Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Titan's Curse, by Rick Riordan

I devoured this book in less than 24 hours. It was fun, entertaining, fast-paced, and once again full of crafty allusions to ancient greek myths. I particularly enjoyed the whole story line of Artemis and her maidens. I think it was fabulous how Rick was able to capture the devastating pains of changing from a strong girl into a confused, self-doubting teenager. If given the option, I would have chosen to be a huntress. No doubt.

Here's something I've been mulling over, ever since handing my copy off to one of my strongest readers: why can I only get two or three of them to dive into this series? It's soooo good and fun and full of action. My whole class enjoyed reading The Lightning Thief together. It's just the kind of series that will yank their reading fluency firmly up into the realm of "college-track" middle school levels. Maybe most of them just can't handle such demanding text yet, but why not? They read a lot. They like books. They have decent sized vocabularies. There's a huge missing link, though, either in my instruction, in my thinking, or in my students' motivation. How many comic books does it take to get their reading strong enough for a series like this? Am I wishing for too much too soon?

4 comments:

TRMite said...

I think it's the content. the whole mythology part might feel a bit foreign and so when you read book one, that could be overcome because you were reading it aloud. for those comics fans though, consider this book: Pantheon High Vol. 1: Demigods & Debutantes from Tokyopop.

amy said...

good point, re: the mythology content. it creates a big obstacle if a kid doesn't have much background or interest in the greek myths. thanks for the rec.

Camille said...

I know the book had a slow build at the school where I used to do my library thing. I am still in touch with friends and the new librarian there.

A few of the strong readers and the GT mythology kids grabbed it first.

Then the 5th grade reading teacher decided to use it as a novel unit because it was a Tx Bluebonnet book. Well, the kid were blown away and pretty soon it was THE book to read in 5th grade.

The teacher is wonderful and did not "ruin" the book with hideous vocabulary word quizzes etc. I think her teaching support was crucial for some of the lower kids. They must have felt such pride to be included in the "cool" book. (Sometimes they differentiate novels for reading levels and the lower classes always want to read what the higher classes are reading.)

I think the kids were amazed to be reading a book with that much action.

After that unit, the mythology books were never on the shelf again, the librarian told me.

I wish I could have been in the classroom to see what she did with it. I have never seen an entire group so caught up in a novel. It was sweet.

Anonymous said...

I read the book in less then a day also, but I must agree with the previous people. The mythology stuff can be confusing and also hard to follow. You would have to know at least something about Greek Mythology before you started reading any of these books. Though for those who are reading this comment, once you read the first book the rest are easy to follow. Sort of. Sence Percy is so ignorant of Greek Mythology also there is alot of explaining of who is who and what they did.