I picked this up to read because the movie is coming out and I like reading the book prior to the movie and because it seemed like all the kids read and loved it. And they have good reasons to love it.Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is a troubled kid. He’s been bounced around to different schools. When he was a kid, strangers tried to kidnap him. Strangers with three eyes. This time, he’s at Yancy Academy and they head out for a field trip. Percy’s worried. Percy Jackson and field trips do not mix because trouble always seems to happen there. And trouble manages to find him. His math teacher tries to kill him and he kills her with a pen turned sword. But this is just the beginning… It turns out Percy Jackson is a demigod. A son of Olympus. And something important is missing from Olympus and he’s the prime suspect. Together with a satyr and a daughter of Olympus, they set out on a modern-day quest.I can see why the kids are speeding their way through this. It was fast-paced with action and humor mixed in and sprinkled with greek/roman mythology. Percy’s voice is unique and utterly compelling. He’s witty, sarcastic, and utterly real. He’s very much a reluctant hero. He doesn’t accept his heritage right away and rails at his father for abandoning his mom and him. And for the girls, there’s Annabeth, this smart, sharp daughter of Athena who wants so much to see the world. I love the way Rick Riordan explains Greek mythology in this modern world. Olympus is the 600th floor of the Empire State Building and the entrance to the underworld is in Los Angeles. All in all, a fresh take on the classic myths.