By Rick Riordan
Ages: 11 years old and up
Percy Jackson is a sixth-grader who is a good kid, but he has ADHD, dyslexia, cannot seem to control his temper, and is not doing well at his boarding school. When his mom finds out that Percy is in trouble, she knows that it is time for her to tell Percy the truth about who he is and to take him to Camp Half Blood.
Camp Half Blood is a summer camp for demigods (half human, half god). Percy learns that the father that he barely knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. As Percy starts to understand who his father is and who he is, he sets out on a quest with his best friend who is a satyr and a demigod daughter of Athena to prevent a disastrous war between the gods and to return Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt.
Percy’s story includes moments of laughter, confusion, hope, love, and excitement which adolescents will easily identify with. The allusions to Greek mythology in a modern setting allow the novel to be more relatable to young readers and introduce them to that concept. Also, the aspect of learning who you are and the struggles of going through that transition between childhood and teenage years is depicted in the novel as Percy goes through this adventure in the first novel of the series.
As Percy grows through the sequential novels, the themes such as a hero’s journey and coming-of-age are presented benefiting a child who is going through this transitional time. Rick Riordan does a great job at writing in a relatable, comedic tone that attracts readers and allows them to reflect upon themselves and their journey thus far.