THE LIGHTNING THIEF
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians – Book 1)
1 I ACCIDENTALLY VAPORIZE
MY PRE-ALGEBRA TEACHER
Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.
If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right
Now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal
Being a half-blood is dangerous. It’s scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful,
If you’re a normal kid, reading this because you think it’s fiction, great. Read on. I envy you
For being able to believe that none of this ever happened.
But if you recognize yourself in these pages – if you feel something stirring inside – stop
Reading immediately. You might be one of us. And once you know that, it’s only a matter of time
Before they sense it too, and they’ll come for you.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. My name is Percy Jackson.
I’m twelve years old. Until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a
Private school for troubled kids in upstate New York.
Am I a troubled kid?
Yeah. You could say that.
I could start at any point in my short miserable life to prove it, but things really started going
Bad last May, when our sixth-grade class took a field trip to Manhattan – twenty-eight mental-
Case kids and two teachers on a yellow school bus, heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to
Look at ancient Greek and Roman stuff.
I know – it sounds like torture. Most Yancy field trips were.
But Mr. Brunner, our Latin teacher, was leading this trip, so I had hopes.
Mr. Brunner was this middle-aged guy in a motorized wheelchair. He had thinning hair and a
Scruffy beard and a frayed tweed jacket, which always smelled
like coffee. You wouldn’t think
He’d be cool, but he told stories and jokes and let us play games in class. He also had this
Awesome collection of Roman armor and weapons, so he was the only teacher whose class didn’t
Put me to sleep.
I hoped the trip would be okay. At least, I hoped that for once I wouldn’t get in trouble.
Boy, was I wrong.
See, bad things happen to me on field trips. Like at my fifth-grade school, when we went to
The Saratoga battlefield, I had this accident with a Revolutionary War cannon. I wasn’t aiming for
The school bus, but of course I got expelled anyway. And before that, at my fourth-grade school,
When we took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Marine World shark pool, I sort of hit the wrong
Lever on the catwalk and our class took an unplanned swim. And the time before that… Well, you
Get the idea.
This trip, I was determined to be good.
All the way into the city, I put up with Nancy Bobofit, the freckly, redheaded kleptomaniac
Girl, hitting my best friend Grover in the back of the head with chunks of peanut butter-and-
Ketchup sandwich. Grover was an easy target. He was scrawny. He cried when he got frustrated. He must’ve
Been held back several grades, because he was the only sixth grader with acne and the start of a
Wispy beard on his chin. On top of all that, he was crippled. He had a note excusing him from PE
For the rest of his life because he had some kind of muscular disease in his legs. He walked funny,
Like every step hurt him, but don’t let that fool you. You should’ve seen him run when it was
Enchilada day in the cafeteria.
Anyway, Nancy Bobofit was throwing wads of sandwich that stuck in his curly brown hair,