A Myth is as Good as a Mile

Like another Fox, I have been in quite a rush the last few weeks and neglected to get either a guest or do a properly thorough book review.

But I have had one series in mind on which to make comments. As I have mentioned before, my grandson and I read many of the same books…sometimes I start him on one or he asks me to read one; often, we’ll read a series together, a Young Adult series.

One such series is the “Percy Jackson” series by Rick Riordan, which was a find of his.

Percy Jackson’s story starts when he turns thirteen. He had been living with his mother and his hostile stepfather. He manages to get into a great deal of trouble, although it never seems to be of his doing. Through a turn of events, he finds that his real father is a Greek god, and that all the legends are basically true. Not only are the gods real, so are all the other beings which had seemingly fallen into myth. Many are after him to destroy him, some have been watching out for him without his knowledge.

Normally, (since I am a Christian), I would be turned-off by much of this. However, with all of the demonic and dark literature,(I am being generous with that word), around for young people, I was pleased to see that in this case there are many good values that are held sacred…and wrong is wrong no matter who the perpetrator may be.

The stories of Percy Jackson take place in the modern-day world. The Greek gods are shadows of their former selves and their powers are weakened. Many of Percy’s friends and acquaintances are also demi-gods, or creatures of mythology.

In another time and place I may have also been upset with all of the casual, temporary alliances/dalliaces that lead to all the demigods, (and these being taught to the young folk), but this is so much of what many of our young people are facing today: half-siblings, the half-siblings of their own half-siblings and step-siblings, plus loss of direction. So many kids are simply not being led down the straight and narrow. Choices are vague to them, values are unclear. So much around them may lead them astray; so many movies and shows extol ugliness and bad choices.

The Percy Jackson stories encourage, well, courage, plus self-confidence, generosity, team-work, the betterment of ones’ self and the fight against selfishness and evil. There is always appreciation of goodness. They are all set in enough action and plot twists to keep the readers interested…and kindness, consideration, honesty, trust and truth triumph over evil and no bad deed is ever excused, rewarded or glorified.

I would recommend this series to any YA reader… the young and those with whom they have a good repore.

[UPDATE: Since I have read all of the Percy Jackson and the Olympian books,I still recommend those.However, I have reservations about whole-heartedly recommending The Heroes of Olympus series. Adults please read through and judge for yourself.]

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About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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10 Responses to A Myth is as Good as a Mile

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Thanks so much for the description! I don’t have any grandkids in that age range (the first set is older and the second set isn’t reading yet), but it sounds like a great series for Young Adult audiences.

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    • I think so, Patty. Kids get involved with characters they can relate to, and the books have enough male and female characters stepping up that I think many readers would have their best inclinations reinforced by them. I’d say the range would be good readers at least 9 to 14 or more, if they simply like the series.

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  2. jeff7salter says:

    sounds like a terrific series and one that at least of my grandkids might enjoy.
    I love your description — which quite succinctly says what I’ve been struggling to express recently about children’s literature in a different context:
    “…stories encourage, well, courage, plus self-confidence, generosity, team-work, the betterment of ones’ self and the fight against selfishness and evil. There is always appreciation of goodness. They are all set in enough action and plot twists to keep the readers interested…and kindness, consideration, honesty, trust and truth triumph over evil and no bad deed is ever excused, rewarded or glorified…”
    Very well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joselyn says:

    I read the first one, thinking my kids might like it, but it was too old for them. I thought the premise and the connections to Greek mythology were fun, especially for a classics buff.

    It’s great that you are reading the same books as your grandson. You get to share a special experience that way.

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    • Yes, Joselyn, it has made him quite good literary critic! When he was a very small baby, he insisted on being read to a great deal,(I read to his father and other son for a very long time). He started writing stories when he was in Kindergarten. We have a good time discussing books.I hope it continues, especially now that he is moving out of town.

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  4. J.Q. Rose says:

    Thank you for this rundown of the Percy Jackson series My 11 year old grandson has completed every one of the books including the newest one which he received for his May birthday. His eyes sparkle when he talks about these books. Now I’m thinking I should read a few just to see what’s so special about them myself. My only worry is what will he read next? I don’t know if any other books will measure up.

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    • No, maybe not up to the Percy Jackson ones but Riordan has other series,including based on Egyptian mythology;the library just called to tell me the third book is in…my grandson ordered it to be held for me!
      There are a few others out there, including the Artemis Fowl books.Unfortunately, many don’t give Artemis enough time to redeem himself;(he starts out as an evil genius). SPOILER:By the end of the series, all is good.
      Thank you so much for stopping to comment!

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  5. I had planned to read it with my daughter but she didn’t care for the first book. I bought my younger brother the newer series ( the Valhalla one) by the same author for Christmas. He seems to think it is better. I might borrow it from him.

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    • I haven’t gotten to those but my grandson really liked the Kane Chronicles[Egyptian] trilogy and I am reading the last one.Personally, I prefer the Percy Jacksons and want to read the sequels. Your daughter may like the Kane books better, since it features young women more.

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