Press Release

Business Wire  –  Tue May 05 04:01:00 CDT 2009

Hugely Anticipated Finale to Blockbuster Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series Goes on Sale Today

Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Last Olympian Arrives in Bookstores With a 1.2 Million Copy First Printing

Over 5 Million Percy Jackson Books Sold in the U.S. To Date

NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 marks the official release of Disney-Hyperion Books’ Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book 5: The Last Olympian, the highly anticipated final book in Rick Riordan’s blockbuster series. In this stunning conclusion to the series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

In support of the release of The Last Olympian, Riordan will embark on a monumental tour with a kickoff of mythic proportions at BookPeople in Austin, Texas and will also visit Houston, Texas; Vancouver, BC; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; New York, NY; Boston, MA; St Paul, MN; St Louis, MI; Raleigh, NC; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Dayton, OH; and San Antonio, TX.

This past fall Disney Book Group kicked off the official Percy Jackson & the Olympians Mythology Bee for schools and libraries throughout the US with more than 1,000 requests for Bee kits. This spring, schools and libraries have conducted the Percy Jackson & the Olympians Mythology Bee and the winner from each Bee was entered to win the grand prize- a trip for four to Greece this summer to meet Rick Riordan. It was announced today that the Grand Prize winner is 12-year-old Julia from Pittsburgh, PA.

Disney Book Group also launched the Are You the Last Olympian? nationwide sweepstakes on April 7, 2009, with the grand prize of a Disney Cruise for four. The sweepstakes is available exclusively on the series’ dedicated website at www.percyjacksonbooks.com.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has been sold into 32 different language markets with more than 5 million copies sold in the U.S. The first book, The Lightning Thief, debuted in the summer of 2005, and was a New York Times Notable Book and a Today Show/Al Roker’s Book Club Selection -- film rights have been purchased by Twentieth Century Fox (the movie is currently filming in Vancouver). The Sea of Monsters was a Publishers Weekly and BookSense national bestseller. The third title, The Titan’s Curse, made the series a #1 New York Times bestseller, and the fourth title, The Battle of the Labyrinth, had a first printing of one million copies.

The novels draw on Riordan’s experience with his son, who was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. After recounting the stories of gods and heroes, he ran out of myths and his son asked him to make up a new story. Over the course of a few nights the story of Percy Jackson came to life and at the suggestion of his son, he wrote what became The Lightning Thief. The books ultimately inspired actual summer camps hosted by bookstores; this summer, multiple stores across the US are holding Camp Half Blood sessions.

Rick Riordan is the author of the previous books in the New York Times #1 best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief; The Sea of Monsters; The Titan's Curse; and The Battle of the Labyrinth. His previous novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons.

Disney-Hyperion Books is an imprint of Disney Book Group (DBG); additional DBG imprints include Disney Editions, Disney-Jump at the Sun Books, and Disney Press. DBG is part of Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, with over 400 children's magazines published and 120 million children's books sold each year. Headquartered in White Plains, NY and Milan, Italy, Disney Publishing Worldwide publishes books and magazines in 85 languages in 75 countries, reaching more than 100 million readers each month.

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