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Friday, September 4, 2009

Mom & Son Book Club #11: The Lightning Thief

It has been a long time since I've done a Mom & Son book club post. Kiddo has been working on reading independently and he is definitely improving (but still needs lots of practice). Of course that means we're reading fewer books together. But today we're talking about the book I read to him during August ... enjoy!

The Lightning Thief
Book 1 of Percy Jackson and the Olympians

by Rick Riordan
392 pages

*** About the Book ***

This is the story of Percy Jackson, a modern-day kid who finds out he is the son of an ancient Greek god. Oh, you didn't know that the Greek Gods were still around? And that they live on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building? Yeah, Percy didn't know that either. But now that he does, he's caught up in a dangerous quest, beset by monsters, and in the middle of an impending war between the gods. What fun (for us, not for Percy!).

*** Why I Choose It ***

Kiddo loves Harry Potter and he has already listened to all 7 audio books. When I heard about a new kids series that dealt with magic and adventure AND that was being made into a movie, I knew I'd have to check it out for him. So when Becky's Online Reading Group chose it for their August pick I decided to read it aloud to Kiddo and see how we liked it.

*** Kiddo's Thoughts ***

I'm letting Kiddo tell you about the book himself in this video - enjoy!

In case you couldn't tell, he really liked the book!

*** My Thoughts ***

Kiddo can't ever stay still, especially when I'm reading him a book. He was never a child to cuddle up on my lap for story time. BUT ... this book really captured his attention. We'd usually read one chapter per night and most times Kiddo would be totally engrossed in the story, eyes wide, and practically on the edge of his seat. The chapter titles made him laughing out loud (they were quite funny, I must say) too.

Since Kiddo is almost completely unfamiliar with ancient mythology our reading time was usually interrupted by me giving him short history lessons (which he really enjoyed). I used to love mythology as a kid and my recent time spent listening to The Iliad and The Odyssey (my current audio book) definitely came in handy with this as well.

So Kiddo loved the book and I loved reading to him. But I didn't love the book.

Let me rephrase that. As an adult reader, I could definitely tell this book was written for middle grade kids. My biggest complaint is that the plot was really predictable. I had things figured out almost from the beginning and nothing took me by surprise. Of course Kiddo didn't figure things out like I did, so the book was successful in that way. But whereas I really enjoyed reading the Harry Potter books for myself, my enjoyment of this book came from seeing how much Kiddo loved it.

*** The Movie ***

The movie is coming out in February 2010 and has some amazing actors in it. (Poseidon will be played by Kevin McKidd ... can we say eye candy for mom?!) My family will definitely be seeing this in the theaters. You can check out a really short trailer here if you haven't seen it already.

*** Your Thoughts? ***

Are you interested in either the book or the movie? Why/why not?

If you've reviewed the book let me know and I'll add your link here.

Kids' Picks is coming up on 9/15 at 5 Minutes for Books. Since that is in the middle of Book Blogger Appreciation Week I'm going to post this now and simply link up to it then.


LisaMM said...

We chose THe Lightning Thief for our first parent/child book club discussion and the kids LOVED it! OUr group is a little older than kiddo- they are 10-12 yrs old with about half going into 7th grade this year. They studied Greek Mythology in 6th, so they were REALLY into it! I read it aloud to my 10 yr old (the 11 yr old read it by herself) and she loved it, but I felt the way you did. Very predictable.

The kiddo video is so adorable!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

LisaMM - I read your club's review (and linked to it) - sounds like the girls had a really good time with it! We're definitely on the same page with the predictable thing, but honestly it didn't matter since Kiddo was enjoying it so much. :)

bermudaonion said...

I love Kiddo's video - it's obvious he loved the book! He is such a cutie pie!

Robin M said...

I love the video. Kiddo is too cute. Makes me want to read the book with James. I didn't think he could handle it, but he's 10. If your 7 year old can, then J can. He just read Junior version of Treasure Island yesterday.

Meghan said...

Kiddo is adorable! I'm sorry to hear that you thought the series was too predictable though, since I have it on the basis of a few recommendations. I guess we'll see!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

adorable! very enthusiastic! My kids like making video reviews, too ... keeps 'em interested :)

We saw the trailer for LIGHTNING THIEF at the Harry Potter film. I could see my son's eyes light up when he realized that it was a sneak peek; really looking forward to it!

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

bermuda - Thanks!

Robin - Your James could definitely handle this one.

Meghan - If you go into it without having your expectations too high, you will probably enjoy it. It isn't a BAD book, it is just clearly designed for middle grade kids.

Dawn - We are definitely excited about the movie but we've never seen an in-theater preview yet - too bad, I'm sure it was really cool!

Alyce said...

I'll have to recommend this to my 8-year-old son. He loves books like this.

Lisa said...

How great to find a book that really interests him--and the first of a series is even better. My oldest liked to read when he was little but often played while I was reading to him. If I asked him what I just read, to see if he was paying attention, he always could recite it back.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Alyce - Let me know what he thinks of it!

Lisa - That's exactly what Kiddo does - I'm glad I'm not alone! And yes, finding a new series is much better than simply finding a new book. :)

ANovelMenagerie said...

I'm in Lisa's Mom/Kid Book Club. My kids loved it. I read and reviewed it. I think it's a great book for kids.. not mom's favorite... but, it was good.

Bybee said...

Kiddo, I'm waaay above your age, but I really liked this book, too. Hope you'll do more reviews soon.

Laughing Stars said...

I love the mother/son book club concept! My son and I have been enjoying this series.

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

anovelmenagerie - I agree completely. :)

bybee - Kiddo says thanks and that he'll do Sea of Monsters as soon as I finish reading it to him.

Laughing Stars - Thanks for stopping by! I love hearing from new commenters.

Anonymous said...

i'm SO glad kiddo enjoyed the book!

but i completely agree with your interpretation as an adult reader.


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

opheliazepp - we're definitely on the same page. :)

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

opheliazepp - we're definitely on the same page. :)

morninglight mama said...

Wow- I'm going to have to get this for my son, because I think it's right up his alley!

And can I just say that I will go see ANYTHING that Kevin McKidd is in. I've got a HUGE celebricrush on him!! :)

Unknown said...

It's great that you could read it together and share as you went. That's one of the awesome things about reading aloud!

My daughter has read all of them, but I haven't read any of them.

We may see this in the theaters too, but especially if you manage to see it opening weekend, it would be great for you to do a guest post at Books on Screen! Email me as the release gets closer.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

This is so funny because I reviewed Percy Jackson this time as well.

Carrie said...

LOVE the video interview. =) Very creative and I'm rather convinced he liked it. ;)

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

morninglight - He IS gorgeous, isn't he?!

Jennifer - I'd love to do that - I'll definitely be in touch.

Bluestocking - I'm behind on reading the Kids Pick posts b/c of BBAW this week but I promise I'll check your out as soon a I can.

Carrie - Ya think?! ~LOL~

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