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The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan

School Library Journal Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 9780786856299 Gr 5-9-An adventure-quest with a hip edge. At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780786856299 Gr. 6-9. The escapades of the Greek gods and heroes get a fresh spin in the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, about a contemporary 12-year-old New Yorker who learns he's a demigod. Perseus, aka Percy Jackson, thinks he has big problems. His father left before he was born, he's been kicked out of six schools in six years, he's dyslexic, and he has ADHD. What a surprise when he finds out that that's only the tip of the iceberg: he vaporizes his pre-algebra teacher, learns his best friend is a satyr, and is almost killed by a minotaur before his mother manages to get him to the safety of Camp Half-Blood--where he discovers that Poseidon is his father. But that's a problem, too. Poseidon has been accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt, and unless Percy can return the bolt, humankind is doomed. Riordan's fast-paced adventure is fresh, dangerous, and funny. Percy is an appealing, but reluctant hero, the modernized gods are hilarious, and the parallels to Harry Potter are frequent and obvious. Because Riordan is faithful to the original myths, librarians should be prepared for a rush of readers wanting the classic stories. --Chris Sherman Copyright 2005 Booklist
Publishers Weekly Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 9780786856299 A clever concept drives Riordan's highly charged children's book debut (the first in a series): the Greek Gods still rule, though now from a Mt. Olympus on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building, and their offspring, demigods, live among human beings. Narrator Percy Jackson thinks he's just another troubled 12-year-old, until he vaporizes his math teacher, learns his best friend, Grover, is a satyr and narrowly escapes a minotaur to arrive at Camp Half-Blood. After a humorous stint at camp, Percy learns he's the son of Poseidon and embarks on a quest to the Underworld with Grover and Annabeth (a daughter of Athena) to resolve a battle between Zeus and Poseidon over Zeus's stolen "master" lightning bolt. Without sacrificing plot or pacing, Riordan integrates a great deal of mythology into the tale and believably places mythical characters into modern times, often with hilarious results (such as Hades ranting about the problem of "sprawl," or population explosion). However, on emotional notes the novel proves less strong (for example, Percy's grief for his mother rings hollow; readers will likely spot the "friend" who betrays the hero, as foretold by the Oracle of Delphi, before Percy does) and their ultimate confrontation proves a bit anticlimactic. Still, this swift and humorous adventure will leave many readers eager for the next installment. Ages 10-up. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780786856299 Gr 5-9-An adventure-quest with a hip edge. At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780786856299 Gr. 6-9. The escapades of the Greek gods and heroes get a fresh spin in the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, about a contemporary 12-year-old New Yorker who learns he's a demigod. Perseus, aka Percy Jackson, thinks he has big problems. His father left before he was born, he's been kicked out of six schools in six years, he's dyslexic, and he has ADHD. What a surprise when he finds out that that's only the tip of the iceberg: he vaporizes his pre-algebra teacher, learns his best friend is a satyr, and is almost killed by a minotaur before his mother manages to get him to the safety of Camp Half-Blood--where he discovers that Poseidon is his father. But that's a problem, too. Poseidon has been accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt, and unless Percy can return the bolt, humankind is doomed. Riordan's fast-paced adventure is fresh, dangerous, and funny. Percy is an appealing, but reluctant hero, the modernized gods are hilarious, and the parallels to Harry Potter are frequent and obvious. Because Riordan is faithful to the original myths, librarians should be prepared for a rush of readers wanting the classic stories. --Chris Sherman Copyright 2005 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780786856299 A clever concept drives Riordan's highly charged children's book debut (the first in a series): the Greek Gods still rule, though now from a Mt. Olympus on the 600th floor of the Empire State Building, and their offspring, demigods, live among human beings. Narrator Percy Jackson thinks he's just another troubled 12-year-old, until he vaporizes his math teacher, learns his best friend, Grover, is a satyr and narrowly escapes a minotaur to arrive at Camp Half-Blood. After a humorous stint at camp, Percy learns he's the son of Poseidon and embarks on a quest to the Underworld with Grover and Annabeth (a daughter of Athena) to resolve a battle between Zeus and Poseidon over Zeus's stolen "master" lightning bolt. Without sacrificing plot or pacing, Riordan integrates a great deal of mythology into the tale and believably places mythical characters into modern times, often with hilarious results (such as Hades ranting about the problem of "sprawl," or population explosion). However, on emotional notes the novel proves less strong (for example, Percy's grief for his mother rings hollow; readers will likely spot the "friend" who betrays the hero, as foretold by the Oracle of Delphi, before Percy does) and their ultimate confrontation proves a bit anticlimactic. Still, this swift and humorous adventure will leave many readers eager for the next installment. Ages 10-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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Book Jacket
Debt-free U : how I paid for an outstanding college education without loans, scholarships, or mooching off my parents
by Zac Bissonnette.

Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781591842989 In keeping with the new frugality, this college guide, written by a senior attending the University of Massachusetts, offers practical advice on how to pay for college without taking out loans. Decidedly old school in approach, Bissonnette advocates that students should bear the brunt of paying for their educations by working while in college and during breaks. He also suggests that attending community college for two years before transferring to a four-year college or university would go a long way toward cutting costs. Systematically and amusingly debunking the selection criteria used by U.S. News and World Report and others to rank elite colleges, Bissonnette is a strong advocate of attending reasonably priced state schools. He makes good points about how debt from student loans often prevents recent grads from starting families or buying homes. He also presents convincing research that elite graduate programs and selective employers accept plenty of people who have attended nonelite schools. Although the strictly dollars-and-cents approach to higher education may not sit well with some parents, this is a timely guide to a decision that has important financial ramifications.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Book Jacket
Forces for good : the six practices of high-impact nonprofits
by Leslie R. Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant ; foreword by Steve Case.

Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780787986124 Crutchfield and Grant, cofounders of Who Cares?, a national quarterly journal devoted to community service and social activism, have put together a workable list of the six best practices for nonprofits based on a thorough study of 12 high-impact organizations, from Habitat for Humanity to the National Council of La Raza. The practices they advocate are fairly straightforward (e.g., "inspire evangelists"), if a little short on specific implementations, but the book's real strength is how well it translates business practices and philosophies to the nonprofit sector, in particular by shifting the focus from competition to collaboration. The work suffers a little from a surfeit of jargon, but it's a decent read with sound ideas. Every organization can take something from it, but if your nonprofit isn't on the road to national attention, don't expect to pick up more than a couple of ideas. Recommended for larger business and leadership collections.-Brian Walton, Tampa-Hillsborough P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Choice Copyright American Library Association, used with permission. 9780787986124 Crutchfield and Grant examine the elusive topic of what makes nonprofit organizations successful, building a superb comparative research methodology and executing it admirably. By the time the reader arrives at the beginning of chapter 2 the stage is set; the depth of the analysis becomes apparent and the analytical quality obvious. A project of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University, this study is based on comprehensive survey data and interviews with nonprofit leaders. Effectively integrating 12 case studies of what they regard as high-impact organizations, the authors craft their theoretical framework and manage to bring all the divergent elements into sharp focus. Their advice on managing markets, mastering adaptation, and inspiring evangelists is truly exceptional and critically important to the survival of nonprofits. Readers will finish this book with the same admiration this reviewer felt and will be left with many insightful, thought-provoking ideas about the practices that make nonprofit organizations more effective. Forces for Good is a definite read for serious students of nonprofit organizations as well as practitioners in the field. The value of the content is limitless and far-reaching. Summing Up: Essential. All professional and academic business collections, lower-division undergraduate and up. J. B. Kashner emeritus, College of the Southwest
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780787986124 Crutchfield and Grant, longtime participants in the nonprofit sector, analyze the most successful nonprofits of our era to answer the question, What makes great nonprofits great? Through extensive surveys and interviews, the authors develop six practices common to high-impact nonprofits: offering advocacy efforts and service, harnessing market forces and leveraging the power and resources of business, engaging individuals from outside the organization, working with and through other organizations, learning to adapt, and sharing leadership by empowering others. We learn that nonprofits become increasingly influential as they adopt more and more of the authors' practices, and the book offers step-by-step guidance for improving impact. In addition to perfecting the internal capacity to deliver programs, a nonprofit must focus upon efforts external to its operation. The authors conclude, To win at the social change game, it's not about being the biggest or the fastest or even the best-managed nonprofit. The most powerful, influential and strategic organizations leverage and transform others to become forces for good. --Whaley, Mary Copyright 2007 Booklist
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