Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian
by Rick Riordan

About the book:
All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits the evil Titan’s power only grows.
While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time. In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

About the author:
Rick Riordan is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series for children and the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults. For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.
His adult fiction has won the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. His short fiction has appeared in Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
His Percy Jackson series features a twelve-year-old dyslexic boy who discovers he is the modern-day son of a Greek god. The Lightning Thief was a New York Times Notable Book for 2005. Film rights have been purchased by Twentieth Century Fox and a feature film is in development. The Sea of Monsters was a Child Magazine Best Book for Children for 2006 and a Publishers Weekly and BookSense national bestseller. The third title, The Titan’s Curse, made the series a #1 New York Times bestseller, and the fourth title, The Battle of the Labyrinth, had a first printing of one million copies. Rick is also the author of The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones, another #1 New York Times bestseller. Film rights for The 39 Clues have been purchased by Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks.
Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and two sons.

Author interview:

  1. You left the door open a crack for a new series featuring half-bloods. Can your fans look forward to a new series?
  2. How has writing the Percy Jackson books changed you as a writer?
  3. What do you hope kids take away from reading this series?

Discussion Guide:

  1. Describe what happens aboard the Princess Andromeda. What choice did Beckendorf make? Why? What’s the most difficult choice you’ve ever made?
  2. “All I knew was that I was supposed to make a decision that would decide the fate of the world—but no pressure.” How would you feel about having this prophecy hang over your head? Would you try to avoid decisions or go boldly in to them?
  3. Would you want to visit Poseidon’s palace? What would be the best part of being immortal? What would be the worst? What are the challenges and rewards of being a half-blood?
  4. Discuss the major conflicts Percy faces in the novel. Which ones seem insurmountable? How does he handle the pressure? Where do you think he should focus his skills and resources?
  5. Why are things so intense at Camp Half-Blood? What qualities in the campers are making cooperation even more difficult? Would you rather have gone to the Caribbean with Rachel?
  6. Why do you think Percy needed to meet Hestia and get his mom’s blessing? Percy is putting his trust in Nico, son of Hades. Do you think this is a wise idea? How do you know whom to trust?
  7. Why is Nico willing to trick Percy just for information? Why is it necessary to show how all the gods are divided about the conflict? How does this set Percy up to be the hero? Would you want to be the hero or not? Why?
  8. Why does Percy bathe in the River Styx? How does he keep his mortality in tact? What does this tell us about Annabeth? What is your Achilles heel? Who would you trust to know what it is?
  9. Hestia tells Percy that he must understand the family of his enemy to defeat them. Do you agree with this? Why would this be important?
  10.  As Percy prepares for battle with Kronos he takes stock of his assets and weaknesses. What powers, weapons and creatures (Mrs. O’Leary, perhaps) would you most like to have on your side for a mythical-sized battle for Mt. Olympus?
  11.  Describe the battle for Williamsburg Bridge. Which part was most exciting? How does Annabeth once again prove her loyalty to Percy?  Do you have someone in your life that would take the knife for you?
  12. Why had Hades cursed the Oracle of Delphi? Do you blame him? Why does he not blame Zeus himself? Do you think Percy should tell Nico what happened to his mother or not?
  13. Why do you think Prometheus offers Pandora’s pithos to our hero? Do you think Percy would ever open it? Would you be able to leave it closed? What would happen if he did open it?
  14.  Does Luke deserve pity or rage? When do people become responsible for overcoming whatever happened to them as children? When does a tragic childhood become an excuse? How could being soft on Luke prove fatal for Annabeth and Percy?
  15. What was May Castellan’s fate? If you were given the opportunity to see the future would you do it?  Would you accept a quest from the oracle?
  16.  Percy and his cohorts battle a series of monsters and gods. Which scene is your favorite? What does Riordan do to create such exciting action sequences? How can you apply this to your own writing?
  17.  Dionysis explains to Percy that if Olympus fails…“Art, law, wine tastings, music, video games, silk shirts, black velvet paintings—all the things that make life worth living will disappear.” What would be on your list? Why do the gods need humans and heroes?
  18.  Why did Silena Beauregard lead the Ares cabin into battle with the drakon? What was the result? How did she set things right by her willingness to join the fray? How does Clarisse take the discovery?
  19.  Describe Percy’s plan for the final battle between Kronos and the half-bloods. How does Poseidon help? What other gods come to help in the battle? In the end, what is the choice that the prophecy spoke of? Who is the hero?
  20.  How do the Olympians reward Percy, Annabeth, Grover and the other half-blood heroes for their service? What is the fate of Rachel? Who do you think gets the best reward? Why doesn’t Percy accept his? Would you?


Language Arts:

As you read create a cause and effect graphic organizer based on the choices that characters make along the path to the final battle. Use this as a springboard to your discussions.

Riordan set up a new quest with Rachel’s first prophecy. Write the first battle the seven half-bloods face.

Draw, paint or sculpt one of the monsters that Percy and his comrades face during the battle for Mt. Olympus based on the description from the book and your excellent imagination.