Final Ruling: 5/5 stars
Ah, is there any book better than this one?? I THINK NOT!
The Lightning Thief is the ultimate childhood fantasy adventure. It immediately transports a reader into a world where differences are not only accepted, but celebrated. I’m pretty sure every single kid in the world has gone through the same exact thing: feeling inadequate and ashamed of the things that make them special. So many kids put their heads down in the face of their dyslexia or ADHD, being tortured and made fun of (as if living with disabilities wasn’t hard enough). However, in the not-so-unrealistic world of Percy Jackson, those differences just mean that underneath all the normality, there is something truly awesome. Learning disabilities are literally an indicator of a superior bloodline, one that runs directly back to the great Gods of Olympus (how’s that for awesome?!).
The writing is humorous and breezy, managing to integrate witty jokes and sarcasm into life-threatening situations, thus making it accessible to every single age group which, in my experience, is a nearly impossible feat. Riordan expertly weaves Grecian mythology into modern-day America, somehow creating this world in which pretty much anybody is accepted and nurtured to their fullest potential. Through the mythology, he broadcasts this message of acceptance, as well as extremely powerful messages about the most important bonds between people: the bonds of friendship and family.
I read this book first when I was 12, about the same age as Percy in this book, and my copy has just recently fallen apart due to the fact that I have read it relentlessly, turning to the world of the half-bloods whenever those feelings of inadequacy start to creep up on me, as they did during those elementary school years. Of course, now I know that the woes of a 6th grade girl are nothing against the real world, but my goodness did they seem important then. The writing of Riordan got me through the toughest ordeals of that time in my life, Grover and Chiron and Percy were my best friends, and my heart really did reside in Camp Half-Blood. Those tattered pages were my childhood, and it was an amazing honor to be able to grow up alongside Percy and Annabeth; I am sure that their story will stay with me for an eternity, and quite possibly longer.
I would recommend this masterpiece to absolutely everybody. My friends, my family, acquaintances, random people on the street, and anybody else that happens to hear me as I shout my love for this book from the rooftops.