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Below are some reading passages that we have hand picked to supplement this book. Be sure to read the passage summaries and our suggestions for instructional use.

5th-6th Myth 920L
Theseus and the Minotaur
E2BN.org 2006
Passage Summary: In this myth from Ancient Greece, a brave Athenian prince sets out to Crete to take a stand against the monster who has been terrorizing his people for years.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text after they have completed chapter 4, when Percy battles the minotaur outside of Camp Half Blood, in order for students to compare and contrast the ways in which each hero succeeds, as well as the heroic qualities of Percy and Theseus. What traits led them both to succeed?
9th-10th Informational Text 1050L
Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism
USHistory.org 2016
Passage Summary: “Ancient Greece: The Birthplace of Western Individualism” contemplates the relationship between the ancient Greeks’ human-oriented polytheism and their cultural endorsement of individualism.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text before students begin reading chapter 7 of the novel, when Percy learns that he and his fellow campers are the children of gods. Use this text in order to introduce students to world of the gods of ancient Greek mythology and their characteristics.
7th-8th Myth 1080L
The Story of Prometheus and Pandora's Box
James Baldwin 1895
Passage Summary: A retelling of the classic tales of Prometheus and Pandora’s Box, which explores the themes of power and tyranny, disobedience, the cost of progress, and the human condition.
When and How to Pair: Have students read Baldwin’s short story after reading chapter 12 of "The Lightning Thief," when Percy dreams of his mother’s peril in the underworld. Ask students to compare and contrast Prometheus’ motivation for his quest to Percy’s own motivations. Which hero seems motivated more by altruism?
5th-6th Fable 880L
The Lion and the Mouse
Aesop 620-560 BCE
Passage Summary: In this classic fable by Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller, a tiny mouse proves to a powerful lion that she is greater than she seems.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after students have read chapter 15, when Percy, Annabeth, and Grover fulfill their quest from Ares at the waterpark. Use this text to teach students about allegory. Percy, Grover, and Annabeth have saved each other from multiple disasters. Which characters from the Lightning Thief would you describe as the lion and which as the mouse? Ask students to justify their answers with evidence from both texts.
7th-8th Poem
Invictus
William Ernest Henley 1875
Passage Summary: William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) was an English poet, critic, and editor. His best known poem is “Invictus,” published in 1875, which he wrote just following the amputation of his foot due to tuberculosis.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after students have finished reading chapter 19, when Percy faces Hades in the underworld, in order for students to compare and contrast how the texts handle the theme of individual destiny. What similar statement do the texts make about destiny? What is different? How do the themes emerge throughout both texts?
5th-6th Informational Text 840L
Joan of Arc: France’s Young Tragic Hero
David White 2015
Passage Summary: This is the story of how the young and courageous Joan of Arc led the French to victory against the English in the 1400s.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after students have read chapter 21, when Percy has effectively completed his quest. Ask students to compare and contrast Joan’s “Road of Trials” to Percy’s. How does death enter into the hero’s journey? Can Joan of Arc still be considered a hero despite her death? Does death make a hero more or less heroic?
7th-8th Poem
Casey at the Bat
Ernest Lawrence Thayer 1888
Passage Summary: Ernest Lawrence Thayer (1863-1940) was an American writer and poet, best known for this poem. It is considered a classic in sports-related literature and perhaps the most famous baseball poem ever written. In it, an arrogant player steps up to the plate with the weight of the game on his shoulders.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this poem after students have read chapter 22, when Luke’s desire for glory is made clear. Refer back to chapter 20, which reveals Ares’ corruption through his own desire for glory. Ask students to compare and contrast the characters of Ares and Luke with Casey. How did the desire for glory lead each character to betray his “team?”