Book Review: The Lightning Thief

by Melissa on December 23, 2009 · 2 comments

in 10-14, ATOS 4.0-4.9, Adventure, Fantasy, Good book for boys, Lexile 700-799, Made into a movie, Part of a series or set

Title: The Lightning Thief
Series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Author: Rick Riordan
Lexile: [?] 740L
ATOS Level: [?] 4.7
Parent Rating:
VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Pause for Ages: 10-14


Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.


A very interesting book that brings mythology to life.  There is a lot of violent and disturbing content, though no one piece is overly disturbing.  Not a book for a sensitive child or for below the age range.  Probably better for closer to 11 year-olds, though the density of the story will likely keep most kids away until about then.


Level 1 [?]

Sexual Content

Nothing to worry about here, really, though a young fan did ask her mom why the gods and mortals were having babies together when they weren’t married (premarital sex), in case you get asked about that. Word use: ‘maiden’ in conjunction with not having any children just in case you get asked what that means.  Male god finds human female attractive, ends with ‘How sexist is that?’


Stepfather has parties where beer is served to adults. Adult smokes cigars.


A surprising amount of stuff for a book of this age-level.  Adults (including teachers) want to harm or kill kids, death of a bad guy described as: ’smell of sulfur and a dying screech and a chill of evil in the air’ as if those two glowing read eyes were still watching me.  Multiple characters want to kill Percy, quite a bit of peril, some description of violent attacks and gruesome characters.  ‘It smelled evil down here. It made me think of things I shouldn’t even know about-blood spilled on an ancient stone alter, the foul breath of a murder.”


Stories of infidelity and some of the relationship problems the Greek gods created.  Allusion to stepfather being physically, verbally and emotionally abuse to character’s mom. Idea that your parents lie to you from birth on.  ‘My dad’s resented me since the day I was born.’ Character is kicked out of schools for getting into trouble.


As relates to Greek myths.  Evil very real and present and can harm kids.

Buy from:
buy from

Note: You can click on the key words or categories to see more info, by author, age or topic.

Book Review: The Lightning Thief, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa Taylor November 7, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I would have agreed with you about no sexual content until I started reading this book aloud to my daughter. . . now I think it merits a warning that you will need to discuss premarital sex. All the gods are having sex with mortals - and they’re not married. My daughter couldn’t figure out how that happened since they weren’t married. Just be prepared for that discussion.

Melissa November 9, 2010 at 8:05 am

Ooo, good point, Melissa! Thanks for catching that!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: