Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Reader/Committee Chair

Jennifer Andersen


Adaptation theory is the idea that an author is taking an older text and retelling the stories in a different and often more contemporary way so that newer audiences can experience them in a different setting. Cultural studies theory is where a certain culture is studied to understand what aspects are valued within that dominant culture. This idea is used within this project, then deepened by analysis of Riordan’s conception of the transmission of myths of ancient civilizations and empires to contemporary dominate world powers and civilizations like the United States. One of the most common methods of adaptation is found in young adult literature. This can be applied to the novels Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Greek and Egyptian myth adaptations can be found in abundance throughout these series; Riordan uses these adaptations as vehicles for exploring the personal odysseys of his young adult protagonists. This project will examine how Riordan adapts well-known Greek and Egyptian myths as well as lesser-known myths to explore contemporary situations. It will show how Riordan adjusts these myths to fit contemporary times and express social and psychological predicaments. Some authors such as Alexander Leighton and Sylvie Geerts have dealt with adaptation theory and its process. They have investigated adaptation in children and young adult literature while examining cultural values since young adult literature often tries to express values and morals to its young readers. This project helps others to understand the uses of adaptations and how they can be employed in other young adult literature so that young readers can experience texts that they may never have encountered before, yet in a way that is connected to them.