The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2

 
Exciting myth-based series continues.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Ancient Greek myths and characters are woven in throughout.

Positive messages

Themes of friendship, loyalty, and doing the right thing throughout. Also, sticking up for those who are often picked on.

Positive role models

Percy is a hero who also sticks up for his friends, especially Tyson, his half-brother who is often ridiculed. He even sticks up for his rivals, helping the proud Clarisse out of a bind. Annabeth is a smart, resourceful girl character (but often lets Percy take the lead).

Violence

A lot of light fantasy violence with no serious consequences: wounded heroes are magically cured, and slain monsters vanish in a puff of smoke, to reappear later.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Soft drink brands, especially Coke.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is violence here, but very mild compared to many fantasies for this age: wounded heroes are magically cured, and monsters are killed, vanishing in a puff of smoke, but can reappear later.

What's the story?

Percy Jackson, son of a mortal mother and the Greek god Poseidon, returns to Camp Half-Blood, only to find it beset by monsters. The camp's protections are breaking down -- someone has poisoned Thalia's tree, which guards the camp, and Chiron has been fired, replaced by the evil Tantalus, who has been let out of Hades. Meanwhile, Percy has been having dreams about his friend Grover, who is held captive by a cyclops. It seems that only the Golden Fleece can save the camp, but it is guarded by the same cyclops that has Grover, and Clarisse, not Percy, has been given the quest to get it.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Percy Jackson series continues to be pure fun, with the author doing nearly everything right to produce a book that few kids will be able to resist. At the most basic level, he keeps the action percolating, the pacing flawless, and manages to give the reader the impression of a violent action-adventure without a lot of the kind of violence that worries parents. There's no swearing or drinking or sex, yet Percy's slightly sardonic voice makes it totally cool. Unlike far too many fantasies these days, it's not overlong, which means it doesn't sag in the middle, and it won't intimidate less avid readers.

But because of its roots in Greek myth, even the more avid readers will find plenty to chew on. The book is filled with clever references to major and minor Greek characters, stories, and monsters, all updated in often hilarious ways for the 21st century. For kids who know their way around D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, half the fun is making the connections. Who are those three crazy ladies driving the taxicab out to the camp? Perhaps their squabbling over an eyeball is a hint, not only to who they are, but to what story is about to be reenacted. Great fun for everyone.

From the Book:
I couldn't see what was chasing him, but I could hear it muttering and cursing. The ground shook as it got closer. Grover dashed around a street corner and faltered. He'd run into a dead-end courtyard full of shops. No time to back up. The nearest door had been blown open by the storm. The sign above the darkened display window read: ST. AUGUSTINE BRIDAL BOUTIQUE.

Grover dashed inside. He dove behind a rack of wedding dresses.

The monster's shadow passed in front of the shop. I could smell the thing—a sickening combination of wet sheep wool and rotten meat and that weird sour body odor only monsters have, like a skunk that's been living off Mexican food.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the many Greek myths referenced. How many can you find? What are the original stories? How have they been updated for modern times?

  • Children might be interested in writing their own modern updates on classic myths.

Book details

Author:Rick Riordan
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Disney Publishing
Publication date:August 1, 2006
Number of pages:279
Publisher's recommended age(s):10 - 12
Read aloud:9
Read alone:10

This review of The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2 was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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Written byAnonymous July 16, 2010
age 8+
 
This was a really good read, lots of nights full of reading chapter after chapter,lots of action,and amazing power. **SPOILER ALERT** I personally thought the characters where done very well and the translation of the gods from old to modern was done amazingly. I mean, I imagined Hades to be a punk rocker or Ares to be a big, buff guy who rides a motorcycle when i thought about the book. **SPOILER OVER** in other words i think that the book deserves a good high five thumbs up and a hardy 3 cheers 8] !] :] ;]
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old May 30, 2011
age 8+
 

Rick pulled it off again

Amazing book. Teachers about Greak Gods. They all learn about friendship and sticking up for each other. A bully ends up saving a charecters life towards the end. (Read the book if you want to know who) Some viloence, they describe a girl as being as limp as a rag doll when she got hurt, but she was healed later. Someone almost get drownds when the Percy pull them underwater to save them, but he put a air bubble around her just in time. All in all, amazing seris
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 10 year old Written bymovie-watcher November 13, 2010
age 9+
 
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent Written byfflala98 September 4, 2009
age 8+
 

Awesome!!!!

I've read the first and second book and it's great!!! If you like Ancient Greek and fantasy, THIS is a FANTASTIC book for you.

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