Tag Archives: Percy Jackson

The Most Important Thing a Child Should be Doing

When a child reads a book they view it as a type of mirror world—as if by magic they become the main characters, living and breathing in that character’s mind. Gender holds no boundaries when it comes to this mirror world. Whether they are a boy or a girl, when they read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, they become Harry Potter. When they read The Lightning Thief, they are Percy Jackson. The mirror world is not only beneficial to children because they get to learn about new places, but they get to experience emotions and situations they otherwise might not get to experience. The mirror world is why reading is the most important thing a child should be doing.

81zdSFzJh+LRecently I read a fantastic middle-grade book entitled, Wonder, by R. J. Palacio. This book is about an eleven-year-old boy named August Pullman (Auggie) who was born with mandibulofacial dysostosis, a very rare facial deformity. The book is written in first person so you really get to see into the mind of Auggie and how much others struggle with his face. People cringe, shy away, even scream when they see him. As I stepped into the mirror world and saw things the way Auggie did, I began to feel things I have never felt before. I was suddenly more aware of how I spoke to others and how I treated them. I wanted everyone to feel important. So often children don’t see how their looks and words can hurt others. One of the best lines from the book is: “… sometimes you don’t have to be mean to hurt someone.” Empathy is learned in the mirror world.

The mirror world can not only help children learn to feel what others go through, it can help children overcome fears and challenges. Bullying is something that happens all the time and there’s not much parents and teachers can do to stop it. The best way to extinguish the problem is the victim empowering themselves. The mirror world can do that. I was ecstatic when two years ago I received an email from one of my readers who had been dealing with a bully issue at school. readingThey said after they read about Kaelyn’s experience in The Dream Keeper they felt they could stand up to their bully. Reading had empowered them and their problems with the bully went away. They learned to stand up for themselves through a book! I think that’s amazing.

As parents, as teachers, as librarians, as human beings, we should be encouraging all children to step into the mirror world and embrace the magic within. Share with them good books that made you “feel” something when you read (yes, that means YOU should be reading too). The more they experience the better they will be able to deal with the world around them and understand the people within it.

-Mikey Brooks


The Best Gift for your teen or tween? Books, of course!

The holidays. What better gift to give than a boxed set of a favorite series!

I’m going to share some of the book series that are great to give as gifts for your teen or tween this season.

Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
I loved this series for it’s action packed adventure. The ancient myth doesn’t hurt either.

Gregor the Overlander

Gregor the Overlander, The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
This is a recent favorite. Gregor is reluctant but brave in this series.

Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
One of my all time favorites, Anne is spunky and keeps a positive outlook on things. Except for the time she turned her hair green…

The Missing HaddixThe Missing by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Time travel adventures in history.  A step or two above Magic Tree House though. These books will keep your tween engaged.

Wizard of OzWizard of Oz by Frank Baum (thanks Mikey for the reminder!)
A classic but in the additional books you’ll learn even more fantastic aspects of Baum’s universe.

Harry PotterHarry Potter series by JK Rowling
A new-classic in every sense of the word. Dealing with friendships and making the right decisions even if they’re hard to do, Harry Potter teaches some great life lessons.

39 Clues39 Clues by various authors (including Rick Riordan, Margaret Haddix, Linda Sue Park) published by Scholastic
I really enjoyed watching Dan and Amy grow over the series as they learn more about their mysterious family.

The Kane ChroniclesThe Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
I really enjoyed the Egyptian history and myth that goes along with these books. The brother and sister duo have great voices.

SBDaughters106x160Various princess retellings by Diane Zahler, she has four beautiful books out that are retellings of different princess fairy tales.

NarniaThe Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
Another classic. Full of adventure and lore.

TolkienThe Hobbit and the rest of the Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Fantasy worlds at their best.

Artemis FowlArtemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Artemis is the young anti-hero. A bad guy with a twist.
I enjoyed Colfer’s darker take on the fairy world.


Did I leave any great series off the list? Let us know!

Movies Motivate Reading

The book is always better than the movie, right?

movie seats

Whenever I’m on the fence about picking up a book, I’ll watch the movie first and see if the story interests me. After all, the time commitment is a lot less with a two hour movie than the hours it takes to read.

But the book IS always better. With layers of meaning, levels of emotion and depth of character you can’t find in a movie, books give you the best story experience, in my opinion, being a writer I’m all about the books!

I decided the best thing to do for this post is to find lists of books that have been made into movies and let you decide, which is better, movie or book?  Also, this can be a great way to motivate a reluctant reader. Movie first, book second? Book first, movie second? It’s up to you!

Lists of Books made into Movies:

Top Ten list of movies for Tweens and Teens

Wiki list of Comics made into movies (please note, some of these movies are not meant for a young audience). This is a list of comics that have been made into movies. While some of these are not appropriate for young viewers, there are a large number of movies here that will appeal to reluctant readers who choose to read graphic novels and comics.

A MI library’s list of children’s books made into movies

A short list from Common Sense Media with age appropriate notation

For those who like pictures here’s TimeOut-NY Kids photo list of kid’s books adapted to movies

A couple movies I’m looking forward to:

Ender’s Game (trailer) – by Orson Scott Card is one of my all time favorite science fiction novels and I am very excited to see the movie version. A brilliant book, this article discusses separation of the artist from the work and a bit about the controversy surrounding the author’s views which are not a part of his book.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – This movie is not getting the best reviews, but it did prompt my 10 yr old neighbor to take out of the library, all the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. It’s on my “to see” list because I love all of Rick Riordan’s novels and I love the visual appeal of his stories on the big screen.

I hope these movie lists help you choose your next family movie night and spur a reading marathon before or after.

The book is always better!

Happy Watching and Reading!

How about you? Is your favorite movie missing from the lists? Do you have a favorite book that you would like to see made into a movie?

AnshaKotykAnsha Kotyk has always loved watching cool movies in her spare time. They help her to imagine awesome new story ideas for her books.

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