Author of the Week: Rick Riordan

Author of the Week on Ali’s Book Nook is where I take one of my favorite authors, visit their website, and post about them. However, next week, I’ll ask one of my friends to do it, and I’ll review their post before posting it. I’ll ask a bunch of friends to do it, and when I can’t think of anymore, it’ll be my turn again. However, I might take weeks off because of travel and school. Here it goes!

At first, Rick Riordan was a teacher. He loved teaching. It was a hard desicion when he left the classroom, but when he sold the Percy Jackson series to the publishers, he had to write two books a year for his deadlines. He didn’t have time to do that and still be a good teacher, so he reluctantly left his classroom.

He never talked about it much in the class, but his students knew he was an author. His students often asked if they could become characters in his books, and he did use lots of names of former students, but it took so long to publish the books that they were in high school by the time the books with their names were in bookstores.

He got the idea for Percy Jackson when his son Haley asked him to tell him Greek myths as bedtime stories. He did, but eventually he ran out of myths! So Haley asked if  he could make up something new with the same characters. Off the top of his head, he came up with Percy Jackson and his quest to retrieve Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt. The story took three nights to tell! When he was done, Haley said he should make a book about it. He had a lot to do already, but he found the time to write Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. He was glad for the break from adult books. He spent a lot of time on the first Percy Jackson novel, and now he’s sure glad he did!

Many kids compare his series to Harry Potter. He does find some similarities between Percy and Harry: Harry and Percy are both boys that find out they are special, are trained to use their abilities, and fight an evil villain. There are many stories that follow this same basic plot line. Both are brave. Both have to face their worst fears and rely on a small group of friends.

Percy Jackson is like Rick Riordan in some ways. Percy has Mr. Riordan’s sense of humor. Like Percy, Rick was not always the best student. Percy is also based on Rick’s former students and his own son, Haley.

Learn more about Rick at

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