Percy Jackson's Greek Gods and Greek Heroes

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Percy Jackson's Greek Gods - An Overview

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods cover art
Disney-Hyperion Books

Introduction

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, published in 2014, and the companion book Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes, with a release date of August 18, 2015, will appeal to fans of the enormously popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

Author Rick Riordan is not only a good writer (Did you know he was already an award-winning writer of mysteries for adults when he started writing his middle grade fantasies?); he also knows how the capture the "voice" of middle school students because of his 15 years of experience as a middle school teacher of English and history.

KIds who are fans of the Percy Jackson series can't help wanting to know more about Greek mythology. Rick Riordan delivers a lot with Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes, with Percy's sarcastic and funny stories of Greek gods and heroes. Entertaining as they are, the stories are also well-grounded in Greek mythology. Below you'll find a summary of Percy Jackson's Greek Gods and on the next page, you'll find a summary of Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes.

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods

Summary: In the snarky voice of Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan presents stories about many of the gods found in Greek mythology. He begins with the story of how the world was made and includes stories about Demeter, Persephone, Hera, Zeus, Athena and Apollo, among others.

Since Percy is a demi-god – half human and half mortal - he also includes information about Poseidon, the Greek god who is his father. According to Percy, “I’m biased. But if you’re going to have a Greek god for a parent, you couldn’t do better than Poseidon.”

It’s Riordan’s ability to use Percy’s “voice” to make the Greek myths stories 9 to 12 year olds can relate to that makes Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods so effective. For example, this is how he introduces the Greek god Ares:

“Ares is that guy.”

“The one who stole your lunch money, teased you on the bus, and gave you a wedgie in the locker room….If bullies, gangsters, and thugs prayed to a god, they’d pray to Ares.” 

While the stories are told in the language and tone of a particular middle schooler, they are all based on a strong foundation of Greek mythology.

Author: Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, as well as The Heroes of Olympus and The Kane Chronicles.

Illustrator: 2012 Caldecott honoree John Rocco, whose illustrations include dramatic full-page paintings, as well as spot illustrations, almost 50 illustrations in all

Length: 325 pages, including the 311-page main text, the Afterword by Percy Jackson, four-page annotated list of illustrations, six-page index, list of Rick Riordan’s middle grade books, and a list of books and websites for background reading

Formats: As of July 2015, formats included a large hardcover book that’s a little more than 9” X 12” and an eBook and audio book available in several formats, with a paperback edition scheduled for release on 02/23/2016.

Recommended for: Kids 9-12 who are fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and want to know more about Greek mythology, particularly Greek gods. If your kids are interested in Greek mythology but are not familiar with Percy Jackson, I recommend .

Publisher: Disney–Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group

Publication Date: 2014

ISBN: 9781423183648

Additional Resources from the Publisher: Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods Discussion Guide

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Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes - An Overview

Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes
Disney-Hyperion Books

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes

Summary: Like Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes is a big beautiful book about Greek mythology, told from the perspective of Percy Jackson. The dyslexic middle school student, first featured in Rick Riordan’s middle grade series Percy Jackson and the Olympians puts his own contemporary spin on the traditional tales.

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes provides a look at the stories of a 12 Greek heroes. According to Percy, “No matter how much you think your life sucks, these guys and gals had it worse. They totally got the short end of the Celestial stick.” The heroes are Perseus, Psyche, Phaethon, Otrera, Daedalus, Theseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, Cyrene, Orpheus, Hercules and Jason.

In his Introduction, Percy accurately describes what is to come: “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.”

Author: Rick Riordan whose Percy Jackson and the Olympians fantasy series is not only enormously popular but has won numerous awards and honors. For example, the first book in the series, The Lightning Thief, won 17 State Library Association Readers' Choice Awards and was a ALA Notable Children’s Book for 2005.

Illustrator: As he did for Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, John Rocco painted the dramatic illustrations for this companion book. It includes both spot and full-page artwork, more than 40 illustrations in all. There are also two large maps: The World of Greek Heroes and Hercules’s 12 Stupid Tasks that look like they were created by Percy himself.

Length: About 400 pages, including the annotated list of illustrations, the 13-page index, list of the author’s middle grade books and the Background Reading page, which includes books and websites.

Format: The hardcover edition, along eBook editions  and audio editions, will be released on August 18, 2015

Recommended for: Although the book is recommended for ages 9 to 12, it won’t make sense to kids who don’t know Percy’s back story because they haven’t read Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Publisher: Disney–Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group

Publication Date: 2015

ISBN: 9781423183655