Parents' Guide to

The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Greek myths meet fast-paced adventure in boy-demigod tale.

Book Rick Riordan Fantasy 2005
The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 56 parent reviews

age 10+

Amazing book!

This is an awesome story for kids who like exciting adventure/mythology. Even if they're not into that kind of thing, it's still a fast-paced funny story. Perfect characters, positive role models! I'd say 99% of kids will love this. This book is a must-read for tweens, as it's very appropriate and also hilarious. Clever ties from Greek myth into modern day Long Island! When my daughter and I were at a book store, she saw this and read the back of it. She said it looked interesting and asked if she could read it. I read the back of it, and I was also interested. I agreed to letting her read it, and she finished it in two weeks. I have no regrets about letting her read this book. She liked the main female character, Annabeth, who is tough and very smart. Great role models for girls. Incredible story!

This title has:

Great role models
age 9+

good, action-packed

Percy Jackson lives in New York. He had just been kicked out of his sixth boarding school when a Minotaur charged right at him! He had to move to a summer camp, which encouraged the use of real weapons as a pastime. He must retrieve the lightning bolt from Hades before the summer solace or have a god-level war on his hands. Oh, and yeah, he’s a demigod. I like Percy Jackson because this series is a good, action-packed one and I would recommend this for Intermediate readers. It also teaches a lot about Greek Mythology and different cultures. Rick Riordan is one of the best authors and I love a lot of the other books he’s written.

This title has:

Educational value
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (56 ):
Kids say (457 ):

This high-adventure series start imagines Greek mythology in the modern world through the eyes of a sardonically funny 12-year-old who many kids know and love. Percy Jackson's origin story and first quest as a hero combine in The Lightning Thief. He goes from the worst kid in a school for delinquents with the worst -- and smelliest -- stepdad ever to full-fledged hero in less than 400 pages, and readers will be rooting for him the whole way. While his friend Annabeth has the brains, it's Percy's wits that get them out of the most scrapes -- and that really handy ability to breathe and heal under water. Some of his ploys seem beyond the maturity of a 12-year-old to conjure -- like in the water park, and in Hades' kingdom, and in the waterbed store -- but kids probably won't notice.

The plot is more complex than you'd expect for a humor-tinged fantasy. It's hard to decide who the enemy really is and who he or she is working for until the very end. And some of the plotting is meant to build the five-part series, so there's still much readers don't know. Kids who read on will be rewarded with a series that is consistently well written and entertaining.

Book Details

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