Have you ever imagined yourself transported back to the time of the Greek legends alongside Poseidon or Hera? Not many kids did until Rick Riordan came along. The mythology of Olympus wasn’t really a high priority to kids. Fortunately, that changed when Rick Riordan started to write the Percy Jackson series of young adult novels. The series began when Riordan began to tell his son bedtime stores based on Greek myths. After he went through all those, Riordan had to create his own stories. That’s how the former writer of grown-up mysteries became a Young Adult author, beginning with The Lightning Thief–in which 12-year-old Percy Jackson discovers that he’s the child of a Greek god.
Born on June 5, 1964 in San Antonio, Texas, Riordan had mostly taught English in San Francisco for eight years while writing novels on the side. The Lightning Thief came out in 2005. It was successful enough to launch a five-book series that includes The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. The books were given a new life when a movie studio decided to film Riordan’s books. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief came out in 2010. It wasn’t a huge hit movie in America, but the movie did really well all around the world–and the second film, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, will be released this August.
Rick Riordan is keeping his fans reading, too. He wrapped up the Percy Jackson series, but then began a book series called The Heroes of Olympus, which will publish its final book next year. Young readers were very happy to see that Percy Jackson is a regular character in Riordan’s latest series. Kids have also enjoyed his work on the children’s series The 39 Clues–which Riordan helped create. He’s also written some of the books in the 39 Clues series.
Riordan lives back in San Antonio nowadays, and has already announced plans for a new series of books that will be about Norse mythology. There are a lot of great characters for Riordan to write about in that world. For now, though, we’re just happy to say “Happy Birthday” to an author who’s brought lots of reading into the worlds of our kids!