We have long been fans of Rick Riordan, ever since we fell hard for Percy Jackson way back when.
So when my friends from Disney books asked if we wanted to join the #ShipoftheDead Book Tour, you better believe we jumped at the chance.
The coolest thing about this event, though, was that Maddy, Owen, and I had 10 minutes with Mr. Riordan–10 minutes to talk to him, chat with him, ask him questions and to hang out with him.
It was a dream!!
You know how I am about
So for the last few days, the kids and I have been brainstorming the best questions to ask our favorite author, and we came up with a few good ones.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Rick Riordan — 5 Fun Facts About the Author We Love
In no particular order, friends, here are the Rick Riordan fun facts:
1.) Rick Riordan’s favorite gods and goddesses are the Greeks.
Only because there are so many stories and so many of the Greek gods and goddesses. And after teaching mythology for so many years, he knows quite a bit about them.
2.) He takes out the trash if he’s suffering from writer’s block.
Or he does some laundry. Or something like that. But he considers it all part of the writing process! (Check out the video for more!)
3.) He can use a kendama.
Owen, creator of the Maryland Kendama Club, brought his kendama to our interview with the intention of asking Mr. Riordan if he knew how to use one. Mr. Riordan didn’t. Owen taught him.
And Mr. Riordan, though he had low expectations for his kendama abilities, rocked it.
4.) He’s never seen his books on stage or on the screen.
One of the first questions Maddy and Owen asked Mr. Riordan was how he felt about the Percy Jackson movies. (We have pretty strong feelings about them. . . ).
Mr. Riordan responded by saying that he never even saw the screen–or stage–adaptations of his works because it really weirds him out.
We understand his feelings but were pretty surprised!
5.) He said that one of the most interesting and challenging characters he’s created is Alex Fierro.
Alex Fierro is the gender-fluid, Norse demigod child of Loki and Mr. Fierro. Gender-fluid means that sometimes Alex identifies as a male and sometimes as a female.
I can imagine that after years and years of writing and creating cisgender characters (cisgender refers to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex), and after writing 30+ books, it would be quite a challenge to create a gender-fluid character. But Riordan did a ton of research, and he even won a Stonewall Book Award for this character!
And here’s an extra fun fact for good measure:
6.) He and his family had a “reading hour” where they dropped everything and read!
Yes, yes, and YES! I asked Mr. Riordan what his best advice would be for parents about how to deal with reluctant readers, and he mentioned a few things.
Most of all, though, he said if parents want kids to read, they must model reading.
And one way that his family did this was to have a reading hour when Mr. Riordan’s two boys were young. I love this idea. Drop everything–unplug!–and read? What better way to show the importance of reading than to actually read?!
Here’s a look at our exciting morning:
Check out the buzz around the latest in the Magnus Chase series, The Ship of the Dead.
What you need to know about the Magnus Chase series:
A new demigod is born—this time from Norse mythology. Join Magnus Chase, a homeless boy from Boston, on wild adventures throughout the Nine Worlds that have him meeting gods, giants, elves, dwarfs and more as he discovers his true identity.
The books in the series:
- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Book 1, The Sword of Summer
- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Book 2, The Hammer of Thor
- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Book 3, The Ship of the Dead
What you need to know about Magnus Chase: Ship of the Dead:
Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin’s chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn’t naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Now Magnus faces his most dangerous trial yet. His cousin, Annabeth, recruits her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, to give Magnus some pointers, but will his training be enough?
Loki is free from his chains. He’s readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It’s up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it’s ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. Magnus’s biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god?
Follow the #ShipoftheDead excitement:
Grab the books:
Cheers, and happy reading during this incredibly exciting journey!
fyi: This post was written as part of a partnership with Disney Books, but as always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a a parent and educator.
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