Skip to Main Content

Book Club Kits: The Lightning Thief

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

Cover Image

Check Availability

To request this kit, click link above.

Alamance County Public Libraries

Alamance County Public Libraries provide free and open access to lifelong learning, resources for everyday living, and reading for pleasure in a welcoming environment.  Our collections, services and programs enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Contact the Library webmaster.

Alamance County Public Libraries operates as a Department of Alamance County Government.  Visit the Alamance County Website at

Book Summary

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. This first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you think it is necessary to be familiar with the Greek myths in order to enjoy this book?

  • When describing his mother, Percy says, “She’s the best person in the world, which just proves my theory that the best people get the rottenest luck.” How does this apply to Percy’s mom? Is this theory true in life? In the Greek myths?

  • After Percy learns he is a half-blood, he wonders who his own father is. How would you feel if you were in Percy’s place? Would it be easier to believe your father was dead, or to know that he was alive but not communicating with you?

  • How is Annabeth like her mother? Does anything about Annabeth’s character strike you as unlike Athena?

  • When Percy finally learns the truth that he is the son of Poseidon, are you surprised? What hints are dropped before the revelation? How does Percy’s personality fit or not fit the god Poseidon?

  • Chiron describes Western Civilization as “a living force. A collective consciousness that has burned bright for thousands of years.” He says the Greek gods are part of this, and move around as different nations become the central power of Western Civilization—Greece, Rome, Germany, France, England, the United States. What do you think of this idea? Is “the West” a clearly identifiable cultural force?

  • Does Percy seem like a pawn? Why or why not? If you were given Percy’s quest, would you undertake it or would you rebel?

  • As the book progresses, we learn more about Annabeth’s family life, and her unhappy history with her father. How does this compare with Percy’s own family? How does this help the two half-bloods overcome their mutual distrust?

  • Read the modernized description of the underworld in Ch. 18 — What do you think of this portrayal of the afterlife? Do you think believing in paradise and punishment makes people more likely to do good deeds?

  • What do you think of Percy’s decision to leave his mother behind?

  • How does the last line of the prophecy — you shall fail to save what matters most in the end — come true? What do you think of this ending? Did Percy make the right choice? What would you have done in his place?