Happy Thanksgiving, friends! This week we’re doing a few posts about books we’re particularly thankful for this year. Yesterday we shared our latest YA Diversity Book Club pick, CARRY ON, and today we’re finishing our time as a Percy Pack member by highlighting the reasons we’re thankful for Rick Riordan and his new book MAGNUS CHASE. We also have a holiday giveaway to offer, so read to the end!
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants, and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarök, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .
Reasons we’re thankful for Rick Riordan/MAGNUS CHASE:
1. The books have strengthened my kids’ love for mythology. There are plenty of nonfiction books about the various gods, but there’s something so compelling about the way Riordan has made his mythology accessible for young readers in a way that helps them remember the hierarchy and what the different gods/goddesses/demigods/etc. are known for and what their personalities are like. Now with MAGNUS CHASE, my kids are delving into Norse mythology outside of the THOR comics/movies.
2. Riordan knows how to make the Chosen One story funny. We love books about the classic hero’s journey, and Riordan does them quite well. Magnus, as my 11-year-old daughter says, is “super witty and not too whiny,” which is high praise, because she can’t stand whiny protagonists (I’m going to remind her about this the next time she complains and acts pouty).
3. Riordan rewards Percy Jackson readers. While it’s not necessary to have read the Percy Jackson books to get into MAGNUS CHASE, it certainly helps, and there are jokes and references Riordan includes just for those of us who are familiar with Percy and his adventures (and pals). I mean, obviously, Magnus CHASE is Annabeth’s cousin, and there are lots of wink-wink moments only those familiar with Camp Half-Blood’s peeps will understand.
4. The cast of characters is diverse. In a world where people are freely sharing their scary suspicions of immigrants and those who don’t share their religious beliefs, I am so pleased my daughter can read a book where one of the supporting characters is a Muslim girl with an arranged marriage she’s actually excited about. The fact that Sam the ex-Valkyrie is Muslim and deals with ridicule for her religion is timely, and it’s important for kids to empathize with her. Right now there’s no romantic tension between Sam and Magnus (unlike between Annabeth and Percy), and that’s a good thing. We need platonic boy-girl friendships in Middle Grade/Young Adult too! Sam isn’t the only source of diversity, but she’s the one that stood out for my daughter and me (see her character card below).
For more about MAGNUS CHASE check out the book trailer:
You can order the book, which came out on Oct. 6 at any of these fine online booksellers:
♦HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY TIME: We are offering one copy of MAGNUS CHASE by Rick Riordan to a lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Open only to entries with a U.S. address:
Disclosure: As a member of the #PercyPack, Disney Hyperion is providing Teen Lit Rocks with#ReadRiordan/Percy Jackson books, merchandise and prizing.