The time has come! I am finally blogging about my favorite book series that I have mentioned in many other posts. I’ve seriously read all of the books about ten times each and I’m not even exaggerating. Percy Jackson and the Olympians is one of the best books that a kid could read. Some say that it’s just one of those fast reads to pass the time and that you’ll forget it all a year later (*cough cough* my sister). I mean, sure, it doesn’t use fancy language and it’s so exciting that you’ll fly through the book, but it’s more than just a fast read. It teaches about Greek mythology, which is actually a great thing to know.
Before I go into why it’s the best series, here’s a quick summary of what it’s about.
Percy Jackson grew up thinking that, besides his ADHD and dyslexia, he was a normal kid. Then, due to an unfortunate series of events, he ends up at Camp Half Blood. Here he learns that everything from Greek mythology is true and that he is a demigod, the son of a mortal and a god. Camp Half Blood is the only safe place for demigods because the monsters from the legends are real and they hunt for demigods. At camp, he makes friends and trains to become a Greek warrior. Throughout the series, he and his friends go on dangerous quests and meet/learn about gods, monsters, and stories from Greek mythology.
Here Percy meet the minotaur
Here our heroes meet the sorceress Circe. Guess where Percy is.
Riding pegasi would definitely be a perk to being a demigod!
These are all amazing fan art pictures people drew of scenes from the book. There’s a lot more, but I’ll just leave it at that.
And that’s the story of Percy Jackson in a nutshell. Of course, there’s a super cool plot to the story, an epic problem to resolve, and amazing characters, but I don’t want to give too much away.
Maybe I’m overly enthusiastic about these books, but they are the first books I read that I actually enjoyed. Up until sixth grade, I hated reading. Thanks to a friend, I reluctantly agreed to read Percy Jackson, and to my surprise, I loved it. That’s why I think it’s a great series for kids. Lots of kids hate reading and say it’s not for them, but I don’t think that’s true. Reading is for everyone. As it was in my case, I think the kids who hate reading just haven’t found a type of book that they enjoy yet. Maybe Percy Jackson isn’t some great classic piece of literature, but honestly, great classic pieces of literature bore kids to death. They need some fun reads so that they can learn to first enjoy reading, and then move on to higher level books. For example, after I learned that I liked reading, I sped through many, as my sister would call them, “insubstantial fast reads.” But even these books helped me. By the time I was forced to read hard-to-understand classics, I was read to move on from the “insubstantial fast reads” and finally enjoy the old classics I had hated for so long.
Not only is Percy Jackson and the Olympians a great bridge to higher level reading, but the series itself teaches something really useful: mythology. Now when I was in sixth grade, mythology wasn’t of much use to me, but I really enjoyed the it the way Rick Riordan wrote about it. He does write about stories and characters from Greek mythology accurately, but he adds more personality to them which make it much more interesting. It wasn’t until seventh or eighth grade that I started to appreciate the mythology I had learned. We were learning about ancient Greece in history so knowing something about it gave me a little advantage over many of the other kids. The summer before tenth grade I was REALLY grateful that I had read Percy Jackson. For my summer English homework, I had to read a gigantic book about mythology. Percy Jackson saved my life. The whole book was a bit dull but I was able to get through it because I could relate it to my favorite series. Plus I already know most of the stories in the mythology book. It’s just that even though both Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Mythology book talk about a lot of same things, Percy Jackson is more interesting, and therefore easier to learn. It has more of a story and developed characters with personalities. The mythology book’s character’s, however, are not very developed. It just tells you what happens, so when something happens to a character or someone dies, I didn’t care much because I didn’t really know the character. Basically, without Percy Jackson, I would’ve forgotten everything in about a month. And when it came to the test on mythology the first week of school, I realized that I would have done well even if I hadn’t done the summer homework. Most of the books we read in tenth grade English class made a ton of references to mythology, so knowing it helped me better understand, appreciate, and enjoy the literature we read. It also helped when I had to analyze these references for homework. Looking back, I’m so glad I read this series in sixth grade. Back then, it was just a fun book for me to read, but now it’s also the most helpful thing I have ever read.
So Percy Jackson is the bridge to higher level reading in two ways: 1. Because it helps kids first learn to like reading and 2. because it teaches mythology and a bunch of works of literature make an insane amount of references to mythology. Those are just the practical reasons though. I really say it’s the best book just because it has an amazing story, and all humans love a good story. That’s what makes a book good. Percy Jackson and the Olympians is exactly that: a great story…with benefits.