RICK Riordan is one of, if not the biggest, names in middle-grade fiction currently and that is because, since the release of the very first Percy Jackson and the Olympians book in 2005, he has never stopped making the effort to relate to the age group.

The best children’s authors are not those who simply throw out the expected moral lessons and what they feel their intended audience should be told, but who understand how much more than that could be expressed, and that fun stories have the capacity to be equally valuable.

With a focus on bringing Greek mythology to modern life, Riordan has been presenting comedy, daring adventures and, vitally, respect for their complex emotions and minds to young people since I was a baby.

Many of these have taken on the perspectives of other characters, but now, with the Disney+ television adaptation of this very series coming out in December and a trailer released only last week, it’s the perfect time to hear from Percy Jackson again.

Percy Jackson is the half-mortal son of the Greek god of the ocean, Poseidon, and it is not as glamorous as it sounds. Since he was 12 years old, Percy and his fellow demigod girlfriend Annabeth and part-goat (or satyr) best friend Grover, have saved the world more times than they can count.

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Over the years, they’ve discovered that not only are monsters naturally drawn to the magic in their blood, but that the Gods view them as the perfect team to send on dangerous quests where they’ll need to use all their wits (or control over water) to make it out alive.

However, Percy Jackson is about to face his most harrowing challenge yet – getting into college. Between ADHD, dyslexia and battling Medusa, his time in traditional schooling has not been the easiest, but in the magical environments, such as New Rome University, everything that mortals see as flaws in him are actually strengths.

This particular aspect of the books has called to myself and many other neurodivergent and disabled pre-teens over the years as a reminder that only the wrong environments and people will make you feel small.

However, as our hero moves toward this exciting next phase of his life, there’s one problem.

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Percy must get letters of recommendation from three gods, earned by completing three new quests, and he has to do it all before the application deadline of winter break.

While the themes and style stay within what would be expected of Riordan’s traditional 8-12 fantasy adventure and remain appropriate for a new generation of fans of this core group. there is plenty at the story’s heart for older fans.

At 17, his whole world is changing in ways it never has before and even though he’s literally stopped it blowing up, this feels different.

This is a novel to unite the hit of nostalgia and warmth for those who remember Percy’s first adventures and new fans just catching up.