Why You Should Read Rick Riordan's Books Now!
Non-Spoilery Top 3 Reasons!
Author Rick Riordan has written numerous best-sellers that hold a place in many reader's hearts. If you haven't picked up any of his books, here's a list of why you should give them a shot. So, let's pretend those movies didn't exist and go into the beauty that are the Percy Jackson books and the series that make up the "Riordanverse." No matter your age, these are the types of books which could find a place in your heart too.
Witty Chapter Titles and Writing Style
Alright, I cannot talk about these books without mentioning the chapter titles. I mean, don't you ever get tired of those plain, old numbered chapters or the weirdly vague titles that are supposed to be intriguing or something but really come off as annoying? Ugh. But seriously, with Rick's chapter titles you don't ever be bored when reading. How can you not want to read a chapter titled, "Nico Buys Happy Meals For the Dead," or "I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom," And then, of course, there aren't even typical titles in the Trials of Apollo series. The series that takes place in the same universe of Percy Jackson that stars the Olympian God Apollo as he quests to regain his place back with the gods, features haiku poems instead of the usual titles. Way to go, Rick! Get a load of this one from chapter 10 from the first book of the planned-to-be 5 book series:
"My bus is in flames
My child is older than me
Please, Zeus, make it stop"
I'd also like to include that the humor and pacing is very well done. The characters in each book are quirky and you'll find yourself enjoying the way it's written whether it's first person P.O.V. or in third person. The writing is just that engaging!
Who would have thought you could learn a course load of stuff from a bunch of children's books? The majority of what I know of Greek mythology is purely based on the Percy Jackson series. The way that Rick incorporates ancient gods and monsters into the modern world makes reading about them both interesting and relatable. Like, the sun god Apollo driving around in his sun chariot/ Maserati convertible? Heimdall, the Norse guardian of the Bifrost rainbow bride obsessed with taking selfies? Brilliant! And who knew that George Washington was son of Athena and Harriet Tubman a daughter of Hermes? Okay, so maybe those weren't historically accurate, but props for creative liberty! What better way to get kids interested in mythology? At least I had background knowledge in Greek mythology, but I knew next to nothing about the Egyptian gods or Norse gods. (Apart from the Thor films that is...) Reading about the mythology in books like these only makes you want to learn about them more. I don't know how many people have told me that they took mythology classes in high school and college after reading Percy Jackson or the Kane Chronicles. Riordan's books can nurture a love of learning especially in young people. It also doesn't hurt that he used to be a teacher!
Representation, Diversity, and Characters
I can guarantee anyone reading Rick's books will find something in the characters to relate to. I can honestly say that nobody has done representation better in children's books than Rick Riordan. People should want their children to read these books just to open their minds at an early age and give them a place to feel represented in. Many children's authors wouldn't dare to indirectly hint a long time character as gay, much less directly state it. Well, Rick did. For those of you who haven't read these wonderful books, I'll hold on to that character's name, but Rick did it again with not a book later, hinting towards that character in a gay relationship. Then, he surprised (and gave us the feels!) us all over again when, in a continuing series, he revealed the couple to be canon! But, wait, it doesn't stop there if you can believe it. He expands LGBTQ+ representation for kids in his Magnus Chase series with the immediately popular Alex Fierro, who fiercely declared that she's a she unless she says otherwise in her first appearance. Yes, Alex Fierro is genderfluid. I personally haven't even read about a genderfluid character in literature, and there's Rick Riordan, breaking barrier after barrier. Alex's character especially got a lot of acclaim from fans and Riordan stated that he wants kids reading his books to feel accepted and represented. He does an amazing job of writing diverse characters like Alex in a respectful and appropriate way. Apart from LGBTQ+ rep, Rick has incorporated an abundance of racially, culturally, and now even religiously diverse characters. We've got Cherokees, Latinos, Chinese-Canadians, Arabic, Biracial characters and more! Most characters are POC (Persons Of Color) and there's even a Muslim characters. A lot of his characters have gone through relevant and relatable hardships and many young readers can relate to that in some way. He's even taken the liberty of including one of the main characters as deaf. He doesn't leave out handicapped or even children with learning disabilities out, considering all demigods have ADHD and Dyslexia. Rick Riordan's shown how much you can touch kids' lives through the content you put up and he's not afraid to do so!
This is by no means the extent of the books that make up the Riordanverse and if you want to delve into the magic, I'm sure you'll figure that out immediately. From the rounded characters that you can't help but ship with one another, and want to be best friends with in real life, to the moments that make you feel all the feels, I can guarantee that there is something for everybody in Rick Riordan's books, so what are you waiting for? If you haven't already, pick these books up and give them a shot.