Taking the Time
Cue the Chinese take-out and glass of red wine. Mr. Pumpkinhead and I curled up on the couch to finish the last 150 pages of the book. Here ya go, folks, my opinion on one of the latest trends in young adult lit.
I would like to start by giving major props to the author. What I love about Rick Riordan books is that they get kids to love mythology and that boys love to read these books. These are two incredible feats and as a teacher I say - Thank you, Mr. Riordan, for making my job easier!
The Red Pyramid explores the world of Egyptology, something I know very little about. The book almost reminds me of a kid version of those, in my opinion, awful Dan Brown books and this actually makes me sad to see a similarity. The difference I see is that Dan Brown books are written for adults, but at an 8th grade reading level. These books are written at an 8th grade reading level, and children as young as 8 are reading them! What reminds me of Dan Brown, and the one redeeming quality I found in the DaVinci Code series, is Rick Riordan's ability to pique your curiosity about a subject that is intriguing, full of mystery, and just barely public knowledge. The book welcomes you into the world of Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and other pharaohs and gods that I would never have heard of before reading. As Carter and Sadie Kane (the inter-racial siblings leading the way in this book) learn about the world of Egyptology, we are brought along with them They learn to read heiroglyphics, come head to head with an army of ancient Egyptian gods, discover important buildings and structures (did YOU think that the Washington Monument was a portal into the ancient Egyptian world that is still alive below us??) and even learn a lesson or two about how to be a good sister and brother.
I am not someone who was looking to know more about the world of ancient Egypt but the book soars through some amazing adventures and made me, as it will you, want to google some names. I can see why all my kids love these. If I were to recommend this or The Lightning Thief, I would probably go with this one, just because I had more background knowledge of the Greek gods in LT and I feel like this book taught me more.
Big thanks to Tommy (one of my third grade students who left me the post-it note, "Read the red peramid) and my nephew Josh for the book recommendation!
P.S. Now I can finally start The Hunger Games series without feeling guilty!