The Highest Recommendation

My oldest son is in the 6th grade... first year of middle school. YIKES! Seeing as I'm a middle school teacher myself, I spend a good deal of my time in the world that is "perpetual adolescent strife", and the thought of having a child in the middle of that is kind of scary!

However, one comforting thing happened this year. My son made "friends" with the school librarian. She's taken a bit of an interest in him and has helped him find books to read to meet his Accelerated Reader requirements. The fact that she's a super nice lady and my son really likes and respects her is a bonus!

My son enjoys nonfiction... books about cars, dinosaurs, The Beatles, music, hunting, etc. Unfortunately, the school library isn't exactly stocked with a ton of reading material that falls into those categories. So several months ago, the librarian recommended a fiction book for him. She told him she knew he liked nonfiction, but she thought he might really like this book. Sure enough, he loved it. We discovered it was the first book of a series, and the school library didn't have the rest of the books.

So, of course, avid-reader that I am, I ordered the entire series for him.

Over Christmas break, he read all four of the remaining books, and raved about them all. He asked us about the Greek mythology that was woven through the books and if he'd have to learn about it in school. When we told him "yes", he said, "This is so cool! I'm learning while I'm reading these great books!" It was such an inspiring thing, to see him reading and loving it! It was like he got a little something from me after all!

The book the librarian recommended... The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan, book 1 of the "Percy Jackson and The Olympians" series. If you've been watching your TV at all, you've probably seen the previews for the movie "The Lightning Thief". My son is so excited to see the movie! And what am I doing? I'm reading the book, before the movie!

As I opened the book today to spend a little time reading, it occurred to me that I was reading a book recommended to me by my 11 year-old son. My how things change. And it feels good to know that he read something and loved it so much that he thinks I should read it. My hope is that the love of reading his librarian helped him discover will continue throughout his life, and he'll always know the joy of picking up a book and escaping, enjoying, and learning all at once!

And now I'm off... to spend a bit of time with Percy!


  1. I'm eager for the movie to come out, too. I've heard good things about these books.
    Much better than the Lemony Snickett books.

    And I used to love reading series. Because there was a continuity in the characters and you could see how they grew from one book to the next. Maybe you could pick his mind about that and see what he says.

    Write on,

  2. My stepson, who's in 5th grade, is looking forward to the movie and I am, too. I will have to tell him to ask the librarian about "The Lightning Thief" and the other books in the series or I'll be doing like you and finding the series to buy for him.

    He's an avid reader, too. He's getting ready to start reading "Brisingr"- He's already read Eragon and Eldest and according to his teacher during the Parent/Teacher conference earlier this year said he's reading at a 7th grade level. (Think he gets that from me cause neither his father nor his mother are big readers.)

    It just goes to show you never know where a good book recommendation can come from. Most of my reading comes from my own searches anymore.

  3. A 13 year old introduced me to these books a few months ago. They're so wonderful!!

    I read a lot of fiction written for juveniles & I'm finding a real difference between what's written for young woman & young men. Have you noticed this?

    I recently read all the published books in The Wicked Lovely Series as well as Graceling & Fire by Kristin Cashore aimed toward girls. There's a lot of sex and dark elements in these books versus Percy Jackson & Artemis Fowl aimed at boys which is more about friendships, adventure, & reconciling good/evil.

    This is just something that's been on my mind recently...

  4. Great observation, Dana. And yes, I've noticed that too. Hmmm... perhaps that's a topic for me to explore on a new blog post soon!