Gregor the Overlander
by Suzanne Collins
In Scholastics About the Author blurb, Suzanne Collins explains her first novel as a 21st-century, New York City version of Alice in
Wonderland in the sense that instead of a rabbit hole, you might fall down a manhole and what you would find at the bottom would be
quite different too. What 11-year-old Gregor finds is an underground kingdom populated by purple-eyed people who live in harmony with giant
bats (fliers). Their uneasy allies include giant spiders (called spinners) and giant cockroaches (crawlers). And their chief enemy is
a race of man-sized, man-eating rats (gnawers).
Gregor lives in New York City with his demented grandmother, his emotionally wounded mother, and two younger sisters. Gregor has to be the
man of the house. While his sister Lizzie goes to summer camp and his mother to work, Gregor takes care of Grandma and the youngest child in
the family, a two-year-old girl nicknamed Boots who was born after their father disappeared. One day Gregor and Boots inadvertently find out
where their father disappeared to when they are sucked down an air shaft into the Underland.
At first, all Gregor wants to do is get home to comfort his worried mother. But soon, he finds out that his father has been taken prisoner
by the rats. And everyone thinks that a vague, centuries-old prophecy means that Gregor will be the warrior who saves the underland city of
Regalia from the warlike rats. Soon, Gregor is on a quest of twelve companions, four of whom (according to the Prophecy of Grey) will not
survive the journey. Even though he is only a child and knows nothing about war or the ways of the Underland, Gregor must find it in himself
to bring peace to Regalia, and to bring his father home.
This is the first book in a proposed series of five called The Underland Chronicles, though at the time of this writing, there is only one
other book in the seriesGregor and the Prophecy of Bane. Once you start reading this book, you will be sucked in for good. Hooray!
Yet another series in progress, for which you can wait impatiently for the next book to come out!
Recommended Age: 11+
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