Having made a list of favorites (even a list of purported "great" books), it’s impossible not to think about what's missing from the list, or what list of favorites someone else would choose. Since one of the reasons I love reading children's literature is sharing it with my kids, I reviewed my choices with my 10 year old daughter, who goes by "T."
T. has some of the same favorites I do – especially The Golden Compass. There is another series she's been reading lately that has her incredibly excited: Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Her review is below, and it’s noticeable how she comments that the writing made her feel like she was in the book. Descriptive, evocative writing that pulls the reader into the story is part of what makes the best children’s literature so enjoyable to read, for adults as well as children. (And as for our own, no-doubt evolving, list of favorites, look for future discussion soon.)
T.’s Reflection on Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Percy Jackson and the Olympians tells the story of a demi-god and his friends, and is based at a camp for other demi-gods who are learning their fates, along with learning how to fight mystical creatures out of Greek mythology. The recently ended five-book series has adventure along with hardships and comedy. The five books are called The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of The Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. There are well done plot twists, plus some amazing character development. Riordan describes everything that happened really well, so that reading it is like putting yourself in the book. I especially liked how at the beginning of the books something would happen, and then later in the series connections would be made to what happened earlier. I love that all the characters had different personalities depending on which Greek gods were their mothers or fathers, and how they had different skills. The chapter titles are hilarious, for instance: Grover Loses his Pants, I Become Supreme Lord of The Bathroom, My Parents Go Commando, Nico Buys Happy Meals For The Dead, and I Put On A Few Extra Million Pounds. They're all funny, but I don't want to spoil it by giving them all away. The series was so good it made you wish there was another book. These action-packed books are great introductions to Greek mythology, and make you want to learn more. If you do want to learn more, you can go to http://www.percyjacksonbooks.com or http://www.rickriordan.com.