The Lightning Thief

Critical reception

The Lightning Thief received mostly positive reviews. The book has a rating of 4.24 out of 5 on Goodreads.[12] Common Sense Media said, "There are two levels of fun in The Lightning Thief. One is the fast-paced quest of a young hero and his friends to save the world..." and added, "Another level of fun here – laughing at the wicked ways the author has updated the gods and monsters for the 21st century".[13] However, it did criticize some aspects of the book, describing the prose as "choppy and attitude-filled" and complaining that "[t]he characters aren't emotionally involving". Its overall rating was 4 stars out of 5.[13] Numerous other reviews were more positive. The New York Times praised The Lightning Thief as "perfectly paced, with electrifying moments chasing each other like heartbeats".[14] School Library Journal said in its starred review that the book was "[a]n adventure-quest with a hip edge" and that "[r]eaders will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move".[10] Kirkus Reviews reviews said, "The sardonic tone of the narrator's voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty."[15] Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl called it "A fantastic blend of myth and modern".[16] Finally, Publishers Weekly also praised the book, regarding it as "swift and humorous" and added that the book would "leave many readers eager for the next installment."[17]

On April 8, 2007, The Lightning Thief was ranked ninth on The New York Times Best Seller list for children's books.[18] The Lightning Thief was the winner of the School Library Journal Best Book of 2005[19] as well one of the books in the Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books List, 2005.[4] It was also in the VOYA Top Shelf Fiction List[4] and was the winner of the Red House Children's Book Award Winner (UK), 2006;[4] Askews Torchlight Award (UK), 2006;[4] and the Mark Twain Award (Missouri Association of School Librarians), 2008.[4][20] It was an American Library Association Notable Book, 2006[21] and a New York Times Notable Book (2005).[22] It received the Young Reader's Choice Award in 2008[23] and the Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award in 2009.[24][25] Scholastic Parent & Child magazine also included the novel within its 100 "Greatest Books for Kids."[26] When asked about the various awards, Rick Riordan said: "The ultimate compliment for a children's writer is when the kids like it."[27]


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