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

Common Sense says

Greek myths meet fast-paced adventure in boy-demigod tale.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 58 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 347 reviews
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byslrohrer July 17, 2010

Be prepared to discuss morals with your child.

My son wanted to read it in 3rd grade, but I read it first. I feel that there's too much content that isn't age appropriate until at least 5th grade. For instance: Gods having "affairs" with mortals. There are a lot of moral issues imbedded into this book that I think needs to be discussed after the child has read this book, so parents should be prepared to discuss. This may even be a great choice for a parent/child book club. Especially if you are a Christian parent - you'll want to be prepared to discuss the fantasy/mythology of the Greek Gods. I think my son will LOVE the book, but he won't have the chance to love it until he gets to 5th grade.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Positive Messages
Parent of a 12 year old Written byTsion April 9, 2008

A fun mix of modern and myth...A Must-Read!

I recently saw I list of 13 books every kid should read before turning 13. THE LIGHTNING THIEF was high on that list. The book tells the story of Perseus (Percy) Jackson, a kid who lives with his single mother and is unsure of his dad's identity. After a creepy math teacher transforms into a monster and tries to eat him, Percy's friend Grover (who's really a satyr) takes him to Camp Half-Blood, where Percy learns that the Greek Gods really do exist, and they still have children with mortals. That is what the camp is for. Percy is one of those children. His father is Posiedon, God of the Seas, and Percy has some control over water. But soon he must go on a quest with Grover and Annabeth, daughter of Athena, to take back Zeus's stolen lightning bolt and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. The book is funny and witty, effortlessly matching old mythology and tradition with modern culture in a way that makes the book engrossing and unpredictable. There is no sex, only talk of gods having affairs with mortals, and quite a bit of married gods having affairs with other gods. Violence is the biggest issue, whether it's slapstick or intense. Sword-fights, explosions, creepy monsters, ect. None of it's graphic and most is presented in a comical fashion. Your kids will love this book and you will too. Highly recommended. (P.S. Don't be worried that CommonSense doesn't have reviews for books 2 and 3. They're no worse than this one).
Parent of a 2, 4, 6, and 8 year old Written byjennwhitmer October 14, 2010
I enjoyed the story, and it's action packed. The biggest problem is with the way the demigods were conceived. There is a lot of talk about the gods sleeping with humans to make the demigods. Until your child is ready to understand babies out of marriage, this book isn't for him.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Educational Value
Adult Written byJanagrsa April 9, 2008

EXCELLENT READ

As a fairly conservative christian parent I was a bit concerned with this book before I read it. I must say this book is great for the 5th Grader+ and some of us adults as well. My son(age 11 6th grade) began reading this book a few days ago and is almost done (I am reading along side of him...he's winning right now). He is wanting to do reaseach on Greek Mythology and absolutely loves the book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone especially if they are doing a unit on Mythology. This books makes it fun.
Parent of a 3, 7, 10, 13, 15, and 15 year old Written byAria--is momma ... August 21, 2010
I love this book, and so do my children. I have seven children, and all of them, age 7-15, love the books and the movie. My three year olds haven't read them yet, but I'm sure they'll love them too. I think it is a great way to introduce your kids to a different culture.

This title contains:

Consumerism
Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byjava April 9, 2008

Great Fun and Very Clever Book!

Our 10 year old daughter absolutely loved this book! She couldn't put it down, and immediately read the 2nd and 3rd books. I read it, too, and was thoroughly entertained. These books are very funny, and the way the author reinterprets the Greek gods and mythical creatures is so clever. The best part is, after reading this book, our daughter went to the library and checked out books about the Greek myths, and is now completely fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology! I highly recommend this book for boys and girls, age 9 and up.
Parent Written bykmpontes May 15, 2014

Love Percy! Surprising Educational Value...

My 7 yr old son and I have been enjoying this series for a few months. Some times we read it together, but more often than not we sneak off and both read ahead. (He is quite the advanced and voracious reader for 7!) We've gotten so into them we moved onto Heroes of Olympus and are now reading the Kane Chronicles while anxiously awaiting the next HoO book. In an effort to test my son's reading comprehension and the overall educational value I looked up a few Greek Mythology quizzes. I actually had to use the middle school ones, as they don't learn this material in elementary. He knew all of the Greek Gods names, roles, lore, interrelationships and thanks to Heroes of Olympus, their Roman equivalents. He also did pretty well on the Greek heroes (Hercules, Perseus, etc.) and didn't miss a single monster/beast. (Of course!) We got into the series to get some extra mommy/son time but I love that he's picked up this subject matter and truly understands how all of the pieces fit together. Before reading this series, I'm not sure I could tell you who was married to who, whose children were whose, etc but now both my seven year old both understand the complex interrelationships of all of the Olympian Gods and Goddesses. The book is an adventure series and they do spend a lot of time fighting monsters. Demi-gods do get injured but fortunately they always carry a magical food that cures their injuries. It does subtlety address more mature content, as other reviewers mentioned, but in a way that a seven year old doesn't even raise an eyebrow. (For example, one camper will tell another camper "Zeus is my dad." He will not say "Zeus is my dad. He had an elicit affair with my mom in the 90s, left us and went back to his goddess wife, Hera, who now hates us." It's really the more mature reader who is reading between the lines in those situations.) There is next to no consumerism. There isn't a toy line or Lego series (much to my son's disappointment) and very few collectors/fan items out there. They occasionally reference Diet Coke, but there really isn't any branding or merchandizing. Fortunately, we've been recreating scenes and weapons with legos, cardboard and lots of gold duck tape! If you are continuing with the series, it is important to note it is much like Harry Potter. The children start off as pre-teens and then grow up. So by the the Heroes of Olympus books, the girls are starting to take more of an interest in the boys and are sometimes dating but relationships aren't really a factor in the Percy Jackson series, which comes chronologically first. Another point of note - the books and the movie are not at all aligned. Plot, character appearances and even geographic locations and quest purposes are changed. I didn't like the movies and think they are a poor representation of the series. I am hoping Disney will consider a reboot in the future.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive role models
Parent of a 6 and 10 year old Written bySB TN mom June 9, 2010
I have some concerns that the concept of faithfulness in marriage and the family unit are not values espoused here, however I did enjoy the book and think, given the background of having read it myself, my son will enjoy the action and we can discuss the worldly concepts and how they differ from our Christian values and the subsequent consequences that come from this lack of family values.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Educational Value
Parent of a 12 year old Written byCanadianJen December 10, 2009

Great to have adventure set somewhere relevant

My son is in grade 7 now, and he knows real Greek history and mythology from reading this fun series. Kids might memorise all about Narnia, Hogwarts or Middle Earth but this one actually gives them knowledge they can use. My son is familiar now with Greek Gods, Titans, Nymphs and Dryads - and their relationships, powers, and legends.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Parent of a 1 year old Written bysmaurine June 17, 2011

Cute, Educational

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Consumerism
Adult Written byelroger August 22, 2012

Percy Jackson Rules!!

I bought the compete Percy Jackson collection for my 12 and 9 years old kids as a way for them to proactice english (since we speak spanish) and the older one became completely facinated by the story, so did I that read the 5 books on my way back from an africa trip, we kept talking about the story and what could be the posible outcome of each book, my younger kid was somehow reluctant because his english is not so good, but I'll give it another shot when he is older, the story and characters are great a must read for every kid.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bybgambi2 June 19, 2011

great book for just about any age

The 10 year old i take care of finished this book within this past year. I saw it on the table and picked it up. Loved it! It's definitely something new and exciting for kids to read but not so young that older readers won't enjoy it as well. It's pretty educational and accurate. It also brings greek history to an interesting light, and helps kids become interested when they would normally die of boredom in the classroom with a text book. The only questionable issue in the book would be the idea of married gods having children with other gods and mortals. This isn't something that I would normally bring up with a younger crowd, but in a way it helps the main moral of the book. Family is family regardless of what happens and, when it comes down to it, family has to work together to ultimately survive. As for the idea of promoting greek religious ideals other than the one taught in the home, kids just don't think that way. They learn about different cultures and historical religions in school. They are also able to understand that fiction is just fiction. Some may ask if the greek gods are real or not, some may wonder how cool it would be if there really were a god of the seas. But it all comes down to the parents. Kids are flexible and understanding even when things are beyond their understanding. It's a great book.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byJojano July 26, 2010

Great for middle school kids

I completely agree with "slrohrer," a parent who reviewed this book on this site. This is a fantastic book for kids in middle school. I think a parent would definitely need to read the book with a child much younger than that and be prepared to talk about the affairs that go on between the gods and mortal people. I also thought that kids would enjoy the book better if they had at least a little background knowledge on Roman/Greek gods and their stories.
Parent of a 14 year old Written byTeacherReads January 7, 2010

Teachable Moments as You read...

Very educational because it introduces Greek mythology which leads into teachable moments. It's exciting to read. Great for discussions before, during, and after.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byEdd E. Toure March 2, 2009

Brilliant Idea but Terrible Author

While I found the story and idea of demi-god children to be fascinating, the writing itself left something to be desired. The author wrote the character's parts without emotion and they often said lines that made me want to weep with grief. They viewed every event through the eyes of an ignorant child and even the most dramatic segments were unfulfilling in the bland way the author described them. However, I managed to finish the book simply because I liked the idea of the story. I only wish a better author had chosen to narrate the novel.
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byddmm February 11, 2010

a fantastic series

This is a fantastic book that my son and I both loved (of course I only got to read it while he was sleeping). I love that the characters show that young teenagers can have strong personalities and a real spine without rudeness and bad attitudes. It's very hard to find those examples in the media today. Riordan has the perfect blend of characters in this series- both good and bad role models- they all have their place and they all teach important lessons.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 17 year old Written by9inchnails May 12, 2010
I think it is a really good book and that it teaches loyalty and respect towards Greek Mythology.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 9 year old Written bydjbaran March 4, 2010

Made my video game 13 year old love reading again, and teaches Greek mythology, too!

My 13 year old son has spent the majority of his last 4 years playing, thinking about, or talking about only one thing: video games. I was so ashamed of myself for whatever I failed at in teaching him how awesome books are. What a change this series has made in our lives. Ever since his social studies teacher lent this book to each student in my son's class, my son has been reading like I always hoped he would. He's talking about it enough that I have been reading the series, too, and we fight over the books because we are reading the same one now. God bless you, Rick Riordin, for creating a series that made my son love reading. The only drawback: He's almost done with the series! I have to find some more books for him before he loses interest in reading! Because of this series, my son is also an expert on Greek mythology. Another interest besides video games! I am ecstatic!!

This title contains:

Positive role models
Parent of a 14 year old Written byaggy12 February 23, 2009

that title has intresting meaning on the front of greek stuff

i like greek stuff its kinda cool specialy gods and things in that catorgory
Parent of a 2 year old Written byJbots Momma March 24, 2010

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models

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