While my son and I found this movie to be very entertaining, I can't recall another book to movie that deviated this far from the original story. I have to wonder how much Rick Riordan was involved in the making of the movie. What were his thought about the changes that were made?
Here is a picture of the main characters: Percy, Annabeth, and Grover.
Here is a picture of Athena, Zeus, and Poseidon.
I thought the costumes, casting, sets, and action scenes were excellent, but why did they have to change so much of the story line? Their mode of transportation during the quest was different from the book. They never encountered Ares while on their quest, which was a HUGE part of the book. How they got the pearls, what happened to Smelly Gabe, Luke's involvement at the end of the movie.... The list of differences goes on and on.
If a middle school teacher is looking for a highly entertaining book for his or her students to read that will appeal to both boys and girls...I would highly recommend The Lightning Thief. You can easily decipher which students tried to take the easy way out and watched the movie instead of reading the book. In fact, I used this as an educational opportunity with my nine year old son. We discussed how movies always have some differences from the book and teachers will ask questions to see if you read the book or simply watched the movie. If for some reason you are having difficulty getting through a book, it is best to get an unabridged audio book and take that route before a test. Never rely on the movie.