A Book Review ~ Percy Jackson & the Olympians

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The next Cycle for Classical Conversations is Cycle 1. I love Cycle 1 (although, really, I love them all). It's the Ancients. We'll study Ancient history, touching on most of the Ancient civilizations, including Greek and Rome. We'll memorize the names of the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. So just for fun, I grabbed the Percy Jackson audio books at the library. The kids are eating them up! They love it, even Gideon who sometimes zones out on audio books.

The Percy Jackson books are fun, and great for the classical home-schooler to use. They are not Christian, and have no Christian ideas or mentions. The world of Percy Jackson is a world of Greek gods and goddesses. There is not even the possibility for a man called Jesus. (Is that clear enough?) But I think they will be very useful for conversation in our homeschool.

Plus, I'm very pleased that the kids are enjoying them so much.

Rick Riordan did his homework when he wrote these books. The personalities of the gods and goddesses are just as they were in ancient times, but the gods (because of their immortality) live in modern times. Percy Jackson is just a regular kid without a dad, who has ADHD, and is dyslectic. He gets in trouble without meaning to, and is pretty miserable with his life.
I think this is fascinating and so fun, but Riordan claims that all those problems with kids are because their missing parent is actually a god and they are demigods. Percy finds that, while he can't read English, Ancient Greek is very easy for him to read. (I really love that.)

The Greek gods and goddesses aren't the best parents though. Most have abandoned their children. So most of the other demigods that Percy meets don't like their godly parents. And the gods that Percy does come into contact with are unpredictable, uncaring, and whiney. Riordan perfectly shows the personalities of the Greek gods. The Greeks tried so hard to keep each god happy, but keeping one happy meant another might get mad.

So while we're reading these fun books, I'm asking the kids questions like, what do you think about the gods? Are they good gods? Why do the gods need the demigods? Do the gods use their powers for good and beauty, or for selfish reasons? Good questions to think about! I want them to think about what is missing from these books and these gods. What the Greeks were missing.

The other plus about reading these books before we study the ancients, the kids are getting used to the Greek names. The names and the personalities will make it easier to to understand the stories from the ancients.

Riordan has a couple of other series. I did pre-read Percy Jackson a couple of years ago, and now I'm pre-reading the next series about Percy called the Heroes of Olympus. This series is about the Roman gods and Riordan perfectly catches the difference of spirit between the Greek and Roman gods. The only problem is the boyfriend-girlfriend stuff in it. I don't like that. The Percy Jackson books have a little of it in the last book, but these books start out with it. So even though I'd love to have the kids read these too, just because of the Roman gods, I think I'll have to wait a bit. I'm going to try reading the Kane Chronicles as well this summer, another one by Riordan but it's about the Egyptian gods. We'll see if that one is appropriate for the kids to read this summer.
Have you read these books? What questions would you ask?


  1. This looks like a great book! My son loves audio books and for me to read him books like this. I guess I'll be picking this one up next :-)

    1. I'm sure he'll love these books! Thanks for reading, Erin!

  2. This book series has been absolutely pivotal in getting my youngest son to fall in love with reading. He has devoured everything that Riordan has written, and now he's on to another series. Great review, and very encouraging! Linking up with you today at Darling Downs!

    1. Yep, my Gideon is loving these. It's so fun when you find the book that really catches their attention and opens up the world to them, isn't it?

  3. Hi Jennifer, I've heard great things about these books, but my boys are still a little young for them... but I'm keeping them on the short list in the next couple of years. Thank you so much for your review!

    This might be forward, but I write a blog that has many book reviews and I host a weekly link up, and this would be perfect for it... actually your whole blog is full of posts that would be perfect.... Anyway, if you're interested, the link up opens every Thursday through Sunday, and I'd love for you to join our little community.

    Hope to see you there this week

    Reading List

    1. Thanks Marissa! I had some fun going through your blog today. I'm excited about getting to know you! I'll add your link up to my list, and come visit on Thursday. I'm so glad you found me and commented!

  4. My kids and I enjoyed reading through the Percy Jackson books. They're a fun series to read, and as you pointed out, discuss. :-)