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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.)