- Publisher: Scholastic US
- Format: Paperback | 311 pages
- Dimensions: 132mm x 196mm x 25mm | 227g
- Publication date: 31 August 2004
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0439678137
- ISBN 13: 9780439678131
- Sales rank: 8,580
In the irresistible first novel by the author of The Hunger Games, a boy embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny -- and find his father. New cover art coming July 1st! In the first novel of the New York Times bestselling series by Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, young Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building and hurtles into the dark Underland. This strange world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.
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Suzanne Collins' debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in The Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. The series has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous accolades. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.
By Daphne for Loving Books 08 Apr 2012
After finishing Collins' phenomenal series The Hunger Games, I was hungry for more. I hadn't heard anything about her debut or the following books in the series, but it sounded good so I decided to give it a try. And I'm ever so glad I did, because Gregor proves to be just as exciting as The Hunger Games.
In this first book of the series, we meet Gregor, an 11-year old guy with a two-year-old sister called Boots. When Boots goes through a grate in their laundry room, Gregor follows her and soon they find themselves in the Underland, a world without a sun where enormous animals live besides the humans. The animals have distinct personalities, from the giant cockroaches to the loyal bats who carry 'their' humans.
While this is a middlegrade series, it reads very quickly and it's just as exciting as Collins' young adult series. The writing is to the point and makes it easy to imagine everything that's happening, even the talking insects, rats and bats. I loved how fast paced it was, how much adventure there was and how likeable the characters are. Gregor is a great main character and you cannot possibly read the story without liking Boots. She's small and still a toddler, but she's a feisty one at that!
If you're looking for a fast paced, adventerous and exciting middle grade fantasy, this is the book for you!
By TeensReadToo 02 Oct 2010
After surviving a bizarre fall through a gateway to the Underland--conveniently located in the laundry room of their NYC apartment building--eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister Boots discover a world filled with giant talking cockroaches, rats, spiders, and bats. The humans of this formidable world take them in as "guests," but, as Gregor astutely observes, "Guests could leave it they wanted to" (p. 54). Not knowing whom to trust, Gregor flees the palace with Boots, inadvertently igniting the prophesied war between the humans and rats.
Highlighting Gregor's role as the consistently responsible older brother, Collins creates a heroic character for young adult readers even before revealing that Gregor is about to fulfill his destiny as "an Overland Warrior, a Son of the Sun" (p. 109). Yes, there is violence, but not simply for the sake of being violent; Collins's use of violence is appropriate to her story.
Gregor is a great introduction for readers who are new to the fantasy genre. The main characters are human, and are well-grounded in reality--New York City, doing laundry, babysitting, summer camp. Still, there is enough of the fantastic--giant talking animals, gateways into another world, prophecies--to stimulate the imagination and introduce newcomers to fantasy without being overwhelming.
Massachusetts Children's Book Award Honor Book, 2006
Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award, 2006
NAIBA Book of the Year Award, 2004