I've thought a lot about books that I would have my daughter read when she is old enough and then when we started this blog, I realized we had some potential readers that are teachers. Due to this, I am taking a departure from the usual recommendation of a young adult book filled with romance and instead encouraging everyone to read the "Heroes of Olympus" series by Rick Riordan. (This series isn't just for kids as I read this recently and clearly adore it but I am going to write this whole post with kids in mind) While I am definitely not a teacher, I have always thought that if I were to teach, English would have been my natural subject and I still think of books that would go with lessons. Weird? Maybe. But I think when you love to read, you think of all the different ways a book could be of use. So here is me playing teacher for a few minutes and suggesting to all of you out there, homeschoolers or teachers in the 'classroom'-check out these awesome books.
You may have seen or heard about the movie Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. This is the first book in the series that follows the hero Percy Jackson on various quests. Seems simple enough but the entire series is based on the premise that Percy (short for Perseus) is a demi-god, son of Poseidon. He never knew this and is suddenly plunged into a world he only thought of in mythological terms. Everything you remember about Greek Mythology and tons of stuff you never knew is incorporated brilliantly into these books. As an adult, remembering all the stuff you learned years ago and building upon that is, well, pretty cool. I simply can't say enough good things about this series. It would be perfect to introduce the initial book as a reading assignment in conjunction with teaching Greek Mythology.
It is obvious Riordan does an amazing amount of research and the way he melds old Greek lore with the 21st century is nothing short of genius. As an adult reading this, you'll have so much fun seeing how he does this, as well as getting caught up in the adventures that you're already dreading the end! Learning was never so much fun and I would have to say that this series is appropriate from about grade 6 and up. It is almost guaranteed that most readers of the first book will read the second. The book would work best after giving the kids a base of knowledge and then letting them loose with the books. Be warned, you'll want to read the books first because the kids will konw way more than you when you are done!
Of all the books I have reviewed, I sincerely hope some of you read this series and let me know what you think. I would be shocked if you didn't love it!