The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

Percy Jackson Shines a Light on Dyslexia and ADHD 

A Book-to-TV Adaptation Analysis
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Rick Riordan signing a copy of one of his books at BookExpo America 2018 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International; 31 May 2018, 12:34:45

There’s a story of a boy, who at a young age discovered he had magical powers and a choice destined to decide the fate of the world. Now this opening might sound familiar, is it Harry Potter? Percy Jackson? Or perhaps Shadow and Bone even? Though all these stories are similar, there is a certain magic to the world of Percy Jackson that seems to hook its readers and enthrall them in a world that is not so different from our own, besides the monsters, gods, and whatnot.

Rick Riordan’s sarcastic comments and witty tone will jump off the page for Percy Jackson fans, though it doesn’t seem to land so well when it jumps to the screen. With two different remakes of Percy Jackson and neither landing quite right with fans, they may start to wonder if is it possible to bring these characters to life or if will they forever stay in our minds. 

Many people loved the books for their fun nature and attention to ADHD and dyslexic kids. However, people who love the books may not know the reason for the series at all. Rick Riordan, the creator of the famous seaweed brain, originally wrote it as a bedtime story for his young son. His son had ADHD and Dyslexia from a young age, and as any kid with those disabilities, he struggled in school.

Riordan noticed this and inspiration struck him to create a story of a hero that wasn’t perfect in society’s eyes– one that rather than succeeding despite his disabilities succeeded because of them. When creating the idea Riordan chose mythology because it was the only subject that his son found interesting. So came the sarcastic Percy Jackson we all know and love!

The books take their readers through the life of Percy Jackson as he goes on quests, fights monsters, and struggles to stay in the same school for more than one year. As many people started to like the books, they decided to make the movies The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters. These movies had a big debut because of being supposedly based on the books, and as fans anxiously awaited to see 12-year-old Percy make his way through the story in the first movie, they were sorely disappointed.

When Logan Lerman made his first appearance as Percy, fans were shocked at him being aged up to 18 years old. With no insult to the actor’s performance, the movie was completely inaccurate to the story to the point that the only thing they had right was Percy’s appearance (besides age, of course). 

These movies were such a disappointment that Rick Riordan himself had to step in to make his own version with Disney. Recently, the show made one of the biggest debuts of 2023 on Disney +, only for it to be yet again, disappointing. Though not for the same reasons, this show starred the young actor, Walker Schobel,l who has been called the real-life Percy Jackson. Yes, the casting was good and the actors are talented, but the show seems like it’s going through the motions of the story rather than showing us and truly telling the story.

For many fans, Percy Jackson is a childhood companion who they grew up with. The magic of Percy Jackson is brought to life on the page by Roirdan’s wit, storytelling, and talent for making the story both relatable and heroic, a feat few authors have been able to manage.

The exact reasons why people love the stories are why it is so hard to translate to the screen. The story was originally a bedtime story and may never have an adaptation that completely and fully captures the essence of the books. Despite being disappointed in these adaptations, if they come out with a third, many will be in attendance on opening night.

Check out the trailer here!

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About the Contributor
Allison Eckstein, Staff Writer
I’m Allison, and I am a junior at Gateway. I’m passionate about all things artsy, and I know how to play the guitar. I am also a member of the Gateway Theater Department. When I'm not being a theater nerd, I’m on the tennis court.
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    Melissa D EcksteinJan 10, 2024 at 11:57 am

    Great article!

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