Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rick Riordan Visits STL

Recommended for ages 9 to 12

On Thursday, Riordan stopped in St. Louis while on tour for his new Percy Jackson spin-off series, The Heroes of Olympus. The first book in the series, The Lost Hero, came out this past Tuesday, the 12th. The book already topped bookseller and library lists as a reserve weeks before it was due to hit shelves. The Riordan event for the St. Louis County Library was sold out—in fact, the event had to be held at a local school’s gymnasium to accommodate the massive crowd. It was incredible to see all the readers, especially the boys, ages 9 to 12 show up because they LOVE Rick Riordan’s books (notice, I use the plural)!

Ridley Pearson, a local St. Louis author, who co-wrote Peter and the Starcatchers series with Dave Barry (LOVE this series!), was on hand to introduce Riordan. I’ll admit to a starry-eyed fangirl moment when I was standing listening to both of them talk while waiting for the event to start. Pearson was awesome--he came in, walked over to the Borders table and signed all the copies of his books we had brought—even taking personalization requests while customers waited in line to purchase books.

Riordan was ushered in with huge applause—a writing rock star was in the building. Riordan explained that the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians series stemmed from his son’s interest in a unit at school on Greek myths. The protagonist’s Percy’s dyslexia and ADHD is based off Riordan’s son. Riordan decided to continue his series after Percy’s journey through Camp Half-Blood because he still has so many stories to write. The Heroes of Olympus will be a five book series that revolves around three young demi-gods—Jason, Leo, and Piper. Percy is referenced in the first book and Annabeth plays a special role as a side character.

The actual event itself started at 7 and there were still people in line getting books signed till a little after 10:30! This event was a big time commitment for parent(s), but you could tell the majority of them felt it was absolutely worth it—they were there to support their child’s reading habits. Thank you Riordan and parents—we need all the readers by choice we can get in this world.

Riordan, R. (2005-2009). Percy Jackson and the olympians series. New York, NY: Disney Hyperion.

Riordan, R. (2010). The Lost hero. New York, NY: Disney Hyperion.

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