Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes
a percy jackson and the olympians companion book
author : rick riordan
pages : [hardcover] 412
memorable quote : Theseus put his club aside. He approached the Pine Bender and sized up the situation. He wasn’t as strong as Sinis. He didn’t have the ability to root himself to the earth. He didn’t even have a plan. But he glanced over at the girl Perigune, and his distractible brain started racing. A girl in the trees. A girl. A tree. Trees have spirits. I’m hungry. Wow, Sinis smells bad. A dryad. I bet the dryads in these trees are really tired of getting bent. Hey, there’s a chipmunk.
favorite character : our beloved narrator, percy jackson (and all of the little comments he says that annabeth makes)
Who cut off Medusa’s head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan’s legions of devoted fans–and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.
What can I say that I haven’t already said in my raving over Percy Jackson? I mean, he’s the greatest demigod around (okay, Annabeth is, but she’d definitely let Percy think that he’s better just to make him feel better) and he’s infinitely funny, even when it comes to telling information that could come in a pretty boring format.
I’m taking a Greek Mythology course this semester at college and I have to say that I thought it would be much more interesting than it has been so far. We’re only skimming over the myths and, yes, I already know most of it because of Percy and co., making the lessons a little tedious. If we had this book as a textbook, I’m sure that many more people would have been clamoring to take this class. It was interesting that some of my assigned chapters, while I was reading Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes, were about heroes like Theseus and Heracles (otherwise known as Hercules) so I was able to compare the two lessons. Or stories. Percy’s versions definitely read more like a book, like modern myths. He makes it fun. It’s the kind of writing that would appeal to people of any age and I feel like if kids got this book, they would learn so much about myth without even realizing it. They’d have all of these heroes and gods in their heads, and then when they take a Greek Mythology class in college they can daydream through the lessons because they already know who the Olympians are.
Not that I condone that sort of thing (even though I think Percy would quietly support it and Annabeth definitely judge me for it).
One thing that I absolutely loved about this collection is that there are surprisingly a good number of female heroes included. Four out of twelve isn’t quite half, which would have been perfect, but, honestly, for the time period we’re talking about it’s awesome that ladies are getting some spotlight. And no damsels in distress, either; just like the men, they’re ready to fight for true love, their very lives, and freedom for themselves and others.
Percy’s wit and humor really make these stories come to life. It’s amazing that after so long, they’re still relevant, well-known, and being retold to another generation. I love Percy, and that this is a sneaky way of teaching people who otherwise wouldn’t bother to learn about these myths, and I can’t wait to see what Riordan puts out next.
And even though, apparently, Percy had to be bribed into writing this book, I think that he should definitely write another. Who doesn’t need two lifetime supplies of blue jellybeans?