Wow - I can't believe how many months this gem sat on a bookshelf in Megan's room, collecting dust, before she finally decided to pick it up and then finally decided to recommend it to me.
Our hero is Percy Jackson, a kid who's always had slightly odd things happen to him, a kid who has ADD and dyslexia and has been kicked out of way too many schools because of all those inconvenient accidents that happen near him. (Here, the similarities to Harry Potter end.) One day Percy finally twigs to the fact that he's more than a little bit different from his peers, when his math teacher suddenly turns into a horrible creature with bat-like wings and he's forced to wield a ballpoint pen that turns into a sword to defeat her. Soon the truth comes out - Percy is actually the son of a Greek god. In fact, the entire ancient Greek pantheon (along with an assortment of minor creatures and characters) is alive and well and living in twenty-first-century America. And even more remarkably, there are lots of other kids like Percy - in fact, he soon discovers that he's been admitted to a summer camp for half-bloods. (Honestly, it's really not like Harry Potter, even though it sounds like it... just trust me here.)
Hilariously and cleverly written, this is a very promising start to a series that pits modern kids against ancient sources of evil.