolves, and so these books have been shrouded from the light and unable to shine, however through people and their reviews maybe it will get a glimmer of light here and there.
This is a book that is profoundly under the genre: "Children's books" and even though I can understand that it is a book made for younger people, I can see where elements may be considered "adulty". I can't pluck one out of the top of my head right now but I'm sure that people older than will see certain parts different to that of someone younger than me. I reckon I am at the perfect age to understand both adults and children when they read a book, however maybe everyone thinks that as they get older because they remember being a child and what it was like and so is able to understand how children interpret certain books. I could see these novels being in adult fiction, however it is an easy-read, and that is the reason why it is found in the children's area in books stores. I'm not saying children should not read this, as children will interpret things differently to an adult; however parents must be warned that they might read some sort of intentional reading; however your child wouldn't realise.
This book was interesting from start to finish. Okay, so maybe the start is a little confusing and it takes it's time to kick in, but it does and when it does you really cannot stop reading! I also thought the ending was amazing and a writer that actually can make me imagine what is happing and see it as if it was an alternate universe in which I was watching from a window, just makes this author BRILLIANT, and rarely do I find such authors. For people looking for a pure fun read, you may want to pick this one up, however if you are looking for one that will make you think, well go ahead and pick this up. This really is for anyone, in my opinion. This book will stay embedded in my mind for a while and I will probably re-read it (if I ever get the chance) just to refresh my memory of the story every now and then. This sure is a book to keep until the day that you die.
Right, as I have already mentioned, this book is for anyone, even though it is mostly found in the children's area of local book stores and libraries. I think people searching for something to pass the time, will fully love this book. People who are searching for an incredibly out-of-this-world book will also love it. People into Greek mythology should intend on reading this soon, and if it's not even on your wish list, do it now! Historians might enjoy this book. However you HAVE to remember none of this is real that this is a FICTION book and so therefore it may not be what you are looking for; also, to bear in mind, it may be an amazing book to reference to. Is there anyone in this world that this book will not appeal to? Well that is a hard question, there are the people who have never read more than 5 books in their whole life, and however, it could appeal to them. In theory it could appeal to everyone, and if you think this book isn't for you, then at least give it a go, you may never know otherwise.
To be totally honest, I think the beginning could be patched up a little and make it less messy. The beginning reminds me of "Lord Loss - Darren Shan" which throws you into the action and horror within minutes, and although that worked really well for Darren Shan, it's made it a little messy in this book. I have to admit I am plucking at the edges of this phenomenal story to find bad points about it, and that is the only one I can come up with.
The cover of the book I have is a little bit different to the one shown for this book by Dooyoo. I have the movie edition of this book. I think this cover stands out and jumps out at you, I also believe this is true for the yellow one that Dooyoo displays. However, this book has been re-published twice now (and however many more in the future) and the first cover really doesn't look that good, maybe that was my reasoning for not being too interested in reading the book. And even though time and time again, people repeat these same words: "Don't judge a book by it's cover", you just can't help yourself, you can't seriously tell me that you walk into "Waterstones" or some other bookseller and pick up every single book you see and read the blurb (back of the book). Everyone has been guilty of judging a book by its cover, and I think publishers really should make covers look better. I would presume that the original cover of this book is the reason why this story has yet to receive its shine and glory.
A film for this book was released in cinemas in the UK on 12 February 2010, I have yet to see it as of now (and this may change in the future when I watch the film on DVD) and although I am yet not able to specifically say that it'll be better to read the book before watching the film, I am entitled to say what I think, and generally reading a book before watching a film is a lot better, and my proof is here: "Eragon", "P.S. I Love You", "The Lovely Bones" and many more. These are a few books that I have read before I have watched the film, and if I hadn't read them before then I wouldn't have bothered reading the books as these movies were not as good as the books they were based upon. If you have already watched the film, I totally understand why you have done that, but I totally suggest you go and read the book even if you thought the film was really rubbish!
Well I believe that is it folks! Thank you all for reading, and I sure hope I have helped out many of you!
So you think you are just an average teenage lad going through the ups and downs that anyone your age has to, until one day you find out that you are in fact the son of one of the greek gods, a demigod!
Just when you think things cannot get any wackier and as if life isn't hard enough as it is, you then find out that your best friend is in fact a satyr and your favorite teacher is hiding a bit of a secret too.
This is how we are introduced to the young and impulsive Percy Jackson, main character in the series of books written by Rick Riordan. Now you could be forgiven for thinking that the book is just another half baked attempt to get onto the Harry Potter bandwagon, but once you read a little of the book it becomes very clear that its a great story thoughtfully written and in many ways better than you expect.
Percy or Perseus Jackson, is aged just 11 at the start of the book. Diagnosed with both ADHD and dyslexia and expelled from his previous school, he quickly learns that he is the son of a greek god and after a harrowing journey joins Camp Half Blood, a school with a difference.
Rick Riordan writes from the point of view of Percy himself and this gives you great insight into how an 11 year old maladjusted demi god thinks during the events he has to face in the book
Whilst at the demi god camp he makes friends with Annabeth and reunites with Grover his satyr friend from school. Percy is soon sent on a dangerous quest to help avert a war amongst the gods of Olympus. He soon learns of his real heritage and tries to come to terms with the reality of who he is.
The group of friends come up against a myriad of mythological creatures and enemies along the way, as they travel across the USA to try catch a thief who has stolen Zeus' master bolt.
Throughout the book you are able to understand more and more about why Percy has been perceived as he has by teachers and those in authority and you see him grow and mature into a young lad any father, god of Olympus or not, would be proud to call son.
A great book which is the first in the series by the author, if you haven't had the chance to read it yet then do give it a try if you get the chance. A wonderful fantasy book well written, so a big 5 stars from me.
As a 28 year old man the whole Percy Jackson phenomenon kind of passed me by and the first i heard of it was when i saw the film advertised at the cinema. There was nothing on one night when my friends and i decided to see a movie so we ended up going to see Percy Jackson and the lightening thief and while the film was ok it was nothing special. Afterwards my friend mentioned that the film was based on a series of books aimed at the teenage market but like Harry Potter before them were being read by adults also. As a huge reader i thought i might give them a try sometime but it wasn't until i happened to notice that the books were on three for two at waterstones one day whilst browsing that i decided to buy them.
The book starts with us being introduced to Percy Jackson who is in a boarding school for troubled youths in New York. Unlike in the film version where they made him a sixteen year old in the book he is only 12. Percy is not like your average hero, he has ADHD and Dyslexia and has never managed to stay in a school for longer than a year without being expelled.
During a trip to a museum something strange happens to Percy, his teacher turns into a flying monster and tries to kill him. This starts off a thrilling and dazzlingly fast story where Percy finds out he is the son of Posidon the Greek God of the sea and he is being blamed for stealing Zeus's magical lightning bolt which if it is not returned in a couple of weeks it will start a war between the God's which will threaten the mortal world. Along with his friend Grover and Anabeth the daughter of Athena Percy must set out on a quest to find the lightning bolt and stop a war from happening. To give away any more of the plot will spoil it for readers who didn't see the film but there is plenty of action and twists along the way.
This book really is fantastic and the fact that the protagonists are all twelve doesn't really matter as you forget about this within the first few pages and just get swept up in the adventure. The facts and stories about the Greek myths are interesting and although it is completely different to Harry Potter Rick Riordan has also managed to create a world that will appeal to both adults and children alike.
Lightning thief is the first book in a series of five books from author Rick Riordan.
It follows a young boy by the name of Percy Jackson who is the son of one of the Greek Gods.
For the first part of his life he lives a normal life not aware of his status of being the son of one of the Greek Gods.I have not mentioned who his father is so that I do not give away to much of the storyline.
This book has also been turned into a movie of which I have not seen yet I thought I'd read the book first.
In order to discover who his father is he must go to a camp called Camp Half blood and under go a series of test to determine which of the Gods is his father.
The book features some of the big names of Greek Mythology Zeus,Poseidon,Hades and Athina.
Percy Jackson is also joined by other children who also have fathers and mothers who are Gods.
Some might compare this book to Harry Potter but for me the only similarities between this book and Harry Potter and this is the beginning where Percy Jackson is staying with his step Father named Gabe who is very mean to him.
Although this book may sound very far fetched it was one of those kind of books that is so interesting that you cannot put it down.
My biggest complaint about this book is that Percy does not have a more exciting protector.His protector which is given to him before he is to be trained on how to protect himself is named Grover who is a satyr(half man half goat) would rather run away from danger most times in the beginning.It would have been more interesting if he had a centaur as his protector.Other than that cannot complain about anything else in the book as there is never a dull moment.
For those that Do not know Posieden is the God of the sea and he has a trident as a weapon as well as control of water.
My biggest advice before reading this book is you must study you greek mythology.I had nearly forgotten some of the Gods in this and had to think very hard to remember some of them.
This has been a really good book and look forward to the next books in the series.Here are the next titles to look out for.
2.Sea of Monsters
3.The Titan's curse
4.The battle of labrinth
5.The last Olympian
I first heard of this series of books when I saw the trailer for the film version. The trailer didn't impress me that much and I more or less dismissed it as a rubbishy Harry Potter rip-off. Then one day as I was reading The Guardian online I noticed an interview with the author, which gave a bit of back-story to the series and made it sound more interesting. The author's son is dyslexic and has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He had quite low self esteem as a result of being bullied because of it. The author (Rick Riordan)'s son had always been interested in Greek myths and legends and kept asking for his dad to tell him the stories again and again. Eventually they ran out of stories and Riordan started making them up using the Gods and heroes as characters. He decided to try to help boost his son's self esteem by making his main character a demigod (half human, half God) with dyslexia and ADHD, rationalising it that his ADHD was a result of his always needing to be battle-ready, and the dyslexia was because his brain was hard-wired to read ancient Greek. According to the article the stories made a massive difference to his son, and he thought it might make a difference to other children with dyslexia or ADHD.
Anyway, enough back story!
Percy Jackson is always getting into trouble as a result of his impetuous behaviour (due to his ADHD). He goes to a special school in New York with his weedy looking friend, Grover. As Grover is constantly being bullied, a lot of the trouble Percy gets into is as a result of sticking up for him. On a school trip, a teacher takes him aside and turns into a monster, demanding to know where he 'hid it'. Percy is understandably freaked out and confused, but his wheelchair-bound teacher and Grover interrupt and she is killed. After this both Grover and his teacher claim nothing happened. Percy is bemused.
This is the start of Percy's new life as a demigod - which takes him from his home in an apartment in New York with his mother and despised stepfather, 'Smelly Gabe', who Percy suspects as abusing his mother - to 'Camp Half Blood' where he discovers that he is a son of Poseidon, his friend Grover is a satyr, and meets the third part of his trio, clever Annabeth, daughter of Athena. The three of them must go on a quest to find Zeus's lightening bolt before a war of the Gods breaks out.
I'll try not to ruin any more for you as it's a good book and worth reading!
Percy is a great lead character. Less inward looking than Harry Potter (with whom there will always be inevitable comparisons) but with just as many insecurities about himself. Considering himself stupid and a 'loser', it is great to see his character learn that everything he has always considered as holding him back is actually a vital part of himself and completely necessary for his survival. He does have that Harry Potter fatal flaw of being very self sacrificing and heroic, but he is the leading man so we have to cut him some slack!
Sally, Percy's mum, is the ultimate self-sacrificing mother, marrying a smelly abusive man to protect her son, but (and maybe I'm just harsh) I did feel that she was a bit of a doormat at the beginning not standing up to Gabe. But her reasons are explained as her protecting Percy. Percy loves her to bits and you can see a really sweet relationship between them.
Grover is totally different depending on whether you read the book or saw the film! In the book he is quiet, nervous and timid. In the film he is smooth and chatty. He also changes ethnicity which doesn't bother me. In fact the character transformation doesn't bother me either, which maybe goes to show that he's a bit 2D either way?
Hermione - sorry, I mean Annabeth - has a few 2D moments too. So similar to Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, the author has to work quite hard to make them different (for example Hermione is not particularly athletic, whereas Annabeth is great with battle training. She's moodier than Hermione too).
The Gods all have different personalities which are fairly similar to how they are described in mythology and I won't go into them all here.
The book was a great read. I didn't have massively high hopes of it, I mainly bought it because of the story about the author's son, and I thought it sounded like an interesting reason to write a story. However I was really pleasantly surprised with how quickly I was engrossed in Percy's world. The Gods are suitably impressive and formidable - no fluffiness there. Percy's voice (through which the story is told) is engaging and likeable. The exposition (telling of the backstory within the story) is dealt with painlessly (sometimes this is really clumsily done, it's a pet hate of mine) and at the end I was left wanting more.
I've just finished Books 2 and 3 so will let you know what I think of them.
I was intrigued with the premise of these books and looking for some light hearted escapism and this book certainly fulfilled this.
The story centres around Percy who is a 'normal' 12 year old, in the past year some odd things have happened to him which he can't quite explain. However it all makes sense when he discovers his father is in fact a Greek God!!!
He finds his way to a camp for the children of Greek Gods and Goddesses and ends up on a quest with his friends - Annabeth and Grover.
As he goes about his quest he learns more about his special powers and his relationship with his father.
The books are a lot of fun, they are based on the Greek myths but brought into modern day America and so this leads to some very amusing situations but also quite scary ones!
I enjoyed the pace of this book, it went along quickly but not so that you felt confused.
Percy is a very likeable hero and his friends Grover and Annabeth counter-point him very well and they form a great trio.
Although I'm long past my childhood I can imagine enjoying this greatly when I was younger and think this would make a great present to a younger relative.
There is a film of the first story out now and it will be interesting to see how this transfers onto the big screen. I can imagine it will look amazing with the right special effects!
I'm looking forward to catching up with Percy in his next adventure!
Percy Jackson and the lightening thief is the first in a whole set of books written by Rick Riordan.
After the lightening thief is the sea of monsters, The Titan's Curse and The Battle of the Labyrinth. There are more books to come.
As well as the books Percy has also got a movie of the first book and a ds game.
That all said Percy is definitely a new craze one you should join.
Percy a 12 year old boy with ADHD find out he is not normal boy his is the son of a Greek god not any god but one of the most important 3 and he should never have been born.
Soon he finds himself battling gorgons furies and much worse.
Thrown into a quest with fellow friends he must save the Greeks from starting a war. Can he do it in time before the solstice?
You will have to read the book to find out.
I loved the book from start to finish I have the audio books narrated by Jesse Bernstein which I could not stop listening too.
Immediately I bought the second book I was so hooked.
If you like Harry potter Alex rider or the cherub series then this is the book for you. Think adventure danger and a great storyline and you are imagining Percy Jackson and the lightening thief.
The first of the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan.
I don't want to give much of the story away, as it is a book that you should read!
We meet Percy, aged 11 and suffering from ADHD and dyslexia, as he is expelled from another school. He soon learns that he is actually the son of Poseidon and so the adventure begins. He joins Camp Half Blood, which is full of similar demi-god children and teens, befriends Annabeth and Grover (a satyr, who he knew from his last school, but not that he was a satyr) and starts to learn and train in the ways of demi-gods!
He is soon sent on a quest to stop a war between the gods, by retrieving a Lightning Bolt that had been stolen from Zeus. The author cleverly weaves the story between modern day America and Greek mythology, so Percy and friends meet other Greek mythological characters on the way and duel with a number of monsters, too, with a fair amount of good humour thrown in.
My 11 year old son got this book for me to read to him at bedtime (something that I have done since he was born, more or less) and I must say that we both enjoyed it tremendously. It was action packed, funny, touching in places and left us wanting to get the next book as soon as we could. It is also educational as you learn about the characters in Greek mythology (we have now started on a book about the myths and legends).
Just for boys? I think not, my son has a girl friend (not a girlfriend) who loves Percy Jackson. I do, too!
I see that it is soon to be a film, with Pierce Brosnan playing Chiron, the centaur. I hope that it does the book justice
P.S The picture is the US version of the book.