Thursday, December 8, 2011

Heroes of the Olympus and other young adult reads...

I thought I would review a few YA novels I have been reading lately, appropriate for more sophisticated readers in my class.  I just finished the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series, The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan.  I loved it as I did the first in this series and I now am looking forward to the the third in the trilogy.  Many years ago I discovered The Lightning Thief and thanks to the movie, last year, my class were all keenly reading it.  That book turned some of my class into readers.  One of my students I actually nicknamed The Lightning Thief.  I must admit I think I read the first couple in the series but not the rest but lots of my students  read the whole series.  Then last year the kids and I discovered the Kane Chronicles.  And these were so perfect as we studied Ancient Egypt. 

In the new Heroes of Olympus series in the first book, The Lost Hero, we meet three new demi-gods, one Roman and two Greeks.  The Roman demi-god, Jason, has lost his memory, somewhat disheartening to his two friends, Leo and Piper who are Greek demi-gods.  All three find themselves transported to  Camp Half-Blood from where Percy Jackson, the lightning thief, has disappeared.  The three, Jason, Leo and Piper, end up going on a quest to once again save the world.  Their rather windy adventures take them from Quebec City to Chicago to finally near San Francisco where of course they are victorious but more battles will occur.  

In the Son of Neptune, we find Percy, who like Jason, has had a memory loss, and he finds himself in a West Coast Roman camp for Roman demi-gods.  There he teams up with two Roman demi-gods (one actually from North Vancouver) and they end up having to go to Alaska via Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.  In the last book, these six gods plus Annabeth, Percy's girlfriend, are to go to Greece for the final battle.

I thoroughly enjoyed both books and look forward to reading the third.  

I also read the sequel of The Maze Runner, , The Scorch Trials.  This  series is now a trilogy with a prequel coming out.  Again I was swept away by the story.  I often think I am not much of a fantasy or science fiction fan but then I find these books I really do enjoy.  

My current read is Bruiser.  I have read a couple of Neil Shusterman books along the way and once met him and found him very charming, a fan of our racetrack because you could watch the ocean and a horse race.  I had not read anything recently though The Schwa Was here was a favorite in my class last year.  I somehow thought of him as a humorous author, but Bruiser has humour but it is a very serious book.  Initially Tennyson is very upset because his twin sister is interested in a guy thinks he is a loser, but when he follows home he realizes the situation is much more complicated.  Told from the points of view of Tennyson, a lacross player; his sister, Bronte; and Brewster and even his younger brother, we learn that Brewster is a truly unique person sensitive beyong anything you have ever seen.  I am absolutely fascinated and really enjoying reading.  I can see why it is winning many awards. 

I am not very systematic about the books in my classroom.  I am very careful of my favorite picture books but any of the other books, I just want read.  It's always interesting what disappears, and disappear and reappear they sometimes do.  Right now Dormia has gone missing and it's a signed copy to the class.  I know these are important books.  For instance, Anne Frank's Diary is another that often seems to walk away.  Somehow it's also reassuring that there are books that still can't stay on the shelves. 

1 comment:

Luxembourg said...

The Son of Neptune was entertaining and different from the other books in the series. It was exciting to learn about how the Roman camp worked, although it would have been better if it was explained more. The characters were new and fresh. The writing was different, but still great prose.