I watched the Percy Jackson movies when they came out and vowed I was never going to watch them again. They were awful, they butchered a book series I enjoyed, and it was especially frustrating after the Harry Potter books started out as portraying the books so well.* But, my boys went to a Percy Jackson themed birthday party and found out about the book and the movie, and we were studying ancient history last year, so what better time to torture myself with the Percy Jackson movie?
(there are a million affiliate links in here, maybe not a million)
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, the book
[Going to add in picture of my child reading the book later because I apparently gave away all of my physical copies since I bought digital copies]
Percy Jackson is a 12-year-old boy being raised by his Mom and step-dad. Towards the end of the school year, weird things start happening, and his Mom says he HAS to go to Camp Half-Blood. There Percy learns his father is Poseidon, yep THAT Poseidon, and the Greek gods are about to go to war over Zeus’ stolen master bolt if Percy and his friends can’t find it before the summer solstice.
It also sets up the rest of the series with hints of future plots and all sorts of fun stuff.
When to read Percy Jackson
I’ve got an online friend, whose blog just went private, so not going to link to her, who let her daughter read the books very early. She’s a voracious reader, and I think she might have even read them in second grade. We’ve had a couple of discussions on why I waited to have my kids read Percy Jackson.
I started off wanting to wait until my kids were old enough to talk through some of the ethical stuff put forth with Greek gods being real and having affairs with mortal women and men. There are a lot of things to unpack because in the actual Greek myths the Greek gods don’t come off so good.
Now, I’m even more hapy I waited because by the time we read the Percy Jackson books they had the whole background of having studied Greek mythology. Before we’d read the books, we’d been reading books on Greek mythology and watching through all of the Greek mythology videos I’d collected.
Then our family campaign had the kids researching Greek mythology and the Odyssey, so they knew Greek mythology cold when we started reading the books.
I’ve seen the arguments reading the Percy Jackson books started kids learning about Greek mythology, so you can go either way. For my kids, as they reached different characters, they would be yelling at Percy, “Don’t go there! He’s a terrible guy!”
Percy Jackson book club snacks
Even if I swore I was never going to watch those stupid Percy Jackson movies again, I did have fun brainstorming snacks. We watched both Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters.
In case you were wondering, my kids even complained they were bad.
They really truly are. It was one of the few times my kids threatened to throw stuff at the TV. I almost fell asleep while watching.
I truly hate the Percy Jackson movies.
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- Silla- the hot dog octopus squid with spaghetti noodles, my kids didn’t touch these, but I’ve heard some kids love them
- Fleece- giant bowl of mashed potatoes, that we went through so much of
- Drachma- Nilla wafers
- Hippocampi- rainbow goldfish
- Celestial bronze- rolos
- Chronos bits- extreme sour chewy tarts, this was a big hit with my kids
- Cannon balls- Whoppers
- Ambrosia- fancy cakes (ha ha ha ha ha, you have to see the smallest size Amazon lets you order), I did find this recipe for ambrosia squares, but I was solo-parenting that week, and just didn’t want to add in yet another thing.
- Medusa- meatballs, yeah…. I think the kids were thinking the meatballs could be a very ugly face? Either way that bowl was empty by night’s end
- lightning- I used the caterpillar cookie cutter with my sugar cookie recipe to make these and some yellow food dye added to frosting
- Aphrodite- chocolate hearts, we watched this around Valentine’s Day, so chocolate hearts were everywhere, instead I linked to Dove chocolates because those feel like Aphrodite to me
- swords- pretzel sticks dipped in yellow candy melts
- Hades- in the book, he had a Helm of Shadows, so I’d probably do marshmallows dipped in chocolate because it has the right shape
Percy Jackson book club discussion ideas
Obviously, there are all the fun Greek mythology bits to dive into. I just thought of this as I’m writing, but it would be fun to put a poster board up, and as you encounter bits of Greek mythology put them up on the poster board.
First, if you want to go more for the fun ideas, try these Percy Jackson birthday parties with some fun games:
But, if you’re like me, and want to turn this into a Percy Jackson book club or Percy Jackson unit study, here’s what we did, in reality reading the books was just the icing on our Greek mythology unit:
Greek mythology books- huh, I need to put that one together
We talked about the books a lot, how we agreed and disagreed with the representations of the different Greek gods, or the characters from different myths. We critiqued the choices the characters made and why we agreed or disagreed with them.
Since we were listening to these as audiobooks, one of us would pause the book and start talking.
But, a bunch of people did some amazing stuff for a Percy Jackson Unit Study.
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief from Confessions of a Homeschooler
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Novel Study (sample)
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Unit Study (more of a traditional unit study, inter-disciplinary and all that)
More 6th grade Ideas
- How to interview an adult (part of Cover Story)
- Why do birds have different beaks?
- Redwall book club
- 6th grade curriculum
- Mount Saint Helen volcano eruption
Or if you’re like me and it doesn’t occur until 8th grade
- Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Worldview Unit
- Why were the American Colonies Founded webquest
- 8th grade homeschool curriculum
- Ancient Sumeria booklist
* Seriously, what is up with making movies of a book series, and completely destroying the first movie in the series so that you can NEVER make a sequel movie. When they finally did decide to make the sequel movie, they had so much catch up, and they doubled down on some of their mistakes. Just to give you an idea of how annoying this is, I share with you this video (warning there is a LOT of cussing in here, so preview this before showing it to any kids, but his videos can be fun)