Interesting Related Facts

by Nicole Silvester

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief.

In a way, it’s nice to know there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame if things go wrong.

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In a way, it’s nice to know there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame if things go wrong.

  • Aunty Em is Medusa, a Gorgon or snake-headed woman from Greek myth. In the myth she was killed by another Perseus, who was a son of Zeus. She had been turned into a monster because Athena found her and her lover Poseidon in her temple.

A 17th century sculpture of Medusa, by Bernini. Via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Procrustes, the water-bed salesmen the characters meet, is a character from Greek myth who invited people to stay the night in his iron bed, and when they were asleep he would try to hammer them out longer or cut them down shorter to fit. He, like Percy, was a son of Poseidon.
  • The Lotus Hotel in Las Vegas, where Percy, Grover, and Annabeth are almost trapped by a happy life of playing games and forgetting, is a reference to the Land of the Lotus Eaters in Greek myth. In the Odyssey, Odysseus and his men were nearly trapped there, because lotus flowers are narcotic and make you happy and forgetful.
  • The book has been translated into numerous other languages, including Chinese, Dutch, Hebrew, Indonesian, and Serbian.
  • The Lightning Thief was made into a movie by 20th Century Fox, and released in 2010. Several changes were made to the plot and characters.
  • A scene deleted from the book, in which Percy is initiated into camp life by the other kids at Camp Half-Blood, was made available through the book’s Facebook page.
  • The Lightning Thief was a New York Times bestseller, and a New York Times Notable Book in 2005.
  • The Lightning Thief has won the following awards in the US:
  • ALA Notable Book for 2005
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book List 2005
  • Child Magazine Best Book 2005
  • Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice Award 2006
  • National Council for Teachers of English Notable Children’s Book 2006
  • Publishers Weekly National Children’s Bestseller
  • School Library Journal Best Book 2005
  • Texas Library Association Bluebonnet Award Nominee 2006
  • VOYA Top Shelf Fiction List for 2005
  • YALSA Best Book for Young Adults 2005
  • The book has also won these awards in the United Kingdom:
  • Askews Torchlight Award 2006
  • Red House Children’s Book Award 2006
  • Warwickshire Book Award Winner 2007
  • And it has won Readers’ Choice Awards from State Library Associations in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and the Pacific Northwest (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington).
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