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Percy Jackson's Greek Gods



Huge gift book of Percy-narrated Greek myths is tons of fun.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

After an introduction to how the Greek myths describe creation, readers meet the Titans, learn how they were defeated by the Olympians, and get profiles of the 12 major Greek gods and their various exploits, conquests, and origin stories. Readers also learn a number of word origins -- such as "volcano" coming from "vulcanus" -- and plenty of tidbits such as why Greeks and Romans wore laurel wreaths on their heads. Greek cities and islands are mentioned frequently. Although there's no map, there is a list of illustrations and a decent index at the end.

Positive messages

Gods and humans can be corrupt. Revenge isn't always sweet. Don't judge by appearances. Be humble and thankful for what you have (those who are boastful and don't honor the gods may get horrible punishment).

Positive role models

Although the Olympians pose as protectors of whole cities and are helpful in childbirth, hunting, harvesting, and all aspects of human life, they're also violent, vengeful, thieving, jealous, and really big cheaters on their godly spouses. 


Gods are pretty bloodthirsty. They swallow their own children (who pop out eventually as fully formed gods), tear mortals and other gods apart (such as when Zeus gets his tendons ripped out), torture those who wrong them with outrageous eternal punishments (for starters, poor Prometheus is chained to a rock while an eagle pecks at his liver every day), turn mortals into animals or plants, get mortals to go crazy and kill their own families, and stalk mortals they want to romance (there's one mention of a sexual assault). Percy always gives a warning when a particular myth gets gory.


Since there are so many origin stories included here, readers hear about the gods' many exploits. They cheat on their spouses all the time. Percy doesn't give a lot of details, handling the rendezvous with phrases such as "get cuddly with" and "extremely naughty." Also, in the early days, brother and sister gods married; Percy prepares readers for that. There's some nonsexual nakedness mentioned; those who see Artemis bathing don't live to tell the tale.

Not applicable

Quick mentions such as Red Bull, KFC, Facebook, Tumblr, and G.I. Joe.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The chapter on Bacchus gets a big, somewhat silly Percy-style disclaimer about how kids should wait until they're at least 40 to drink and how they wouldn't like the hangover anyway. After that there's lots of talk about Bacchus' drunken parties and how wine was actually beneficial back then because it helped kill bacteria in bad drinking water. Gods get drunk drinking lots of nectar, and there's a mention of poppies/opium growing near the Lethe river (with another quick mention that drugs are bad).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Percy Jackson's Greek Gods is a hefty gift-size volume that profiles the 12 major Greek gods, as narrated by Percy Jackson from the bestselling series. It helps a little to read the Percy Jackson books first. Then readers will instantly connect with the narrator. They'll know why Percy prefers some gods over others and will get his sometimes sardonic, sometimes goofy sense of humor. Percy's wit helps smooth things over when the content gets more mature. Gods can behave very badly; they swallow their own children (who pop out eventually as fully formed gods), tear mortals and other gods apart (such as when Zeus gets his tendons ripped out), torture those who wrong them with outrageous eternal punishments (for starters, poor Prometheus is chained to a rock while an eagle pecks at his liver every day), get mortals to go crazy and kill their own families, and stalk mortals they want to romance (there's one mention of a sexual assault). They also cheat on their godly spouses a lot. Percy covers their exploits with phrases such as "get cuddly with" and "extremely naughty." With the chapter on Bacchus, the wine god, comes a humorous disclaimer about how kids should wait until they're 40 before they drink -- they won't like the hangovers. Besides providing a thorough study of the Greek myths, there are plenty of educational tidbits sprinkled throughout about word origins, why ancient Greeks and Romans wore laurel wreaths on their heads, and much more.

What's the story?

After exploring how the Greeks thought the world began in a chapter entitled "The Beginning and Stuff," the Titans appear, followed by the Olympians, who rage a battle royale for dominance. Then each of the 12 major Greek gods gets his or her own chapter. Percy refuses to start with Zeus, claiming he has a big enough ego already, so he goes with the order in which the gods were born. Each chapter includes full-color illustrations and Percy's take on each god's origins, what they're most known for, and stories of them interacting with mortals, looking for love, and smiting those who wronged them.

Is it any good?


PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS is thorough, easy to read, and high on entertainment value. Readers get to enjoy Percy's sardonic and somewhat goofy voice, and, as with all Percy books, the humor in the chapter titles alone draws you in. "Hermes Goes to Juvie" and "Ares, the Manly Man's Manly Man" are two greats. 

The illustrations by John Rocco also are fabulous, especially the full-page ones in the gift-book size. This is not a book you get on iTunes or in paperback; spring for the hardcover. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what they learned and what they knew before, either by reading the Percy Jackson series or other books. 

  • Big fans of the Percy books may even remember where they heard certain myths before. In which Percy book does Arachne show up? What about Nyx? The Fates?

  • What do you think about Percy Jackson as a narrator? How does he give some stories a modern twist? Is the book easier to read that way?

Book details

Author:Rick Riordan
Illustrator:John Rocco
Topics:Fairy tales, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Ocean creatures
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:August 19, 2014
Number of pages:336
Publisher's recommended age(s):8 - 12
Available on:Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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Adult Written bychademe94 September 16, 2014

Good book, but it's still Greek mythology

Thanks to Rick Riordan and his Percy Jackson books, my kids have developed a great interest in Greek mythology. So they were very excited to hear about this book coming out. Unfortunately we're not going to allow them to keep reading it at this point, because it has too much Greek mythology in it. What's great about the Percy Jackson novels is that it mixes in Greek mythology, but Riordan can leave out a lot of the unpleasant aspects of it. However in this book, it aims to be more accurate with it's description of the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology, and that's where there are problems. The fact is that these gods and goddesses were never depicted as very moral beings. In fact it was quite the opposite. So in this book are the stories of adultery, murder, rape, unwanted pregnancies, torture, drunkenness, and all the other unpleasant activities these characters engaged in. Riordan does a good job of watering these activities down and explaining that this behavior is wrong, but the fact remains that I don't want my elementary age children reading about all of Zeus's sexual conquests for example. If your children are old enough and mature enough to read about these things, they may enjoy it. Understand that there are very few positive role models in Greek mythology, and there's often nothing redeeming about the stories. I don't think this is a reflection on Rick Riordan's writing though. It's just a reflection on Greek mythology in general.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old January 5, 2015

Super Fun, but too much Sex

Really fun, sarcastic and educational! But some parts kids under 9 or 10 wouldn't understand. Also, a lot of scenes where a god kidnaps a goddess in order to have sex with them. I loved Percy's take on all the god's stories but I think it could have been more careful with all the sex. There is some brothers marrying sisters which is not for kids to think about. I also liked how Percy says alcohol is NOT for kids. Super fun book that I think all tweens & teenagers will love.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old November 14, 2014


Reading in Percy's point of view again is exciting. It's also a great way to educate kids; Percy is a funny character, so being educated is fun. People are slightly disappointed due to references to more mature things, but these are the Greek myths, not Rick Riordan's. Anyway, really good!
What other families should know
Educational value


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