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The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2)

Last updated Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Author: Rick Riordan
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 0786856866
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2010

Synopsis: In this second installment in the series, Percy, Poseidon's 13-year-old demigod son, is desperate to rescue his friend Grover, captive of the bloodthirsty Cyclops Polyphemus, and to retrieve the healing Golden Fleece. The sheepskin is needed to restore the protection around Camp Half-Blood, the only safe haven for the children of gods and humans, heroes-in-training in our modern world. However, the camp has already been compromised and the quest for the Golden Fleece has been awarded to the bully Clarisse. Encouraged by Hermes, Percy sets off for the Bermuda Triangle anyway with his friend Annabeth and classmate Tyson, who turns out to be a half-brother and a Cyclops as well. Adventure follows chaotic adventure at a rapid pace, and readers with even a passing acquaintance with the Odyssey will enjoy this fresh use of familiar stories. Percy is an appealing kid, and the subject of a chilling prophecy may resonate with readers.

Note to readers:
•  Last month we read the first book in the series, The Lightening Thief. In that book, we met Percy, son of Poseidon, and his friends Grover, a satyr, and Annabeth, Athena’s daughter. They went on a quest to find and return Zeus’ lightening rod and prevent a war between Poseidon and Zeus. Percy met his father Poseidon and learned he has special gifts and powers. He also found other heroes who train and learn at Camp Half Blood. At the end of the Lightening Thief, Percy realizes his camp friend Luke, son of Hermes, has turned to the dark side and plans to help overtake Olympus and Camp Half Blood. Sea of Monsters begins here….

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Percy, Annabeth, Luke, Clarisse are all called “heroes”, why? (They are half human and half god)
•  What are their special powers? (Percy can control water; Annabeth is very smart and has a hat which makes her disappear; Clarisse is a good fighter; Luke is a master swordsman)
•  Can humans be heroes too? What makes a human a hero?
•  Who are the “heroes” in your life? (Your parents, teacher, brothers/sisters…)

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Can your dreams tell the future? Have you ever had a dream that came true?
•  Knowing you are protected at Camp Half Blood, would you ever leave? Why or why not?
•  Should you judge a person by the way they look? Why did others misjudge Tyson? Sloan’s friends (Joe Bob, Marrow Sucker, Skull Eater)? Luke?
•  Was Percy a hero when he defended Tyson from Matt Sloan? Was Annabeth a hero when she saved Tyson and Percy from Joe Bob, Marrow Sucker and Skull Eater? How can you be a hero to others?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Mother’s Day card for your mother or grandmother and draw images of how she is a hero to you.
•  Make a two sided mask—on one side draw how you look to others and on the other, draw how you look if you were a monster! For the two sided mask, use a paper plate or cut out a large circle out of construction paper. Attach a popsicle stick to hold the mask to your face or attach it with string
•  Draw a Sea of Monsters—take a piece of paper. On the top draw the waves of the ocean. Use the rest of the paper to draw how the ocean looks to you—fish, whales, sea plants, seaweed, starfish, caves, monsters, underwater cities, etc.
•  Use bright colors and all your imagination to draw this mystical place.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!