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The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)
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Product Description

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can?t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse?Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy?s mom finds out, she knows it?s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he?ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends?one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena?Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Customer Reviews:

  • A viewpoint from a teacher
    In this book by Rick Riordan, we meet a young man named Percy Jackson. Percy's life is turned upside down when he finds out that not only do Greek gods and goddesses still exist, they are all still having children as well. To make matters worse, he finds out that his father, who he thought was drowned at sea, is none other than Poseidon, one of the Big Three gods. Due to a prophecy made well before he was born, Percy is thrown into a world filled with monsters, fairies, and temperamental deities. Percy must find a very special object and clear not only his own name, but that of his absentee father's as well.

    This is a wonderfully written book that follows the travels of Percy and his two friends, Annabeth and Grover. Together, they learn all sorts of secrets about their own lives and that of the gods. Although intended for children, it is a great read for both adults ...more info
  • 10-year old's perspective
    Hi, I am a 10 year old reader who loved the book Lightning Thief. The Lightning Thief is a great book for young readers like me. I think I am a pretty good reader and think that other readers that are action lovers will love this book. This book has loads of action, Greek mythology, and emotion. What really pulled me in (in either Chapter 2 or 3) is when Percy Jackson fought the Minotaur because I realized it had action. At first I didn't want to read it because it had 375 pages, but when I tried it I realized that it was worthwhile. I personally liked this one more than Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer, and The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander, because it got into the action a lot faster than others. This book is great for 10 year olds like me.
    This book is about a sixth grader named Percy Jackson who doesn't know what adventure he is going to get into. He finds out that he will encounter monsters during a quest for the Gods. When he sets out for his quest, he takes two friends with him. The Oracle tells him that he will get betrayed by someone that he calls a friend. Do you know who betrays him? Read the book to find out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I highly recommend that all kids my age read this book. I'm already on Book Two: The Sea of Monsters, and I love that one too. Only time will tell if I like it as much as The Lightning Thief!
    P.S. it sometimes talks about cursing in other languages, so make sure you know that you are O.K. with that.
    ...more info
  • Wonderfully Creative
    12 year old Percy Jackson has always known he is different - he's been kicked out of several boarding schools, he's dyslexic, and he's never known who his father was. But he is about to find out just how different he is - characters from Greek mythology have entered his life and his best friend Grover is not who Percy thinks he is. Before he knows it, Percy is accused of stealing Zeus's master lightning bolt and has just ten days to find and return it. Percy and his friends Grover and Annabeth embark on a journey to find the lightening bolt that will change all of their lives.

    "The Lightning Thief" is a wonderfully creative children's book by Rick Riordan. There are, perhaps inevitably, some similarities to the Harry Potter series - Percy has two close friends, a boy and a girl; he calls himself a half-blood; Annabeth has a baseball hat that makes her invisible when she wears it; only Percy can be the hero of the quest; and the trio even encounters a bunch of spiders. But Riordan is a talented enough writer to make readers forget the Potter comparisons and enjoy the series on its own merits. The concept of Percy battling Greek Gods and Goddesses is a unique one and Riordan does an excellent job of incorporating Greek mythology into the story. Children will no doubt want to know more about mythical characters such as Poseidon, Zeus, Chiron, Charon, Medusa, and more after reading the book. Percy's journey is indeed an epic one and readers will love reading about his dangerous journey across the country. The book is written in the first person from Percy's point of view and Riordan does an excellent job of capturing Percy's voice. The great thing about Percy's character is that while in many ways he is extraordinary because of who his father is and the adventures he has, he is also an ordinary 12 year old boy who struggles in school because of his dyslexia, who is a loyal friend but also gets into fights, and who loves his mother even if he doesn't always obey her. Children of all ages will identify with Percy on some level.

    "The Lightning Thief" is the first in the five book "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series, a series that looks like it will be a lot of fun.
    ...more info
  • Not for Harry Potter fans
    I'm not sure which age group this book is good for. If judged by the writing, it's good for young children 4th-6th grade. However, I doubt children in this age group will be familiar with the many references to the Greek Gods, their relationships and stories.

    This book is very similar to Harry Potter, with slight changes here and there. It speaks of a Half-Blood (son of God and mortal) going on a quest with two sidekicks, another Half-Blood girl and a satyr. He attends a school for Half-Bloods, the only safe place for him because monsters are hunting him down. Even though the storyline sounds familiar, compared to Harry Potter, the writing style and story development are at different levels. Adult fans of the Harry Potter series will find this book predictable and well, childish. I am also a fan of Greek mythology, so I was really hoping this will be a good read; I was disappointed....more info
  • This is a Great Book!
    This is a great book! The characters really come alive. It all sounds so real. One thing I didn't understand was why he didn't want to be a half-blood I mean it's so exciting. I recommend this book to ages 9+ it is a great adventure. My favorite thing about the book is camp half-blood I would love to go to a cool camp like that! ...more info
  • lightening thief
    The book came in fantastic condition and my Grandson was delighted with his Birthday gift....thanks......more info
  • AWESOME!! Definitely one of my favorite books.
    This book was a masterpiece. The way Rick Riordan uses mythology is just insipring. I couldn't put the book down. Finished in one day that's how good it is. The only thing that i didnt love about this series is that the author foreshadows too much and that can get annoying. For example the book will say "it was a great plan, and it almost worked too." Before telling the story of how the actual plan occured. That's the only fault i could find with this book the rest is just amazing. Definitely a great buy...more info
  • A Thrilling Triumph
    Percy Jackson isn't your normal hero: He's intelligent, dyslexic, polite, wry, mature beyond his years, sensible, a natural leader, vulnerable, unforced and a lot of fun to read. That's a really tall order for any kind of book, but it does work. Really well.

    Riordan is one of the most skillful authors around today. He fuses classical Greek mythology with a modern-day schema in a fresh take that is safe for all ages and will really appeal to teenagers. While his descriptions are full and exquisite, almost nothing he does is new. And still the reader walks away refreshed and entranced.

    In a topsy-turvy thousand-mile-an-hour ride, Percy discovers he's the son of a Greek god, gets mixed up in a plot to start war in Olympus (and Earth), has to learn how to survive as a monster magnet, and deal with the loss of everything normal in his life. This page-turner is suspenseful in a way I haven't experienced before. It's a worthy, fun ride.

    Riordan is so faithful to the spirit of the ancient mythology that the reader can sense he's tapped into something special. Just be warned when you start reading--you might want to clear away any loose objects (i.e., anything that would be rattled by an earthquake) before you open the book. You might experience some turbulence during the ride!

    Note: Families interested in further reading about Greek Mythology might want to look into Dr. Russell's Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children. This would be a good start for further reading on these ancient stories!...more info
  • These books got my son reading again!
    I have a hard time getting my 11 year old to read fiction. He loves non-fiction but getting him to sit down and read a novel is like asking him to scrub the grout between the tiles... except I think he would rather scrub the grout!

    When he was younger, he enjoyed the Magic Treehouse series because he could relate to the characters -- they were the same age and they were dealing with subjects that he was interested in: dinosaurs, ancient civilizations etc.

    My son's 5th grade teacher started reading this book to their class toward the end of the last year and the entire class was completely enthralled. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), the teacher only got about half way through the book before the end of the year. My son was hooked and wanted to know how the book ended.

    We got this book for him and he finished the latter half in a few hours. So I got him books 2, 3, and 4. He read all 3 of those books within a week. He even turned down watching TV or playing his computer games in order to read -- truly a miracle.

    My son is in sixth grade and is considered AG for reading so these books were a pretty easy read for him. He was constantly telling me what was happening and talking about the characters as if they were classmates in school.

    My son has never shown an interest in Harry Potter or Spyderwick or other currently popular fantasy series.

    When asked what he liked about this series as opposed to so much of the other fantasy that is currently available, he liked the fact that:

    1. Percy was about his age and had his struggles in middle school (something my own son is dealing with though he isn't a demi-god!).
    2. Greek Mythology -- my son loves the ancient greek civilizations. He had originally wanted to read the Odyssey by Homer for his book report but I talked him out of that.
    3. Percy was a "modern kid" which, again, made him more relatable.
    4. The style of writing was funny and conversational.

    I'm just disappointed that Book 5 will be the last in the series. Now I have to find another set that will capture his attention. ...more info
  • A great book.
    A great book for anyone who likes teen fiction. The book, well not as good as others in the series, often leaves you wanting more. The exciting plot turns and fights will satisfy any bookly need you may have. ...more info
  • The Lightning Thief Review
    This book was absolutely the best book I have ever read! Perseaus Jackson (Percy for short) is a troubled kid that many strange things have been happening to him. From zapping a teacher's back to blowing up a TOILET, this kid is kind of losing his mind!!! (who wouldn't) if you want an action filled, mystery, and a little scary book you should definitely read this one! "The Lightning Thief"
    By Rick Riordan is a very special book because if you're a boy like me you will be addicted to this book because this book brings in action ridiculously fast! From a kid changing from a normal kid's life to a insane half-blood god's life he might just learn the most important secret he will ever know in his whole life!!! But on the way he faces extremely dangerous creatures like a deathly and blood thirsty Minotaur. How could he defeat this monster? ripping his scary horn out from his head scaring the creature away of course! But by doing this he might of just caused a lot of problems. Read this book to find out about every thing that has ever happened to Percy Jackson!
    ...more info
  • Why I love this book . . .
    This is an exciting and entertaining book! It was really hard for me to put it down. I also had to go and get the rest of the series right away. I would recommend it for adults and kids! If you are a conscientious parent that likes to know what your kids are reading (kudos to you!): This book is about the illegitimate, half human/half god children of Greek gods and the interactions they have with the normal world, the gods, and numerous mythological monsters. This brings up a few interesting topics for discussion that you might want to have with your child before or while they read the book: 1) Pros and cons of having children out of wedlock 2) What you believe about the afterlife 3) The fact that characters in the book offer the gods food offerings and talk to the gods (it doesn't seem like worship to me, but it might to some). I've only read the first book in the series so far and I am just starting the second. There is a boy/girl friendship started in the first book that carries through to the second. It is not romantic in nature so far, but you never know where that will go. Over all, being a teacher, I am touched that the lead character, due to his parentage, was marked as a troubled child with ADHD but discovered his talents, intrinsic worth, and real friendship through his adventures. Also, as I always like to say, it is always best for parents to read books before their kids do! You just can't trust books anymore just because they are marketed to teens or young adults!...more info
  • Great Book Not Really Library Binding
    The story is great, and as a teacher we use the book to teach Greek Mythology. My 7th grade students love it. My original hardback broke in half, so I bought the "Library Binding". It is the Scholastic Literature Circle Copy-not true library binding....more info
  • Not Just For Kids
    Rick Riordan has done a fantastic job with this story of a "troubled teen," Percy, that finds out he's the son of a Greek god, and is thrust into the adventures that would entail. His book was easy to read and the pacing and style reminded me a lot of the Harry Potter books, even if I can't get my boys to read Potter (they've seen the movies...) but they love these books.

    Even though the similarities with the Potter books are there, these are not imitations. Instead, you're thrust into a layered mystery that keeps you trying to figure out "whodunnit". The mystery and adventure are beautifully woven together with adventure, fun characters, and a fast pace.

    After my boys read through the first 4 books in an amazingly short time, my "to be read" pile disappeared so I thought I'd give these books a try. I'm very glad I did. The pacing was fantastic and, as with all of the well-written pre-teen books, the writing gives you enough to picture what's going on, without the (often overly) detailed passages of adult fiction. And Rick keeps you hooked by ending each chapter at just the right spot, making you want to keep reading.

    If you're looking for a fun read, that both you and your kids will enjoy, I highly recommend it. Heck, they might even get interested in Greek mythology because of these books. I know my boys did.

    - Lonnie Ezell, author of the fantasy thriller, Daughter of the Sun....more info
  • An unexpected pageturner
    Over the summer, I had to read a book for homework and then write about it. The assignment seemed unappealing until I came upon "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief." I read a couple pages thinking "Oh, another cheezy kid's fantasy." When I read on, it drew me in. I am not the kind of person who gets excited about reading a book, but this book made me want to read it. I finished the book disappointed that it was over and it made me extemely eager continue the series.
    I havn't started the second book yet, but I am looking forward to it.
    READ THIS BOOK!!!!!! ...more info
  • I'm sure a lot of people are saying this,but look out Harry!
    Where do I start?
    Alright,first of all,there is great character development and great characters.The story is great,almost everything about this series is great.
    For those of you who haven't heard,this is about a tween named Percy Jackson.He has been kicked out of five boarding schools already and Percy has just gotten a letter telling him that he won't be invited back to Yancy Academy,the school that he is currently at.
    While on a field trip he has a bizarre encounter with a demon who he knows as his pre-algabra teacher.
    Through a whole turn of events Percy winds up at Camp Half-Blood,for all the demigods,or offsprings of the Greek gods.Percy finds out that he is the son of Poseidon.Meanwhile,he makes a friend,Annabeth,and finds out that Zeus is holding Percy as his prime suspect for the stealing of his master lightning bolt.
    So Percy and his friends go on a quest to seek the theif and give back to Zeus what is rightfully his.
    I reccomend this book to fantasy lovers and,actually,anyone who reads.You won't be dissapointed....more info
  • Audio Book - 2 stars, Book - 4 stars
    The reading of The Lightning Thief by Jessie Bernstein is so disappointing. He shows no more voice talent than myself or my husband. It's a very enjoyable book but a very low average audio book. ...more info
  • A fun, light fantasy read.
    This book is a little bit like Harry Potter, but it's more on the level of the first HP book. The premise is that the gods of Greek mythology are still alive, and the children they have with mortals spend their summers at "Camp Half Blood." There's lots of homage to Greek mythology, and the story is more campy fun than the HP books. If you go into it expecting something light, you'll enjoy it. Some people have posted negatively about the narrator of the audiobook, but I think he does a good job, especially pulling off Percy's dry humor....more info
  • Amazing Book
    Rick Riordan is a great author and his book The Lightning Thief is one of my favorite books. Two of my favorite qualities in a story are plot twists and suspense. There are many action scenes in this book and all of it leads up to a major plot twist in the end.

    In his characters you see a great amount of pride and confidence in themselves. They all have great courage and want to do what's right for each other. In the setting he picks for this book you see an amazing new world, a hybrid of the modern world and ancient Greece. I like how he can explain how the whole world doesn't know that the Greek Gods exist.

    Overall this is a fantastic book and series. I hope many people get the chance to read this book as I have. - Thomas Adamson, 12; Sherwood Middle School
    ...more info
  • Lightning Thief by Corey at DFMS
    I read the book The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan. I would recommend this book to readers who like adventure, fantasy, and science fiction since it has nonstop action with a quest to find something of his uncle's, an ancient Greek/Roman God. This book is about a boy with medium black hair, sea green eyes, named Perseaus Jackson. Percy for short. In this book Percy is an only child living with his mom and her new boyfriend Gabe. Gabe is a smelly grouch who has protected Percy with his smell from the monster.

    Percy has gotten expelled from school and he now has gone to camp. The camp is for half-bloods or demigods. After he gets a sign from his father he goes on a quest to find Zeus' master bolt with his two friends from camp. Annabeth, a blond haired girl from another cabin and Grover, a satyr half man, half goat who brought Percy to camp. On the way to Los Angeles he battles monsters and in L.A. Percy finds the underworld and runs into his uncle, the god of death, Hades.

    One thing I found interesting about this book is that Percy Jackson has special powers. He can breathe under water and can control the water too.

    ...more info
  • Book of the year
    Lightening Thief was assighned to my 7th grade class as a project. In the 15 days since we've started, I've been able to blow through almost the whole series! This book is a great story of Greek mythology. In this captivating book, a young boy named Percy Jackson learns his real identity and goes to a hero camp. He must find many diffrent creatures including gods, monsters, demons, and many exciting and elaborate things. This author uses a great deal of detail letting you, as a reader, feel like you're in the book as one of the characters whether you're Percy, dealing with many different emotions or you are Annabeth trying to figure out what you need to do or you're one of those other characters.

    I loved this book because of all the twists and turns it gives you. It is as if you were on the best roller coaster of all time in pitch black darkness, because you have no idea what's going to happen next. I would recommend this book to any person young or old. Even the kids at my school that hate reading said that they like it. In conclusion, I give this book an A+....more info
  • I read it all in less than 8 hours . . .
    . . . which it pretty unusual for me. Most of time, I don't have all day and night to read a book: I've got work, homework/exams, and (here's the notorious one) the Internet. And when I do have some free time, I still can't finish an entire book in one day. The shortest time of finishing a novel is two daysm and that was with Mikhail Lermontov's "A Hero of our Time" and two others that I can't think of at the moment.

    But this book, "The Lightning Thief" from the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series, I read just yesterday. And it took me only eight hours to read it straight through! I think it's the first time that's ever happened. What's also surprising to me is the subject matter. I'm not really fascinated with Greek Mythology. Slavic, yes, but Greek, no. So I was a bit puzzled that I was unable to put the book down. Maybe it was Rick Riordan's clever way of giving the myths more modern personalities and appearances. Whatever the reason, I just couldn't put the book down.

    Percy Jackson both a hero and an anti-hero. His ADHD and dyslexia are what makes him interesting, and I could almost picture what the boy really looks like. His two friends, Grover and Annabeth, aren't your ordinary sidekicks. Both have had haunted pasts, and they would do anything to make sure that Percy is never hurt nor killed.

    Other characters (especially the Greek ones) are worthy of recognition. Aries is a tough one: he's like Bruce Campbell with a sword instead of a chainsaw. Hades will sure scare little kids, but what makes him compelling is that he isn't your ordinary villain: he's got a heart alright. Dionysus sure can be annoying at times, but you know that he's trying to do some good at least. Medusa is one hell of a woman: she can sound innocent while thinking evil thoughts.

    The plot twists throughout the novel work and sometimes they don't. I figured out who Percy really was when it cam e to his special powers on a specific element. But the biggest plot twists that are found in the last seventy pages or so are the most unexpected.

    The pacing is wild. It goes from New York City to the north side of New York State to St. Louis to Denver and finally to Santa Monica so quickly. And it's a mystery in how you can get so much information about Greek Mythology in that sort of wild flow.

    Some parts do tend to drag a bit. The sequences in Camp Half Blood almost bored me, but the pace picked up when something goes wrong in the area.

    So, in short, this is one of the greatest children's books of our time. And it's for all ages, not just kids.

    A-...more info
  • A Wow Story!
    I am a senior citizen--a librarian--a woman-- who could not possibly be interested in the story of a 12-year-old boy whose ADHD behavior causes him to be moved from private school to private school or that he has momentary lapses when strange behavior takes over or that he finally learns that he is a half-blood (no, not a HP half-blood), but the son of a god. No, I could not possibly be interested in such a far-fetched story, but then again I AM interested in this story because--WOW--what a story!!

    Percy Jackson (Perseus at that!) learns in this first installment of The Olympians that he is indeed the son of a god and not some little podunk god, but one of the big three--Poseidon, god of all the seas. As a half-blood, he is given a quest: to find Zeus's thunderbolt. Someone has stolen it, giving rise to the book's title: the Lightning Thief.

    If all this seems really strange, then you are normal. After all, we thought Greek mythology was dead. How little we knew, when in reality, it is alive and well and operating in the New West---America. The reader gets so caught up in this new telling of the old myths, ahem, stories of the living gods, that it becomes fresh and vibrant again. In fact, Mt. Olympus is now located on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building and accessible only through a special elevator ticket. You must have an appointment to get there.

    Percy Jackson's pursuit of the lightning thief is just plain out fun reading. When I had to stop for any period of time, I couldn't wait to get back to the story. If the reader thinks it unrealistic that a 12-year-old is the hero, then put two and two together. Being a hero does not always take brawn--often thinking, intellect, strategy are required to solve a problem. It doesn't hurt that the hero's father is a god who nudges a bit.

    The most exciting stop in the quest is coming before this horribly evil presence. I guessed its identity long before it was revealed (as any student of mythology will), so I am giving away no secrets here.

    The most fun episodes occur when Ares, god of war, appears as a big ol' motorcycle punk in a black leather jacket. He must wear sunglasses to shield onlookers from his fiery eyes (literally fiery) and his macho, belligerent behavior. Hey! This is the god of war--how did you think he would act? A new piece of information comes out concerning Ares--Yo, are you paying attention?!!--Anyone in his presence suddenly becomes aggressive and must keep a constant check on his temper to prevent untoward behavior! Reader! Stop looking around--I'm right here on this page trying to tell you about Ares!

    Does Percy find the thunderbolt? Do you really think I am going to tell you? Whew, that Ares is something else. Glad he is gone for now!

    Anyway, quests usually end well, but not without cost, as is true here. Certain things must be addressed. Certain decisions must be made. Ah, this is all so vague. Whatever happens in Book 1, Percy Jackson is ready for whatever awaits in Book 2: "The Sea of Monsters."...more info
  • Excellent, A New Favorite Author
    In our family, we cheer when a new Rick Riordan book comes out. We rush to the store and we buy it.

    We heard that if we liked Harry Potter we would like this series. We liked Harry Potter. We LOVED this book. In fact, my son, age 9, thought that The Lightning Thief was better than Harry Potter.

    This is a fast moving book about a young man named Percy Jackson. He has never quite fit in and never quite understood why strange things happen to him. One day though, it all becomes clear.

    Percy is the son of a Greek God. He is a Hero in the truest sense of the word (a son of a God). His father is Persues and is charge of the water. Because of this, Percy also has some special abilities. He can control water, breath underwater and he is stronger in water.

    While Percy is discovering his abilities, he finds his way to Camp Half Blood. The place he can learn more about who he is and practice using his new skills. He runs into other interesting characters that are similar to him. Percy also gets to battle monsters and strange beings.

    My two oldest children, ages 8 and 9 at the time, loved this book. I enjoyed this book. It is true, if you like Harry Potter, this is a good book to try reading. If you like learning about Greek myths, Greek Gods and so on, this is a great book.

    Well worth the money.
    Enjoy. ...more info
  • worlds best book
    A friend of mine recomended it to me and I love the series. It is great. Percy thinks Hades stole the bolt, but Ares took it from Luke. Sorry Harry Potter, but this book is taking the prize....more info
  • 5 STARS?!!! You'd better believe it!
    This series of books (still going) is awesome. It's like the Harry Potter series for today's kids. But don't let that discourage you; I read these books and I'm 18. Anyone with ANY interest in mythology SHOULD READ THIS BOOK SERIES. It's an interesting twist on the idea that the Greek gods still exist today and there is a new danger that threatens them and the whole world. I don't want to give the story away but it is so well written and such an interesting story that you have to read it for yourself. YOU HAVE TO!!!...more info
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Book 1 The Lightning Thief
    WOW! This book was amazing! This book is a rival for the infamous Harry Potter series. I absoloutly LOVED this book. Percy is a cool kid. This series is probably the best I have read in a long time. I would recomend this book series to anyone. By an anonymous fan....more info