Both Tim Golden and Maryana Garcia have reviewed Rick Riordan’s books in the past for Reading Matters, so I did not feel the need to write a piece on this installment of Heroes of Olympus. Honestly, I have not read every one of his titles.
I get it – children love this kind of easy-to-read series: abundant action, snarky dialogue, more or less accurate references to Greek mythology that give the book an intellectual feel and enough sequels to make it worth the effort to invest emotionally in the characters because they’ll be around for a while. For me, however, they fall under the category of “If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all.”
That said, a friend recently contacted me about House of Hades. She mentioned that Riordan had introduced his first openly gay character and that parents might want to know about it. I decided to dive into Disney-Hyperion’s version of ancient myths once again.
I stopped after about six chapters. It wasn’t the sexual references – I never got that far, though the reviews I saw online indicate that there is nothing graphic, just a “confession” of sorts by one of the protagonists. What got me was the bathroom humor. Every page oozed with it. Even an evil witch passed gas, which one would think would mitigate any fear she could evoke. Bad guys who cannot control their bodily functions just don’t seem scary. (Voldemort and Sauron never belch, do they?)
This may be an attempt at comic relief. Well, I can understand nine-year-old boys amused by this, but twelve-year old girls? Many mothers spend inordinate time correcting crass behavior. Why reinforce it with the books children read? It may be hard to steer avid readers from this popular series, but be prepared for questions about sexual orientation and an increased interest in flatulence.
A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother.