A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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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?
- Author: Rick Riordan
- Illustrators: Antonio Caparo, Steve James
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
- Publication date: August 14, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
- Number of pages: 256
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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