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The lightning thief
2005
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After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself, and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. - (Baker & Taylor)

After learning that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea, Percy Jackson is transferred from boarding school to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, and becomes involved in a quest to prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. - (Baker & Taylor)

After learning that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea, Percy Jackson is transferred from boarding school to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, and becomes involved in a quest to prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. Teacher's Guide available. - (Baker & Taylor)

The classic first book about Percy Jackson, the troubled boy who discovers he is the son of Poseidon, and his adventures with demigods, monsters, and Greek gods.
  • This classic by #1 New York Times best selling author Rick Riordan has sold millions of copies throughout the world
  • It has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 10 years
  • Read in classrooms across the US
  • Adapted into a movie, a Broadway musical, and soon, a TV series on Disney+
  • Brings Greek mythology to life for modern readers
  • Features beloved characters such as Annabeth Chase and Grover the satyr
  • Funny and fast-paced
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.
- (Grand Central Pub)

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. - (HARPERCOLL)

Author Biography

Rick Riordan, dubbed “storyteller of the gods” by Publishers Weekly, is the author of five #1 New York Times best-selling middle grade series with millions of copies sold throughout the world: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, and the Trials of Apollo, based on Greek and Roman mythology; the Kane Chronicles, based on Ancient Egyptian mythology; and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, based on Norse mythology. Rick collaborated with illustrator John Rocco on two #1 New York Times best-selling collections of Greek myths for the whole family: Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes. Rick is also the publisher of an imprint at Disney-Hyperion, Rick Riordan Presents, dedicated to finding other authors of highly entertaining fiction based on world cultures and mythologies. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @RickRiordan.
- (Grand Central Pub)

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Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

Gr. 6-9. The escapades of the Greek gods and heroes get a fresh spin in the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, about a contemporary 12-year-old New Yorker who learns he's a demigod. Perseus, aka Percy Jackson, thinks he has big problems. His father left before he was born, he's been kicked out of six schools in six years, he's dyslexic, and he has ADHD. What a surprise when he finds out that that's only the tip of the iceberg: he vaporizes his pre-algebra teacher, learns his best friend is a satyr, and is almost killed by a minotaur before his mother manages to get him to the safety of Camp Half-Blood--where he discovers that Poseidon is his father. But that's a problem, too. Poseidon has been accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt, and unless Percy can return the bolt, humankind is doomed. Riordan's fast-paced adventure is fresh, dangerous, and funny. Percy is an appealing, but reluctant hero, the modernized gods are hilarious, and the parallels to Harry Potter are frequent and obvious. Because Riordan is faithful to the original myths, librarians should be prepared for a rush of readers wanting the classic stories. ((Reviewed September 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

Percy Jackson, living with ADHD, finds meaning behind his difficulties at last--he's really a half-blood offspring of Poseidon. It's not long before he's sent on a quest to retrieve Zeus's thunderbolt from Hades (located, naturally, in L.A.). The book is packed with humorous allusions to Greek mythology and clever updates of the old stories, along with rip-snorting action sequences. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews

Percy Jackson, living with ADHD and expelled from many a private school, finds meaning behind his difficulties at last -- he's really a half-blood offspring of Poseidon. His nerves are wired for hero-monster combat, not for sitting in a classroom; his dyslexic eyes are attuned to ancient Greek instead of English. His Latin teacher is the centaur Chiron in disguise, and Furies are out for his blood. After a dramatic midnight flight, Percy finds sanctuary at Half-Blood Hill, a summer camp on eastern Long Island for children of the gods, but it isn't long before he's sent on a quest to retrieve Zeus's thunderbolt from Hades (located, naturally, in L.A.). Accompanied by Annabeth, half-blood daughter of Athena, and Grover, his satyr friend and protector, Percy soon discovers some funny business about who really has the bolt. Packed with humorous allusions to Greek mythology and clever updates of the old stories, along with rip-snorting action sequences, the book really shines in the depiction of Percy -- wry, impatient, academically hopeless, with the sort of cut-to-the-chase bluntness one would wish for in a hero of old. Will Percy's next adventure be welcomed by readers? Copyright 2005 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

Edgar Award-winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn't his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a "half-blood," the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy's journey to retrieve Zeus's master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment. Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. The sardonic tone of the narrator's voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

A clever concept drives Riordan's highly charged children's book debut (the first in a series): the Greek Gods still rule, though now from a Mt. Olympus on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building, and their offspring, demigods, live among human beings. Narrator Percy Jackson thinks he's just another troubled 12-year-old, until he vaporizes his math teacher, learns his best friend, Grover, is a satyr and narrowly escapes a minotaur to arrive at Camp Half-Blood. After a humorous stint at camp, Percy learns he's the son of Poseidon and embarks on a quest to the Underworld with Grover and Annabeth (a daughter of Athena) to resolve a battle between Zeus and Poseidon over Zeus's stolen "master" lightning bolt. Without sacrificing plot or pacing, Riordan integrates a great deal of mythology into the tale and believably places mythical characters into modern times, often with hilarious results (such as Hades ranting about the problem of "sprawl," or population explosion). However, on emotional notes the novel proves less strong (for example, Percy's grief for his mother rings hollow; readers will likely spot the "friend" who betrays the hero, as foretold by the Oracle of Delphi, before Percy does) and their ultimate confrontation proves a bit anticlimactic. Still, this swift and humorous adventure will leave many readers eager for the next installment. Ages 10-up. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Without sacrificing plot or pacing, Riordan integrates a great deal of mythology into this tale and believably places mythical characters into modern times, often with hilarious results," said PW. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5-9-An adventure-quest with a hip edge. At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents

1 I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-algebra Teacher
1(15)
2 Three Old Ladies Knit the Socks of Death
16(13)
3 Grover Unexpectedly Loses His Pants
29(15)
4 My Mother Teaches Me Bullfighting
44(13)
5 I Play Pinochle with a Horse
57(18)
6 I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom
75(18)
7 My Dinner Goes Up in Smoke
93(14)
8 We Capture a Flag
107(20)
9 I Am Offered a Quest
127(22)
10 I Ruin a Perfectly Good Bus 149(19)
11 We Visit the Garden Gnome Emporium 168(20)
12 We Get Advice from a Poodle 188(9)
13 I Plunge to My Death 197(15)
14 I Become a Known Fugitive 212(7)
15 A God Buys Us Cheeseburgers 219(23)
16 We Take a Zebra to Vegas 242(24)
17 We Shop for Water Beds 266(17)
18 Annabeth Does Obedience School 283(17)
19 We Find Out the Truth, Sort Of 300(20)
20 I Battle My Jerk Relative 320(14)
21 I Settle My Tab 334(20)
22 The Prophecy Comes True 354

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