Greek mythology has limitless resources for storytelling. Rick Riordan masterfully taught new generations of kids and adults to appreciate and learn about Greek and Roman mythology through his Percy Jackson book series. It’s been ten years since Riordan’s The Lightning Thief was first published and I have been fortunate to receive two ‘Percy Pack’ gifts. The latest one to arrive at my door featured multiple gifts including a mug emblazoned with "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" as well as coasters, candy, and the book Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes.
Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes is a fantastic book. In the novel, Rick Riordan has retold some of the tales of ancient Greek heroes through Percy Jackson. Percy is your author, narrator and commentator as he retells twelve tales of Greek Heroes. He picks only twelve because, “that should be plenty,” according to Jackson.
Readers have a choice of exploring the origins of Perseus, Psyche, Daedalus, Theseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, Cyrene, Orpheus, Hercules, and Jason. Since this is "written" by Percy, the chapter titles are humorous with the teenage creativity, like "Perseus Wants a Hug," "Daedalus Invents Pretty Much Everything Else" and "Orpheus Takes a Solo."
Percy is allowed to be funny throughout the book no matter the tale he is recounting. In "Perseus Wants a Hug," the reader learns about the origin of Perseus — the namesake of our Percy Jackson — but we get modern day language and jokes throughout the story. Perseus returns with the freed Andromeda to her home and, during their wedding celebration, Phineas (who was promised Andromeda) protests at the wedding. Perseus cracks a joke at Phineas. “What kind of name is Phineas? Sounds like a cartoon character.” This along with Perseus getting lost while flying with his winged sandals; Percy figures Perseus must have been following Apple maps.
The humor continues throughout the tales. In "Orpheus Takes a Solo" we learn about Orpheus and how he learned to play Apollo’s lyre. He did this without asking the god’s permission, but since Orpheus made such beautiful music, Apollo was not angry and let Orpheus keep the lyre on one condition that he was not to teach anyone how to play "Stairway to Heaven."
Rick Riordan has opened up the world of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology with his books. As an avid reader of his, I thought I had read everything, but I hadn’t. Thankfully, I received a great gift in Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes and, with Percy as my guide, I can learn more about the ancient Greek heroes and gods. Combined with Riordan’s clever, amusing writing and John Rocco’s beautiful illustrations, Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes will entertain kids and their parents.
Disclosure: LaughingPlace received promotional material from Disney Publishing Worldwide regarding this title. It did not influence our review in any way.