For this fast-paced adventure that zaps characters from Greek mythology into modern times, Bernstein gets the reading rhythm just right. He conveys Riordan's notes of humor, sarcasm and downright amazement in the voice of 12-year-old Percy Jackson, a smart kid who seems to be a magnet for trouble. But one day Percy discovers that being kicked out of a different school every year and dealing with learning challenges like ADHD is nothing compared to the truth of his life: he's a demigod, the son of Poseidon. Of course, among other things, that means an action-packed mission to the Underworld to find Zeus's stolen lightning bolt and return it to Mount Olympus (specially accessed as the 600th floor in the Empire State Building). Listeners will be hanging on every zippy chapter here and will be eager to find out where Percy heads next in this planned series. Ages 10-up. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Gr 4 Up-Riordan's highly popular "Olympians" series (Hyperion/Disney) is now a graphic novel. Half-Blood Percy Jackson is the son of a mortal mother and the Greek god Poseidon, which explains why he has always felt out of place among his schoolmates. After learning of his paternity, he is charged with the dangerous mission of locating his Uncle Zeus's missing lightning bolt and returning this symbol of power to its rightful owner. Expert editing keeps the salient parts of the story intact while showcasing the additional storytelling capabilities that the graphic format allows. Excellent panel layout makes the story line easy to follow. The use of angled panels in highly dramatic action scenes is particularly effective. As readers follow Percy's adventures, they are also keenly aware of his personal struggles, as facial expressions help readers to relate to this boy "who doesn't fit in." Illustrations brilliantly illuminate the story, portraying seamless world-blending, from typical school drama and well-known U.S. landmarks to mythological elements. A man seated in one panel casually stands to reveal his true identity as a centaur, the eerie woman seated in the attic is an Oracle, and the Nereid of the undersea kingdom seems a natural part of Percy's world. This blend of mythology and magic with realistic action and adventure brings an added dimension and delightful nuances to this adaptation of the well-known novel. Both ardent followers of Riordan's books and those new to the series will not be disappointed.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.