Gregor the Overlander (Book #1 in the Underland Chronicles) — Suzanne Collins

Scholastic, 2005


Gregor follows his younger sister, Boots through a grate in their laundry room and find themselves in the Underland, where humans live alongside Fliers (giant bats), Crawlers (giant cockroaches), Spinners (giant spiders) and Gnawers (giant rats). Gregor finds out there is a war about to start and he is going to play a role in a prophecy that fortells the end of the war. Once he realizes this quest can help him get back the one thing he has wanted for over two years, he embarks on the journey that will change his life and the Underland forever.

Review: I know I’m late to this bandwagon. I didn’t realize Suzanne Collins had another series until after I’d finished The Hunger Games Trilogy. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it! IT WAS AWESOME! I loved every minute of it. Gregor was an engaging character. He was self-depreciating at times (which is understandable for an eleven year old), strong, fair and real. He had so many different emotions throughout the book. He was in no way stereotypical of middle grade books. I liked that he had a strong sense of who he was, even when he doubted himself. This really shows in his relationship with Boots.

Even though this book is a middle grade book, it touches on some important issues. There was a lot of stress placed on the importance of family. Gregor’s father goes missing, because of that his mother falls apart and Gregor is forced to grow up more quickly than he should have had to at age eleven. This allows Gregor to understand people and take certain risks that he might not have been able to. Losing his father really shaped his character. You can really see his maturity in comparison with Luxa and Henry, two of the Underlanders who are about the same age as Gregor. They were not as tolerant and didn’t have the same sympathy for different people (and species) that Gregor has.

I cannot recommend Gregor the Overlander highly enough. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series.

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