Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Book 1 - The Lightning Thief

By Rick Riordan
Published by Scholastic, Hyperion-Miramax
Released June 2005
377 pages
Ages 10-14
5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis - After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.

My son and I came across this series as part of his Scholastic Book Order. And as we turned the first few pages, I have to admit that we both were immediately drawn into the world of Percy Jackson. My ten-year-old loved the action and the plot and I adored the well written, 3D characters.

Percy, himself, is so very snarky and determined to find out more about his demi-god status. At every turn in his adventure, he meets more mythical creatures and gets into even more predicaments.

I now also have to admit to a bias, because I look for books that are not only entertaining but will also teach my children something alongside the plot. As we were approaching the end of the book, my son asked if we could get a book on Greek Mythology. Now that made my day. In fact the Percy Jackson Field Guide will be released on January 19, 2010 and you can pre-order it here. This book promises to be the ultimate guide for "gods, monsters and all things Percy."

If you're looking for a book that you can share with your Middle Grader and that both of you will love reading, please, check out the Percy Jackson series. The Lightning Thief is the first in a series of five books outlining Percy's further adventures. And guess what? The movie based on the first book, The Lightning Thief, will be released on President's Day, 2010. Check out the trailer below. It will definitely give you a good idea of the action level and mythology references.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scholastic's Year In Sports 2010

Published by Scholastic
Released Dec. 1, 2009
192 pages
5 out of 5 stars

Product description: (from Amazon)
This must-have sports almanac will tell kids everything they want and need to know about the previous year in sports (Fall '08 through Summer '09). It includes major sports (basketball, baseball, football, hockey); "secondary" sports (golf, tennis, cycling, auto racing); and action sports (BMX, snowboarding, in-line skating).

SCHOLASTIC YEAR IN SPORTS 2010 is heavily illustrated with fabulous full-color action photos of the year's most thrilling moments and memorable athletes. For each sport, kids will find a list of team names (or the top players), team stats, championship game summaries (i.e., what happened in Super Bowl XXXXIII or the 2009 NBA play-offs?), records and milestones, award winners (i.e., who are the Cy Young Award winners of the last 10 years?), all-time stats, past champions, "Did You Know?" questions, great moments in sports, "Fast Facts," mini-bios of key personalities, and more.

This lively title offers kids quick, cool sports facts and isn't weighed down by lengthy blocks of texts. Just great information for sports fans of every age!

This is a must have book for any sports fan. It covers everything from The Top 10 Moments in Sports, to the MLB, NFL, NHL, College ball, to Soccer, motor sports, Golf and more. The pictures are brilliant, the the statistics and records listed are amazing. My 5 year old sports nut loved it. He's a bit young to read the book, but he knows everything about Baseball and Football that I can't get this book away from him.

There's nothing that isn't covered here. If you're not a sports fan and want to be, than I would recommend picking up this book. Once you're done reading it you'll be able to talk sports, stats and who's who's among the best players and teams in a variety of sports.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~