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Eighteen Books Later: How Paternal Passion Fueled Rick Riordan’s Writing Career

Book Cover of Rick Riordan's "The Blood of Olympus" Image of Greek mythological characters and columns spiraling down into a swirling oceanspriling
Book Cover of Rick Riordan’s “The Blood of Olympus”

Book Five of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series, The Blood of Olympus, was just released and is now available in Bookshare. By our count, this is Riordan’s eighteenth book about the mythical and exciting worlds of young Percy Jackson and his fellow adventurers.

Riordan’s books are highly acclaimed worldwide, but what may not be well known is his motivation for writing the first Percy Jackson story nearly ten years ago. He was driven by a force many parents understand: to help his second-grade son, who had just been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, engage in learning.

At the time, Riordan was an award-winning author of books for adults. In his previous role as a middle school teacher, Riordan taught Greek mythology. This happened to be one of the few subjects that interested his son, so it was perfect for engaging bedtime stories. However, Riordan soon found himself running out of material. It was time to get creative. So he developed the character of young Percy (who also happened to have ADHD and dyslexia). Over the course of three bedtimes, he spun the elaborate tale that later became the first installment in the Percy Jackson series. That series now consists of eight books and has spawned two additional series: the Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus.

Percy Jackson fans get their fill of adventure, but they also enjoy a crash course in Greek mythology. In fact, Riordan provides supplementary resources to encourage students to delve further into this enticing domain. Students can also learn more about the fictional Camp Half-Blood, the setting of the Percy Jackson series, as well as the intriguing world of Egyptian magic featured in the Kane Chronicles. But students are not the only ones who benefit from Riordan’s engaging online content. The author’s website provides supplemental materials to help educators capitalize on their students’ enthusiasm for his books. These resources include:

If you’re interested in a more personal connection with the author, see if The Blood of Olympus book tour is coming to a city near you!

Eighteen books later, Riordan is far from finished spinning tales of adventure. While he’s touring the country promoting his latest title, he is also beginning work on his next series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, coming in October 2015. Until then, Bookshare members can savor all of Riordan’s published works and additional content!

Christine K. Jones is Senior Education Program Manager in the Global Literacy Program at Benetech. She has a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. 

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