Rick Riordan's Keynote at Boston Book Festival

Rick Riordan’s Keynote at Boston Book Festival

There were wonderful H. H. Richardson buildings near the last U.Fund Dreams Tour that I went to at the Children’s Museum of Easton.

Boston Book Fair 2014

Was it a lucky coincidence that the last stop of the U.Fund Dreams Tour at the Boston Book Festival included Rick Riordan speaking at H. H. Richardson’s finest work, Trinity Church?

Trinity Church, H H Richardson, Copley Plaza Boston

Trinity Church on a sunny day.

UFund Dreams Tour, Boston Book Festival, Rick Riordan

The line was epic waiting for Rick Riordan at Trinity Church but there was room for everyone.

It’s a good thing that Trinity Church seats 1,300 people; the church was nearly at capacity with Percy Jackson fans, adults and kids alike! I got there an hour early and the line was already around the corner.


The interior of Trinity Church is equally as stunning as the outside. 

Rick Riordan did not disappoint. He’s a natural storyteller, sharing stories of his youth, how he came to be a teacher and writer by way of reluctant reader. Percy Jackson was inspired by his own son, Haley, who also has ADHD and dyslexia. Riordan’s sense of humor was in full force; it’s easy to see why his books are so funny!

UFund Dreams Tour, Boston Book Festival, Rick Riordan

BoO! HoO! Is this Rick Riordan’s trying to make anyone cry? No! It’s Blood of Olympus, Hereos of Olympus! 

My son will read anything by Rick Riordan. We got through his weird cyst operation by reading Blood of Olympus, the final chapter book of the Percy Jackson series. The funny parts made my son laugh which made the pre-operation room less scary while we waited for his turn to under.

reading Blood of Olympus, Percy Jackson at Boston Children's Hospital

After my son’s two and half hour surgical procedure in which the cyst, the size of an egg, was extracted intact, we kept on reading Blood of Olympus because my son found the hospital TV options boring compared to his book. That always makes me happy!

And, compared to what Percy Jackson and crew were facing, my son’s situation seemed pretty minor. They were, after all, fighting to save the world as we know it. We were just waiting for his incision to drain.

Blood of Olympus and recovering from surgery

You might not have knon that Rick Riordan was a reluctant reader as a child. He learned to love reading through Marvel Comics. It paved the way for college for him, where he studied to become a teacher. As a teacher, he was a natural and engaging storyteller who went out of his way to entertain his students, which often included getting into costume. From teacher to parent, the significant leap here was his ability to make up stories for his son … which lead to Percy Jackson.

Rick Riordan’s journey shows that anything is possible. I love how the U.Fund Dreams Tours stresses this message of possibilities. I’m in their booth trying out the possibility of becoming a doctor.

UFund Dreams Tour, Boston Book Festival, Rick Riordan

Picture the Possibilities … I thought being a doctor would come in handy given my son’s operation!

I know that we, as parents, work hard to develop a love of reading for our kids; it helps pave the way towards college. Paying for college is another thing we all worry about. The 529 Plan is a tax advantaged college investing plan worth considering.

UFund Dreams Tour, Boston Book Festival, Rick Riordan

You might want to think about setting one up now and adding it to the holiday gift wish list  when the relatives ask what to get for your kids.

In addition, you can set up a 529 Plan for anyone including grandchildren, nieces, nephews and godkids. The important thing is to get started; it’s never too late and every little bit helps.

My kids have savings accounts and they make deposits a few times a year. This year, I’m going to have them set aside half  of their money for their 529 college fund and the other half for their savings account (which I match as an incentive to save). I’ll match their 529 college contribution too. It’s a good incentive for us all to remember to make frequent contributions to their college fund.

How about you? Do you have a college savings plan or incentives to save in place for your kids?

UFund Dreams Tour, Boston Book Festival, Rick Riordan

I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA for this post in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rick Riordan's Keynote at Boston Book Festival

p.s. For Rick Riordan’s complete KeyNote address at Boston Book Festival, please go to my YouTube channel. I have most of it recorded in 20 video clips.

p.p.s. When I posted that I was going to the Boston Book Festival and about my son’s surgery, Rick Riordan wished my son a speedy recovery on Twitter. I can’t tell you how much this delighted my son! Of course, he wanted proof that it was authentic so here it is:

Rick Riordan tweets back to me

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I had no idea Rick Riordan was a reluctant reader! My son lives and breathes his books–and knows mythology inside and out because of them. Love that.
    candidkay recently posted…Learning to love my fellow man: an experiment at the amusement parkMy Profile

  2. Rick Riordan has captivated the kids and the MG market ith his wonderful books. Haven’t read any of his books, but Erik reviews all of them. Do girls read them too? I have a great granddaughter I’m trying to find chapter/MG for.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Little Ghost — Halloweensie ContestMy Profile

    • Hi Patricia,
      My oldest daughter LOVED Rick Riordan and he’s universally popular with boys and girls but my middle kid, also a girl, does not care for action adventure books AT ALL and thinks Percy Jackson is boring. We always protest that she’s nuts but she much prefers realistic fiction and dystopian. To each her own!

      How old is your great granddaughter and what does she like to read? I’d say 3rd or 4th grade is perfect for Rick Riordan though some of my son’s friends read it in first grade and there are tons of 8th graders who are hardcore devotees! I think his popularity is due to the range his books appeal too! Not too scary but adventurous. No sex but light romance. Not too violent. And funny! And with great characters! And very well paced!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…DIY Gratitude Advent Calendar: Day 1 of 12 Days of ShoppingMy Profile

  3. Thanks for sharing this great post. It’s great to hear that the books helped your son get through a tough period. My kids and nieces and nephews have been so obsessed with the series that they got me hooked, too. So many inspiring Demi-gods to choose from as role models!

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