Riordan, Rick. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Demigod Files. Hyperion Books, 2009. 151 pages. $12.95 ISBN 978-142312166-4
Grades 5-9 -- Demigod, son of Poseidon and unlikely hero Percy Jackson is back with this “highly classified” collection of adventures and interviews. This anticipated guide to the highly popular Percy Jackson & the Olympians series joins Percy and his two best friends – Grover, the Satyr and Annabeth, daughter of Athena – in three previously unreleased short stories, with interviews, word games, character portraits and a handy Greek god and goddess chart. The first story brings Percy and his enemy, Clarisse (daughter of Ares) together to find Ares’ prized chariot, which was hijacked by Clarisse’s immortal brothers, Phobos and Deimos. The second story tells of Percy and his fellow summer campers at Camp Half-Blood using an ancient and mythological bronze dragon to save Charlie Beckendorf, head of Hephaestus cabin, from giant killer ants. The last story has Persephone (wife of Hades) asking Percy and friends Thalia and Nico to return Hades’ stolen sword, and craftily segues into the beginning of book 5. Additional interviews and word games creatively test kid’s knowledge of the series, and trivia regarding Greek gods and goddesses enhances their knowledge of the legendary Greek world. Although this volume was surely released as a way to hold kids over between the fourth and fifth books and certain story time-periods may be hard for kids to place, Riordan comically uses his talent as a sharp writer to create relatable characters that both children and parents will remember and come back to in the future.