The Lightning Thief: With Thoughts From My Class

The kids in my third grade class begged me to read me The Lightning Thief. One of the mothers actually bought it for me this Christmas. Reading for the Read-a-Myth Challenge and the Once Upon a Time Challenge 5 pushed me over the edge to read it aloud.

You’ve got to love Percy Jackson, our middle-school aged hero. He’s got ADD, the typical angst of adolescence, and untypical parentage by having a human mother and Poseidon for his father. He’s also got a quest:

You shall go west, and face the god who has turned.
You shall find what was stolen, and see it safely returned.
You shall be betrayed by one who calls you a friend.
And you shall fail to save what matters most, in the end.

I enjoyed his story. But what I most enjoyed about the story where the elements of mythology I was able to teach my class, from the famous brothers Poseidon, Zeus and Hades who descended from their father Cronus, to the war god Ares and Hade’s Helm of Darkness. The kids were entranced, as you can from a few of their reviews below:

  • I liked The Lightning Thief a lot because I learned a lot of mythology, and it was a mixture of sad and happy. My favorite characters are Perseus Jackson, Marybeth, and Grover. I like these friends because they all worked together on their quest. My favorite event was when Percy went to Olympus and saw his dad. I liked this event because Perseus finally saw his dad when he was looking for him. I learned that mythology is not real, and there are a lot of gods. ~Riya
  • I loved The Lightning Thief because it was both action packed and funny. It was a great book. My favorite part was when he fought Ares. It was very cool when Ares and Percy were fighting. I liked the book better than the movie because it was original. ~Adrian
  • I liked The Lightning Thief a lot. My favorite character was Percy Jackson because he is the son of a the sea god, and I like water. My favorite event was when Percy Jackson went to Olympus. I learned about not Greek mythology, but friendship and how it works. I really learned a lot, but that was the best thing I learned. ~Karthik

However, not everyone in my class liked it. Here’s one more:

  • I hated The Lightning Thief because it was really, really boring. I don’t have a favorite character. And it made no sense to me. I don’t like it because I don’t like Greek mythology. Greek mythology and I don’t go together. So this book is just not for me.  How could there be a son of the sea? There is only ONE True God. ~Angelin

So, I guess you’ll have to read it yourself to find your own verdict. And after you do, there’s a trivia game with ten questions to play and test your reading skills.

I know that most of my class will be reading the rest of the series over the summer, and that’s a good thing.

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15 thoughts on “The Lightning Thief: With Thoughts From My Class”

  1. My kids are mostly 9 years old, although a few are 8. I think if you read this aloud to her, at least to get it going, you would both have a good time.

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  2. I loved the Percy Jackson series – all of it. Such a fun way for kids to be introduced to mythology. We could not keep the mythology books on the shelf in the library after these started coming out. Kids were so eager to learn more. 🙂

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  3. Loved this post and reading your students thoughts on The Lightning Thief – I've had this book for ages, but have to pick it up. After reading your post I think I'll give it a go – gotta love a book that brings mythology into the mix!

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  4. Wonderful post, Bellezza! It was wonderful to know about your students' reactions to 'The Lightning Thief'. I read it a few years back and loved it! I remember liking Ares very much – I thought he was cool 🙂 I loved reading the reactions of your students and what they thought about the book.

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  5. The comments from your class are adorable! And it's great that so many of them are planning on reading more this summer. I've not read the series myself, but it sounds like one I would have loved had it been around when I was in elementary school.

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  6. I just finished this last week. My kids read it last year (13 and 11). It was cute, and I liked your students reviews. I certainly learned more about Greek mythology from that story than I've ever learned before.thanks for the quiz – I love trivia.

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  7. My class of 8 year olds are currently loving 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'. I am impressed with the reviews they have written, theu sound very self-assured in them.

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  8. Well since I am a "kid at heart" I already have this one on my list. I love the student reviews that you shared. I especially loved the one who said they loved the book better than the movie!

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  9. Kay, it is an excellent way for them to be introduced to mythology, isn't it? Every chapter we read had us looking up something on Google, from the Helm of Darkness to asphodel…you name it, the kids were curious and wanted to know more.Audrey, they'll probably put me out of a 'job'! Kids' perspectives are so fresh and unique, and they're really worried about what other's think. Which isn't always a good thing, of course. :)Nadia, if you pick it up it shouldn't take long to complete. And, if you love it, there are about four more in this particular series!

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  10. Vishy, it's funny that you mentioned Ares because he was my favorite 'recreated' mythological character. I loved him on his motorcylce, with black leather trench coat, and firey eyes. Ooh la la!Simplerpasttimes, kids love fantasy in general, and this was a perfect thing to get away from dragons and magic spells (if you know what I mean).Bermudaonion, the dissenters keep us on our toes, do they not?

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  11. Raidergirl3, how fun that your children read this. My son came into school one day and he read a chapter out loud. I thought he'd really like it, but he's twenty and it proved to adolescent for him. When we're thirty+ we can appreciate those days gone by with greater relish.Tiny Library, I didn't know you had a class of 8 years olds, too! I've tried reading aloud from The Series of Unfortuante Events, but the uncle who was planning on killing his neice was a bit much for me. I know the kids love those stories, though, and they seem able to keep everything in better perspective than I.Kathleen, aren't we so often disappointed in the film of a novel? Many of them who had seen the film said, "That's not how the book goes!" and I had to remind them that the book came first; the book was the author's original intention. They seem to forget that when they aren't immersed in literature.

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