Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's Superhero is....Writer Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is from Texas and he used to be a high school English teacher and now he is my superhero. That's because he's convinced our dyslexic 11-year-old that reading books is worth the trouble.

Reading is like learning an instrument: the more you practice, the better you become. But children, particularly those who struggle, need a compelling reason to read. They need to know their effort will be rewarded with encountering an exciting plot, engaging characters and a mind-blowing setting. In other words, with music for their souls. Riordan offers our son that.

I started reading Riordan to L. a few years ago. The books felt way too long to him.  And then, about a year ago, he started reading Riordan on his own. He devoured the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series (about Roman gods and goddesses), and the Kane Chronicles (about Egyptian gods and goddesses; third installment this spring!). That series inspired my husband and me to take him and a posse of his pals to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Egyptian wing the summer he was 10. 

The best-selling novelist's latest book, "The Son of Neptune," was released Tuesday, October 4.  It's the second in a series of books about Greek gods and goddesses.  I told our son we'd buy it for him over the weekend.  Poor kid, he's had to exercise considerable patience, waiting me to make good on my promise.

Well, the weekend found us in the minivan, heading to upstate New York for a family wedding. L. begged us at 10 p.m. Friday night to go to Barnes and Noble to buy it for the road trip. We told him no, the store already was closed. He stomped and he cried. "Don't you have other books to read?" I asked him. "Yes," he said, the tears pouring down his cheeks. "But I have been waiting for this book."

On the drive up, L. was insistent "if we get there early, can we go to a bookstore and buy it?" We didn't get there early.

Sunday morning, as we were leaving the New Paltz Econolodge, he begged.  "Can we find a college bookstore?" No time, son. We've got to get home for your travel soccer game.

After the soccer game: "Can we go to Barnes and Noble now?" No son, it's dinner time and then an 8 p.m. Mass.

Finally, after Mass, his mean old mommy took him to Barnes and Noble. I bought a soy latte; he got the latest Riordan treasure. He read it in the parking lot on the way back to the minivan. He stayed up way past me last night, reading. The boys were off from school for Columbus Day. Our 15-year-old said he didn't heard a peep from him all day. When I returned home from work, I headed upstairs. He was on page 487.

He has no time to talk. He's reading. "It's good," he said from his perch on the upper bunk.

"What's it about?" I asked.

"Stuff," he answered, turning to page 488.


  1. Love it! Love the series, love the kids loving the book. It's all good, isn't it? I think I was more excited about this book than most anything else in media this fall:)

  2. Thank you! I'll definitely keep him in mind!