by Rick Riordan
I’m Team Harry. Like many kids (and adults), I have been caught up in the epic sweep of the Harry Potter series. The publication of each book was a significant event for me and I have read each one numerous times, both on my own and with my kids, reveling in the characters, the linked plots and the fierce imagination.
But I’m Team Percy too. Rick Riordan is smart enough to have created a world and characters that live and breathe in their own right and he does it without taking himself or the Greek gods too seriously; he has a lightness of touch and quirky humor that I think J. K. Rowling sometimes lacks. The nonstop action also makes the books appealing; as my son said “there’s loads more fighting and monsters”. And at the same time the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has created a craze for Greek mythology that Zeus would be proud of.
As a librarian, I also find it a little easier to recommend appealing books to kids who are looking for the next Percy Jackson. For a start, Riordan is way more prolific than J. K. Rowling – giving fans plenty to get their teeth into. Since completing Percy Jackson, he’s overseen The 39 Clues series, started The Kane Chronicles, which feature Ancient Egyptian gods, and published The Lost Hero, the first book in a post-Percy Camp Half-Blood series.
And then there are also many other well-written books and series that feature kids and Greek mythology including Pandora Gets… by Carolyn Hennesy, Corydon by Tobias Druitt, The Cronus Chronicles by Anne Ursu, and Iris, Messenger by Sarah Deming. And some great books about Greek mythology from the straightforward D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths to graphic novels like Michael Townsend’s Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders.
So are you (or your kids) Team Harry or Team Percy?