The Lightning Thief

  The Lightning Thief by The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe what kind of student Percy Jackson is. What troubles does he have in school?
  2. When describing his mother, Percy says, “She’s the best person in the world, which just proves my theory that the best people get the rottenest luck.” How does this apply to Percy’s mom?
  3. What does Percy discover about the Greek gods at Camp Half Blood? What do they have to do with the camp?
  4. After Percy learns he is a half-blood, he wonders who his own father is. He also learns that some half-bloods never find out. He says, “I thought about some of the kids I’d seen in the Hermes cabin—teenagers who looked sullen and depressed, like they were waiting for a call that would never come. I’d known kids like that at Yancy Academy, shuffled off to boarding school by rich parents who didn’t have the time to deal with them. But gods should behave better.” How would you feel if you were in Percy’s place? Would it be easier to believe your father was dead, or to know that he was alive but not communicating with you?
  5. When Percy finally learns the truth that he is the son of Poseidon, are you surprised? What hints are dropped before the revelation? How does Percy’s personality fit/not fit the god Poseidon?
  6. Why is Percy more excited about his upcoming quest to the Underworld than scared? What other feelings does he have about his assignment?
  7. What clues do Percy and his friends have that all is not right with "Auntie Em?" Why do you think they overlook them?
  8. At the Lotus Casino, Percy realizes that unless he gets out quickly, he will "...stay here, happy forever, playing games forever, and soon I'd forget my mom, and my quest, and maybe my own name. I'd be playing virtual rifleman with groovy Disco Darrin forever." What critique is the author offering of modern life? Do you agree with it?
  9. When Percy finally meets his father, Poseidon seems distant and hard to read. Percy says that he is actually glad about this. "If he'd tried to apologize, or told me he loved me, or even smiled-that would have felt fake. Like a human dad, making some lame excuse for not being around." Do you agree with Percy?
  10. Percy's trip to the Underworld does not turn out as he suspected. What do you think of Percy's decision to leave his mother behind? What does the scene in the throne room tell you about the three friends – Annabeth, Grover and Percy?
  11. How does the last line of the prophecy-you shall fail to save what matters most in the end-come true? What do you think of this ending? Did Percy make the right choice?
  12. After her return from the quest, Annabeth resolves to try again to live with her father and her stepfamily. Do you think they will all get along better now? Why? Why not? What do you predict will happen?
  13. In the end of the book, do you sympathize at all with Luke's feelings of betrayal? Is there anything you can relate to about his point of view?

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