Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Chapter 11: We Visit the Gnome Emporium
Written by Chris
Edited by Krystal

Percy contemplates the benefit of knowing that some divine force is messing with you as he and the others walk away from the bus attacked by monstrous hags, blown up by lightning and on top of that it’s raining. It didn’t take long for them to realize that all their money and food was destroyed along with the bus and they had no idea where they were going. This, of course, leads to another argument between Annabeth and Percy about his actions and we find out a little more about Annabeth, like she hasn’t left the camp since she was seven and doubts her abilities.

They continued on, Percy unhappily tripping over every tree root, until a neon sign that read “Aunty Em’s Garden Gnome Emporium” popped up in view. Despite the awkward name, Percy followed the delicious smell of hamburgers across the street and into the place. The place wasn’t very welcoming with all its odd ugly statues and Grover immediately sensed something was off. They ignored him and when the door creaked open a tall Middle Eastern woman covered from head to toe in black greeted them.

Percy quickly comes up with a story about how the three of them are orphans left behind by a circus caravan they were traveling with and Aunty Em takes pity on the poor children, shuffling them inside. They continued through the shop toward the mouthwatering aroma where Aunty Em has them sit while she prepares them food. When Annabeth thanks the woman Aunty Em stiffens, but compliments her by name for her beautiful gray eyes and continues on.

Read the rest of the summary HERE.

Memorable Quotes:

Percy: In a way, it’s nice to know there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame when things go wrong. For instance, when you’re walking away from a bus that’s just been attacked by monster hags and blown up by lightning, and it’s raining on top of everything else, most people might think that’s just really bad luck; when you’re a half-blood, you understand that some divine force really is trying to mess up your day. (Page 168)

Grover: “Tin cans…a perfectly good bag of tin cans.” (Page 169)

Percy: “Anybody who can piggyback-ride a Fury is okay by me.” (Page 170)

Grover:Bla-ha-ha!” he bleated. “Looks like my Uncle Ferdinand!” (Page 172)

Grover: “Meat!” he said scornfully. “I’m a vegetarian.”
Percy: “You eat cheese enchiladas and aluminum cans,” I reminded him.
Grover: “Those are vegetables.” (Page 172)

Annabeth: “You head is full of kelp.” (Page 173)

Aunty Em: “Quite all right, Annabeth,” she said. “You have such beautiful gray eyes, child.” Only later did I wonder how she knew Annabeth’s name, even though we had never introduced ourselves. (Page 174)

Grover: “They’re not going to like that,” Grover warned. “They’ll think you’re impertinent.”
Percy: I am impertinent” (Page 186-187)

Questions for discussion:

Why do you think Percy and Annabeth can’t stop fighting? Is it because of who their parents are or is there more to it?

Why do you think Percy is so drawn to Medusa? Why couldn’t he see what was going on?

How do you feel about the way the gods and goddesses treat one another and others around them? For example, Aunty Em’s story behind her curse. Do you think it is okay for them to be so quick tempered and punish others the way they do?

Read and discuss more HERE.