Rick Riordan's latest book, The Trials of Apollo, Book 1: The Hidden Oracle,* might just be my new favorite of his.
The start of the new series has the god Apollo cast out of Olympus (again! will he never learn?) and dropped into New York City as a pimply, unfashionable teenager. Oh, the agony! And things only get better (for the reader) and worse (for Apollo) from there...
Besides being an author, Rick Riordan is also a teacher and a dad so he knows a thing or two about summer vacation. Here's what he has to say about what to do with your upcoming freedom from school...
*The Trials of Apollo, Book 1: The Hidden Oracle is our spotlight pick of the Best Books of May for Ages 9-12 (and, of course, ages far beyond 12...)
You should totally read a good book this summer! Trust me, it’s way better than what Apollo will be doing.
That poor god . . . Maybe you’ve heard, he’s been demoted by his father Zeus, stripped of his powers and cast down to New York City as a mortal sixteen-year-old boy. Now he’s going to have to make his way to Camp Half-Blood if he wants to survive, and his summer is not going to be fun.
Imagine you are four thousand years old. You’re used to being ultra-powerful. You spend your days being worshipped by lesser beings, riding a sun chariot across the sky, and composing songs about your own awesomeness.
Suddenly, you are mortal. You’re stuck in a cabin with a bunch of demigods who are your own children. You have to sleep on a cot. You have to eat hot dogs and drink bug juice. You have to share a bathroom. Oh, horrors! You have to use a bathroom! How do mortals do it?
Apollo must learn his basic skills all over again. The god who once struck down entire nations with his super ballistic plague arrows now can’t hit a bull’s eye at a hundred feet. Driving the sun chariot? Forget it. The best he can manage is paddling a canoe without falling into the lake. Rather than selling out stadium concerts with thousands of adoring fans, he can’t play a guitar without breaking a string. He doesn’t even get to lead the sing-a-long at the campfire because he can’t remember the words to Kumbayah. Truly, his new life is too cruel.
So as you’re relaxing at home or kicking back on the beach or whatever this summer, pick up a good book and enjoy it. You have it much easier than Apollo.
In fact, if you want to, you can read a book about how miserable Apollo is! I’ve written down all the sordid details in The Hidden Oracle. But I’m sure you’re not the sort of person who enjoys reading about other people’s suffering, right? You don’t want to know about Apollo’s acne problems, or the strange creatures he meets in the woods at camp, or the ancient forces trying to destroy him. You don’t want to hear about the Camp Half-Blood drama he has to endure with Will Solace and Nico di Angelo, Percy Jackson and Rachel Elizabeth Dare, Chiron and Meg and all the others, right? No, I didn’t think so. There are plenty of other great books to choose this summer!
Whatever you decide to read, have a relaxing break from school! Me, I have to get out to Camp Half-Blood and help Chiron. Apparently demigod campers have started disappearing into thin air.
I’m sure that has nothing to do with Apollo. Probably . . .