The Lightning Thief is a fantasy-adventure novel by Rick Riordan. It is the first of five novels in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. It is followed by The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
The concept of the novel was inspired by bedtime stories about ancient Greek heroes that Riordan told to his son, Haley, while he was growing up. Haley had been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, which prompted Riordan to create a protagonist, Percy, with ADHD and dyslexia as well.
The novel was sold at auction to Miramax Books in 2005 and was later reprinted by two other publishers, Penguin Books and Disney-Hyperion. Upon release, the novel received mostly positive reviews, with Publisher's Weekly calling it "swift and humorous." The novel received similar praise from The School Library Journal, which called it "an adventure-quest with a hip edge." It has sold over 2 million copies since publication and was adapted as a major motion picture in 2010.
The novel appeared on the New York Times Bestsellers List as well as being one of the Library Services Association's Best Books for Young Adults.