Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

"Surprise!"

When my son went to bed last night, this is what he found on his pillow - a Coles bookstore bag, with a book-sized lump in it.

You're eight, you don't feel like going to bed, you're dragging your feet, prolonging the inevitable... and then you find a new book in your bed.

The whole situation suddenly changed. His face lit up, and he thanked me like crazy.

Giving a book as a "just because" and "for no reason" gift is a great way to get your kid reading.

And it helped that it's a book there's some buzz about, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan. Many parents have been telling me how much their kids are enjoying it--those who like fantasy and even those who normally don't.

I haven't read it yet (I'm going to), but it's based on Greek mythology; Percy discovers that he's a demi-god--a son of Poseidon, who rules the sea. He finds out there are other living Greek gods in the world, both good and evil. He meets up with them, has some battles, and presumably finds out some things about himself in the process. Here's a slightly longer synopsis.

There's a series of five books, and the movie is due out this month in the US and Canada (I'm not sure about the UK or other countries, but I would assume so).

Hiding a good book in your child's bed is a fun way to stall bedtime for just a few minutes--and get your kid reading.

The Percy Jackson books started out as tales the author told to his son, who was studying Greek mythology in Grade two. Eventually, he wrote them down and now... well, now he's a ba-jillionaire. Ka-ching! Wait until my writers' group hears about this.

4 comments:

Michelle Skamene said...

My 10 year-old absolutely looooooves The Olympians! He is on the fourth book, and is eagerly awaiting the movie.
Although I have not read them, I like this series because he is also learning a lot about Greek mythology in the process, and it is definitely captivating his imagination.
I have been setting up a database of recommended books by age based on lists I have been finding in various places. The Percy Jackson series has cropped up a few times!
People are welcome to take a look at the list I've come up with so far at www.reading-rewards.com, and click on 'Book Recommendations Just for You'.

Jen Robinson said...

This is a great tip, Joyce. Thanks for sharing it. Glad to hear that the book was such a hit.

Joyce Grant said...

It was - he's now brought it to breakfast at a restaurant, while waiting for a doctor's appointment and every second he's standing still. I told him I'd bring him to see the movie and he said, "Sure, but I want to finish the book first."

Michelle said...

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