Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth
by Rick Riordan
About the book: Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.
In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest though the Labyrinth—a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this latest book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.

About the author:
Rick Riordan is also the author of the previous books in the New York Times #1 best-selling series Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Book One: The Lightening Thief; Book Two: The Sea of Monsters; and Book Thee: The Titan’s Curse. His previous novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons. To learn more about Rick visit his website at

Where did our heroes leave off in The Titan’s Curse?  What would you tell someone about the Percy Jackson series if you wanted to them to check it out?

Questions to consider:
  1. Describe what happens at Percy’s new school? Why is it complicated by his mom? Why does he admit to Rachel his true identity?
  2. Summarize important facts that a reader of the series needs to know in order to understand it. Which details from the Greek Myths are your favorite in the story?
  3. Why do you think Annabeth is so worried about the prophecy? Why is she leading this quest into the Labyrinth? Would you be willing to go? Why or why not?
  4. What major obstacles (monsters, etc.) do the heroes face inside the Labyrinth? Which is the most frightening to you? Who must they find on their journey? Why?
  5. How does the setting of this adventure differ from the other Percy Jackson books? Why is setting such an important element to the story? Why do you think Riordan plays with the location of Olympus and other ancient locales? Which setting is your favorite from the Percy Jackson series? Why?
  6. Why do you think the myth of Icarus and Deadalus is included in the novel? How does it show us what Daedulus is capable of? In the end, does Deadalus change the most or Percy?
  7. What offer does Percy make with Geryon? How is he able to complete the task? Why does he have it even harder than Heracles did?
  8. Grove meets his hero, Pan. How does this meeting go differently than he had planned? What does he learn? Does this make any connections for you with the environmental movement or being green?How is Grover changed by the experience? When does it come into play? 
  9. Explain what the Labyrinth is exactly. Why is it so difficult? What tools help?
  10.  In chapter ten the heroes run into the Sphinx who has dropped her traditional riddles for a list of inane facts which Annabeth says “an insult to her intelligence.” How is Riordan making a commentary on high stakes testing in public schools with this scene? Is he poking fun?
  11.  Describe how Percy ends up on Ogygia? Who does he meet? Why is it a torture for her to be at that amazing location? Would you stay or go? Why?
  12.  Why does Rachel’s help become necessary to guide them through the Labyrinth? What do they run into on the way? How do the heroes escape? Would you trust this invention or not?
  13. How does Deadalus try to cheat death? Have there been any other inventions that have the same goal?
  14.  What happens to camp Half-Blood? Do you think the heroes will face even more challenges with Kronos’s army? What do you think will happen in the next story?
  15.   Which book in the series is your favorite so far? Why? What do you think are the qualities of a good series? Which character would you like to eat lunch with and interview for the school newsletter? Why?

Language Arts:
Write a letter to Percy Jackson about his adventures. Explain which parts of his story is your favorite and why. Think of important questions you’d like to ask him too!
Read another version of Icarus and Deadalus or a myth with the Sphinx and then create a venn diagram comparing the story featuring these characters in Riordan’s books to a more traditional portrait.
Design a WANTED poster for one of the villains or monsters in the story. Be sure to add details about their appearance and their last known location too.

Study the elements of flight. What does it take to build a contraption that can actually stay aloft? Build the perfect paper airplane based on what you learn and have a contest to see who could apply that knowledge best.