The Demigod Diaries: The Heroes of Olympus

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
The Demigod Diaries: The Heroes of Olympus Book Poster Image
Exciting stories plus backstory on popular half-god heroes.

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Demigod Diaries, part of bestselling author Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series, provides similar background on Greek gods and myths to what the other Olympus and Percy Jackson books offer. Readers will learn about ancient characters and stories that form an essential foundation to a lot of other literature. In addition, this volume contains educational bonus activities: a word search, word scramble, and a matching game in which readers connect Greek and Roman god names to each other and to the traits of those gods.

Positive Messages

In Riordan's world, good defeats evil, and wisdom and kindness are more powerful than might.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The young half-blood (half human, half Greek god) heroes in The Demigod Diaries face seemingly impossible challenges and use their intelligence to defeat evil, supernatural monsters. Also, a couple of older gentlemen sacrifice themselves to save others. This book includes a note from author Rick Riordan in which he explains that the character of Percy Jackson -- who also appears in one of the Demigod Diaries stories -- was patterned after Riordan's own son, Haley, who has ADHD. Today, Hayley is a teen and a writer; this book includes one of his stories. Riordan shows in fiction and in real life the way that kids can rise above learning differences.

Violence

Heroes face life-threatening situations involving menacing monsters, which are described horrifically. There are huge horse/lion/wolf beasts with clacking bone teeth, a powerful evil giant, and nymphs with fangs and claws like serpents. Riordan describes animals being torn and devoured, a person being burned to death, and an immortal, who, when wounded, turns partly to sand and then regenerates.

Sex

In one story, Percy and Annabeth celebrate the anniversary of their first kiss, and they kiss again. In another story, Leo thinks about "hot girls."

Language
Consumerism

In an effort to bring ancient characters into modern times and to add humor, Riordan inserts a few brand names. Thalia and Luke encounter a goat with teats that are labeled: Nectar, Milk, Water, Pepsi, Press Here for Ice, and Diet Mountain Dew. Luke has Snickers bars in his bag. In another story, Percy and Annabeth meet a giant who sells discount knock-off merchandise, including fake Rolexes, in an underground cavern.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Leo, Jason, and Piper meet the Maenads, nymphs who worship Dionysus. Wine is mentioned but not consumed, but the nymphs do drink eggnog that may be alcoholic.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Demigod Diaries, a book of short stories connected to Rick Riordan's best-selling Heroes of Olympus series, includes backstory about the characters in Riordan's other Olympus and Percy Jackson books, plus a few fun activities. Younger readers may find the stories' monsters and violence frightening, though if kids are used to Riordan's other fantasy novels, they'll do fine with this book. The fantastical creatures are described horrifically: huge horse/lion/wolf beasts with clacking bone teeth, a powerful evil giant, and nymphs with fangs and claws like serpents. Riordan describes animals being torn and devoured, a person being burned to death, and an immortal, who, when wounded, turns partly to sand and then regenerates. Riordan also includes an explanation of the origin of his popular Percy Jackson character, who has ADHD, showing Percy as a great role model for kids with learning disabilities.

User Reviews

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There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written bykaiden123 January 20, 2013

Good BookOverall

This is a very education twist to good story's....Rick has made diferent short stories that are interesting.... there is a good amount of violence when it... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old December 16, 2012

Demigod Diary-ness :D

Great backstory, interesting last story, some products mentioned, educational by telling about some aspects of Greek myths, and overall positive. Obviously, you... Continue reading

What's the story?

Rick Riordan's THE DEMIGOD DIARIES includes four new stories about the half-Greek-god characters popularized in the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. In "The Diary of Luke Castellan," Luke and Thalia are lured to a mansion full of hideous beasts. In "Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes," Percy and Annabeth are recruited by the messenger god to retrieve stolen goods. "Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford," tells about Leo, Piper, and Jason's search for an escaped piece of furniture. And "Son of Magic," by Riordan's son, Haley, tackles the gods' and man's notions about what separates life and death. The book also contains activities for kids: a word search, word scramble, and matching game.

Is it any good?

Riordan's Greek books are page-turners for middle-graders and middle schoolers, and though this one doesn't stand very well on its own, it offers a similarly entertaining reading experience. With clever modern teen and kid characters, amusingly flawed gods, and scary-weird monsters, Riordan creates a world that thrills and fascinates young readers.

The book's first two stories in particular, "The Diary of Luke Castellan" and "Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes," combine adventure, humor, and feeling in very effective ways. While Haley Riordan's story, "Son of Magic," lacks the levity of his dad's pieces, it literally addresses the fictional characters' questions and ideas about the afterlife; it's very well-rendered and an impressive work by a teen writer.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way that Rick Riordan inserts himself into this book. In one part, he addresses his audience as if the readers are demigods. In another, he writes about his own family. What does he want you to think is real, and what's fantasy?

  • How does The Demigod Diaries compare to other Olympus and Percy Jackson books?

  • What are the differences between Rick Riordan's writing and characters and Haley Riordan's?

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