The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?
Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.
Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?
The world of Percy Jackson returns in The Lost Hero, but updated for an older group of readers. With mostly new characters, this new series can stand alone from the original Percy Jackson series, but also has plenty for long-time readers to grasp at and enjoy. Rick Riordan blends the modern world with the stories of the ancient Greeks and Romans with his trademark sense of humor and skill. As an adult I love this book and series, and I know my students love it too. There’s a little bit for everyone: plenty of action, a little romance, a lot of humor, just the right amount of history and mythology, and extremely likable characters. The Heroes of Olympus series deserves a place next to Harry Potter on any young person’s (or young at heart person’s!) bookshelf.