Friday, May 16, 2008

Rick Riordan Rocks

Looks like some cool mom got shirts for her kids to decorate. What's that? You don't know who Percy Jackson is? He's the hero of a set of books by Rick Riordan. Just a normal, dyslexic, ADD kid, who discovers that not only are the Greek Gods really immortal, but he's a son of Poseidon. The first chapter of the first book is titled "I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher." The book just gets better from there.

I'm pretty sure only an 11 year old girl could get away with a shirt like this. "I like my men half god." That's a sword beneath it. Percy has a pen that turns into a sword. I had nothing to do with decorating these shirts, I was cooking dinner.

Absolutely dumbstruck at meeting her hero. I asked all the kids who they would rather meet; JK Rowling or Rick Riordan. It was unanimous - Rick Riordan. He's just too cool. (And yes, she did finally put pants on over her ballet tights when we went out.)

"I love Percy" Drama girl painted this on her friend's nails.

This was just an amazing experience. Clearly, the bookstore that hosted this signing expected about 100 kids. About 300 showed up, and *packed* themselves into a room, where you could have heard a pin drop as the author read the first chapter of his newest book. Let me add that we had record heat here yesterday and it was probably over 100 degrees in that room. To see all those kids absolutely riveted to this author was like watching some kind of powerful magic at work. Most of them were boys. One mom and I were chatting outside the door and she said "my sons think he's a rock star." It was an evening to renew hope in the literacy of our youth.

Not only that, but when Mr. Riordan was finished reading, he started giving away tee-shirts to kids who could answer questions about Greek mythology. The questions started pretty easy and got harder and harder. All 300 kids were flailing their arms in the air in their eagerness to answer them all. It was amazing what they knew. Drama Girl's friend got a shirt for correctly answering a question. I don't remember the question, but the answer was "the goddess Nike." Do *you* know who the goddess Nike was? I sure didn't.

Rock on Rick Riordan, we love your books.

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