Saturday, February 20, 2010

Not too YA to be enjoyed by Adults

The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 1)
Rick Riordan

Fantastic young adult book or too juvenile to be thoroughly enjoyed by adults? I had heard both arguments for and against the Percy Jackson books and I am officially in the loved it camp!

Twelve year old Percy Jackson is considered a trouble maker - he bounces from school to school, has dyslexia and ADHD, and weird things are always happening to him. He simply thinks that the teachers are right about him, he's a below average human being who isn't going to be anybody special, until he vaporizes his math teacher and realizes that something odd is going on! Percy quickly learns that Greek mythology is still alive and well in modern-day US, his father is a Greek god, and Percy must find and return Zeus' lightening bolt or the gods will start a war that makes the Trojan War look like a playground skirmish. Aided by two unlikely friends, can Percy Jackson prove that he is a hero...and not a zero?

Was the dialogue simple? Yes. Was the plot fairly predictable? Yes. Was this book written for 9-12 year olds? Yes! I'm not suggesting this is a literary masterpiece but, given the target audience, I thought it was a wonderful adventure story full of Mike Brady-esque lessons on friendship, overcoming your personal challenges, and discovering who you really are. I absolutely adore the mythology aspects of the book and think it is a clever way to expose younger kids to Greek gods and stories; one of my favorite elective courses in college was mythology and this book inspired me to bust back out some of my books and refresh myself on the characters!

I will definitely be picking up the second installment :)

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