The Lightning Thief

Chapter Book

Bibliographic Information: Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. New York: Miramax Books, 2005.

Plot Description:
Percy Jackson is just a normal kid who gets into trouble a lot. He is attacked by one of the three Furies (who previously had been his algebra teacher) on a school field trip, and overhears his best friend Grover talking with their Latin teacher Mr. Brunner talking about him. Percy and his mother Sally visit the beach, and, oddly, Grover shows up and tells them they have to leave. They make it almost to a safe place, when Sally disappears after being attacked by the Minotaur. Percy kills it and takes its horn, passing out. He wakes up in “Camp Half-Blood”, a place where children of the Greek gods are supposed to be safe. Mr. Brenner is actually Chiron the centaur. Percy is claimed by Poseidon. At the last Solstice, Zeus’ thunderbolt had been stolen, and he blames Percy, as a son of Poseidon. Percy goes on a quest to find the bolt, bringing Grover, who turns out to be a satyr, and Annabeth, a daughter of Athena. They travel across the America to the west coast, where Hades lives, because they think he took the bolt. They encounter Ares, who gives them both a threat and a backpack full of supplies. Hades denies such action, claims his own healm of darkness had been stolen at the solstice, and reveals that the bag Ares had given them was the sheath for the bolt, and had the thunderbolt within it. He tries to take it, bargaining Percy’s mother, but the kids escape. Bolt in hand, they travel back to New York, New York, the current physical location of Mount Olympus. Percy meets his father for the first time and gives Zeus his bolt. Percy returns to camp, and then to his mother.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 740; Accelerated Reader: 4.7

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on the adventures of Percy and his friends. It teaches about Greek mythology. The text is 4th grade reading level.

Content Area: English

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #5 Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts; #8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great chapter book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to 3rd grade through 5th grade. It explores themes like friendship and adventure.


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