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Letter to Rick Riordan, author of The Lost Hero

Sarah Shen
White Station Middle School
4th - 6th Grade


Dear Rick Riordan,

There are millions of amazing books out there, each one molded into a different story, with different perspectives. However, your book was the puppy in a litter of kittens. It was the one book that was so outstanding because it was the one that depicts the real world in an imagined setting. In my world, there are no deadly, poisonous monsters to fight or demigod camps to defend. Still, your book The Lost Hero reminds me of my life and the world I live in. Even though the dangerous world of demigods is just a figment of imagination, it does relate to the real world. Many of your heroes remind me of people I know, but the one that shocks me the most is Hephaestus. He relates to my father so much that I could barely find a difference in their personalities.

Before reading The Lost Hero, I thought my dad didn’t care for me. He rarely spends time with my sister and me. In fact, he seems to spend more time with machinery than with his own kids. My mother has to force him to get off of the computer and spend some time with me. I’d always wondered why he acts as if I were a stranger. But, thanks to Hephaestus, I finally realized why he acts this way. He loves to sit in front of the computer and pay no attention to me. I wonder if he cares. He really is better with the computer than he is with us, but he really seems to care about me, too. Hephaestus convinced me that all fathers do care. Whether they are sitting at the table or typing at the computer, they are always watching in a caring way. I’ll always remember that.

My father, however, has a helpful personality. He does like to help his kids with math or building. Hephaestus likes to help, too. Unfortunately, they are too timid to approach their kids with a strong, courageous attitude. But at times, my father does stand up for me. That gives me a sense of warmth, and it fills emptiness in my heart whenever I am feeling sad or blue. Still, I struggle to push down anger, which comes from my heartless opinions. Why do you not correct me when I am wrong? Aren’t you a dad? Why can’t you teach me how to do this? I still ask these questions, but now I feel like I understand my dad more. There’s more to our connection than being under the same roof.

Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes. I can picture myself with the characters, whether they’re in a school or a camp fighting vicious monsters. But in The Lost Hero, when I picture Hephaestus, I see my dad instead of Hephaestus. He explains why fathers can be so shy. He pushes me to understand that, and now I finally do.

Sarah Shen