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Arvind Ashok wrote to Rick Riordan, author of The Last Olympian.
Dear Rick Riordan,
I have moments where things seem hopeless, that everything just seems stacked against me, where I just canít get what I want. Everybody does. Sometimes, I feel that there is a monument between me and my goals, that life has just turned its tables on me and left me alone in the dark. In your book, The Last Olympian, Percy has many moments like these, where he is forced to make decisions, and overcome massive monuments that tower over him. Before I got this book, I was turning in late work for my Language Arts class. The work seemed impossible to do in the time that was given. Even though I probably will never have to save the world from a titan, I learned something from Percy and all his friends. No matter how many hurdles life throws at you, no matter how many drops there are in the roller coaster, you always have to keep going and never give up. Since I read your book, I have never turned in late work and have tried to persevere in everything that I try to do, even when I am fighting many monsters at a time, like Percy.
Every day, I see people all over the world, accomplishing their dreams, doing amazing things to achieve their goals, going above and beyond. None of that is easy. Every single one of these people had to work hard and overcome the barriers standing in their way. If Thomas Edison had given up on the light bulb, our houses would be left in the dark. Bill Gates took about 30 years to develop Windows Vista, and he is the richest man in the world. Yet Vista isnít perfect, and Bill Gates is still working toward his goals, to make earth a better place to live. After reading your book, I now understand that if you give up, you wonít just be giving up on what youíre doing, youíll be giving up on yourself
In The Last Olympian, it states that “elpis” (hope) canít leave the jar unless released by a human. The same is true in reala life. If you give up on something, no matter how impossible it seems, then you have failed. Even Luke, who was evil for most of the series, succeeded in the end, becoming a true hero. There is always a chance to turn back, right your wrong, and jump over the hurdle that you missed. I know I always will.
Your book has taught me how to deal with the many problems of life that I am likely to face. Since I read your book, Percy has been an imaginary role model for me, and inspired me to keep working and never give up my dreams. Thank you for writing it.
© The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. (Used by permission.)