content by

AM Gelberg

Growing up With Percy Jackson

A few weeks before I started at middle school at Rio Norte Jr. High, I read a book called The Lightning Thief. My brother had won it from the Summer Reading Challenge at Barnes & Noble, but my mother, who was an elementary school teacher and who had heard good things about the book, encouraged me to read it, too. At first, I had refused. It seemed like a book for boys. It’s funny, in retrospect. I can’t imagine making that sort of distinction today. But I was twelve years old. I clung to the rigidity of the gender binary because I was aware, on some level, that I did not fit neatly within it, and being abnormal was something I deeply feared.

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