The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan follows the perils of Percy Jackson, an adolescent boy who finds out he’s half mortal, half Greek god (Poseidon to be exact). Most of the kids devoured the book although some found the demons and mythical creatures a bit frightening. Another thing to watch for is the idea that Percy is a child of his mother and the god Poseidon, and the book talks about gods “frolicking” with humans. Luckily, none of the kids mentioned this during our meeting, so I didn’t have to address it – I’m sure they wanted to avoid the topic as much as I did!
The activities for this book were quite fun. I found lots on Rick Riordan website (www.rickriordan.com) in the Teacher’s Guide. The Teacher’s Guide is over 90 pages long, so I pulled the journal questions as possible discussion questions (we only did about six) and some of the activities. The discussion questions and characters can be found at The Lightning Thief Discussion Questions and the activities are at The Lightning Thief Activities.
We had a lot of good discussion around the best and worst field trip they’ve ever been on and whether they would want to be immortal, thinking it would be great to live forever until they had to watch all their family and friends grow old while they stayed the same. And of course some of the powers they invented for themselves as gods were pretty interesting!
We read this book long before the movie came out, so we did not compare/contrast the two. It is worth noting that the movie was made for a more teenaged audience, with Percy being older and focusing on the potential love interest theme than the book does. My particular group felt the book was much better than the movie – something I always love to hear!