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[YRP Students' Essays] Connection within Isolation in Riordan's The Lightning Thief

I recently finished the book The Lightning Thief, which was one of the best adventure books I have read. Rick Riordan, the author, clearly illustrates a life of a twelve-year-old boy. Percy Jackson is the main character of this book, and he uses sarcasm a lot, and that reminds me of the days when I was twelve years old. This book also contains a lot of action that made me want to read more. That is why I got involved in the book immediately when I started the book.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

In the beginning of the book, Percy is attacked by his math teacher. The math teacher turned out to be a monster, and Percy was a son of Poseidon, the god of the sea. After finding out about his real father and his powers, Percy's life changes dramatically. He was accused of stealing Zeus' master lightning bolt, and he and his friends travel to the Underworld to find out who the real thief was. This book is about Percy and his friends' overcoming many problems that come in their way.

I think the theme of this book is isolation. Percy is kicked out of many schools because of his two learning disabilities. He feels like an outsider at every school. I think people will become angry and cold when they feel lonely. That is why Percy got into many fights in school. However, when a person has a connection with other people or has a place in the world, they become full of courage and possibilities. At the end of the book, Percy fights with Ares, the war god. Percy could not have fought Ares if he did not have his friends with him.

Is Isolation a good thing in this story? Demigods are kids whose parent is a god. Monsters attack them, so demigods endanger the lives of people around them. That is why demigods are isolated from normal people. However, I think isolation leads to violence, and connection with other people leads to peace. Luke, a kid in the camp where demigods go, betrays his father who is a god and helps the Titans rise. He betrayed his father because he was not cared for by his father. I believe this betrayal would not have happened if Luke's father had cared about him more. This book teaches the importance of connections between people.

The only problem that I had with The Lightning Thief is that it contained too much action. Although I like action, this book had action after action, and sometimes I thought that all it had was action. This book is written in the first person point of view, so the story could have contained more internal feelings of Percy. For this reason, I would rate this book eight out of ten.

Overall, I thought this book was good. The Lightning Thief has been made into a movie, so I want to check out the movie version too. I wonder how it will look, because many people say books are better than the movie versions.

Child Research Net would like to thank the Doshisha International Junior/Senior High School and Kei Muto, student and author, for permitting reproduction of this article on the CRN web site.

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