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Percy Jackson, The Hobbit, and The Best Mom Ever

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse...Apollo brought me The Hobbit.

Percy Jackson, The Hobbit, and The Best Mom Ever

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You guys. Just when I thought things could not possibly get any worse on the read-aloud front, it did.

Remember my horror at having to read Percy Jackson out loud to Apollo? We are currently on book five out of five on the Percy Jackson front. Whew, I’ve very nearly made it to the finish line. I’m choosing to ignore the fact that Apollo is already eagerly looking forward to the day we dive into The Trials of Apollo (as if he, Apollo, hasn’t had enough trials to last a lifetime)ย all the while Tucker is encouraging him to read The Heroes of Olympus.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse...Apollo brought me The Hobbit.

Me: Tucker, how many books are in the Heroes of Olympus Series?

Tucker: Five! And they’re even longer…each one has four or five hundred pages. Oh, mom, he also has a Norse series coming out…you know, about the Viking gods!


Rick Riordan, I appreciate your writing skills, your ability to help modern kids love Greek Mythology, and your right to earn a living…but for my sake, could you slow down on the Greek stuff??? Maybe write about world travel, penguins, or the history of coffee for a bit?

Thank you,

A Concerned Parent.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse...Apollo brought me The Hobbit.

But I digress. Yes, it’s true my friends, things have gotten even worse on the reading front. Recently, Apollo came up to me and said, “Mom, I’m ready to read The Hobbit” which really meant, “Mom, I’m ready for you to read The Hobbit to me“.

And, once we were a few chapters in, he came up to me and said, “Mom, Percy Jackson is for before bed and The Hobbit is for the morning“. So now, my friends, in an effort to be The Best Mom Ever my days are now bookended (no pun intended) by two of my least favorite, most horrifying books ever.

I am so glad we are not bound by AR test or reading levelsand that Apollo gets to choose his own books…but really?

Oh, and I have a little confession to make…I’m not hating The Hobbit as much as I have every other time I’ve attempted to read it. And? I am developing a real appreciation for Tolkien’s writing.

But please, please, whatever you don’t, don’t tell Apollo.

I’m not sure how much more I can handle….



  1. Kayla Hunt

    I love the Hobbit, and LOTR, but I think reading Percy Jackson aloud wouldn’t be my favorite thing to do. I got tired of reading the Harry Potter series to my kids. The writing is pretty simplistic compared to many other kids series.

    • Renee

      The Hobbit is definitely written in an older style. The sentences are long and complex and much of the language dated (the chapter I read last night? Queer Lodgings). Because of this, it is complicated for Apollo to read along at 7…I am sure if he every reads Harry Potter it will be on his own. Mainly because I obviously have five years of LOTR and Percy Jackson ahead of me…

  2. Melpub

    I loved reading Percy Jackson aloud–also Harry Potter. D’Aulaire’s great too. Wait until you get to the Riordan Norse Gods series! Those are fun. The D’Aulaires, incidentally, did a Norse gods book, a troll book–an animal book . . . load up!

  3. Karen Cain

    I confess to never having read (aloud or otherwise) the Percy Jackson series, as my kids are not ancient mythology buffs. But The Hobbit? How can anybody actually hate The Hobbit?! It’s the most readable of all of Tolkien’s works! It has the best opening line ever: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

    I may be biased because I discovered the Hobbit on a particularly awful family vacation, it was one of two books my brother was allowed to bring (i had already burned through mine), and he had to read it for school. I picked it up and was transported. I tried to get my six year old to let me read it aloud to him, after we finished The Wizard of Oz, but he didn’t seem to like it. May break him in with the Narnia series.

    • Renee

      I agree that the opening sentence to The Hobbit is brilliant! I first tried to read Tolkien’s work after I found out he was real life friends with C.S. Lewis (I’m a huge Lewis fan). I was probably 11 o r 12. Nope….I have tried a few more times over the years. I am not into elves, and trolls, and fantasy…but I have to admit, I am enjoying The Hobbit a teeny, tiny, bit this time around.

      • Karen Cain

        If he really likes the book you might check out the animated Hobbit movie made a few decades ago…its very faithful to the book. Do NOT bother with Peter Jackson’s live action versions, they are awful and do not honor the original material.

        • Renee

          We did watch the first Percy Jackson movie, against Enoch’s advice…we used it as an experiment in comparing and contrasting ๐Ÿ™‚ Enoch’s biggest complaint was that Percy Jackson was a teen in the movie (15? 16?) whereas he was only 12 in the book. Thanks for the heads up about The Hobbit. I’ll check that out after we finish the book.

  4. Ahavah

    Sorry Renee. I think there’s an approximate 4% chance that Apollo won’t love the Hobbit and demand that you read him the entire LOTRs series. This is just like that annoying mouse-cookie book from the 90s. Even though you’ve obviously created and enabled this entire situation, I feel for you and hope you get lots of sunny days this spring.

    • Renee

      I know, right? Who’s idea was it to raise life-long book lovers who have an appreciation for classic literature???

  5. sarah

    I do enjoy all of those series, I don’t have time to read out loud as long as my other kids would want. ๐Ÿ™‚ We check out play aways from the library, and I bought a speaker on Amazon that plugs in. It’s small, and not that loud.

    • Renee

      I hear you. My kids would have me read out loud 16 hours a day if they had their way. Apollo always takes the book from me and reads a bit more when I am done.

  6. bemis

    I fear we’re headed the same direction. I’ve never enjoyed fantasy, science fiction, mythology, and fairy tales, but I have at least one kid who loves them… I liked the Hobbit okay as a kid, but never really enjoyed the rest of the Lord of the Rings.

    My kids, too, want me to read until my eyes fall out. I read aloud for hours every day. Many of the books I’ve read often enough that my brain seems to read them on autopilot, which is handy for when I’m falling asleep reading. The kids usually allow me a break when I doze off while reading and my brain starts inserting random words into sentences. The funniest was when my brain automatically inserted “Bridget” instead of whatever normal word was there that started with B. The kids were not as amused as I was. Bridget?! Where did that come from?! I’ve also gotten to the ends of books and realized that I couldn’t remember reading several pages in the middle, and the kids will assure me that I did indeed read them.

    And yes, audiobooks are great!

    • Renee

      That reminds me of the time my kids were little and in my sleep-deprived state I read to them that a particular type of squid had “poisonious testacles that could sting you”. Yeah, they’ve never let me forget that…

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