This won't be a full-blown, professional-style review. Actually, it's more like a recommendation. The kids and I just finished listening to an enjoyable book called The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan. From the author's website:
What if the gods of Olympus were alive in the 21st Century? What if they still fell in love with mortals and had children who might become great heroes -- like Theseus, Jason and Hercules?Emily had taken a classical mythology class, taught by Jennifer Borishansky, this spring through the (newly renamed) Community Homeschool Enrichment Center. Both kids enjoy the Time Warp Trio tv show, and Emily has read probably all of the books tied to the series, so they were already familiar with Greek/Roman mythology.
What if you were one of those children?
Such is the discovery that launches twelve-year-old Percy Jackson on the most dangerous quest of his life. With the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must journey across the United States to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction – Zeus’ master bolt. Along the way, he must face a host of mythological enemies determined to stop him. Most of all, he must come to terms with a father he has never known, and an Oracle that has warned him of betrayal by a friend.
Thomas wasn't interested in listening to the story, but since we were playing the CDs in the car, he didn't have much choice. After the first chapter, though, he was asking to listen to more, every time we got in the car. We loved hearing about the modern trials of the gods and the heroes. And during art camp this past week, I couldn't help but notice that both Emily and Thomas named one of their creations for either Chaos or Tartarus, both subjects brought up in the book.
The tone of the book is a humorous one, but the kids do face danger in the form of monsters and other gods or creatures from the story. The book is recommended for ages 10 and up, probably for vocabulary rather than the theme. There are two more books in the series so far, and we're waiting to pick up the second one from the library!