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Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles Series #1)

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles Series #1)

4.4 928
by Suzanne Collins

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a cavernous world beneath New York City, humans who long ago emigrated from the "Overland" live side-by-side with super-intelligent bats and loyal giant cockroaches. In a charming tip of the literary hat, debut novelist Collins introduces her young heroes Gregor and his little sister Boots into a wonderland through a trip down a long hole-in this case, an opening in a wall of their apartment building's laundry room. While passionately trying to find a way back home, 11-year-old Gregor learns about the Underlanders, their history and their unusual customs. Before long, Vikus, the noble patriarch of the Underlanders, reveals to Gregor an ancient prophecy-and why he believes that the boy is the foretold "overland warrior," come to liberate them from the giant rats. The relationship between Gregor and two-year-old Boots embodies much of the book's charm, and Gregor himself grows up before readers' eyes. His love for his lost father factors heavily into his personality; in a stunning turn of events, he discovers the reason for the disappearance of his father-who also plays a role in the prophecy. Collins does a grand job of world-building, with a fine economy of words-no unnecessary details bog down either the setting or the invigorating story. In her world, a child singing "Patty-Cake" can change the course of history and a stoic rat can mourn the fact that although he is able to read, he cannot write because he has no thumb. Unlike Gregor who cannot wait to leave, readers will likely find it to be a fantastically engaging place. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Gregor and his two-year-old sister, Boots, take a magical trip to the Underland. This under world is a place full of fanciful characters like flying bats, giant cockroaches called Crawlers, huge spiders and the dreaded and vicious oversized rats. Here in this fantasy world, Gregor comes to terms with his father's disappearance, and because of a mysterious prophesy, realizes he may be the next "Overland Warrior" of this mysterious world. The author bases her book on the relationships between the characters that Gregor meets in the Underland and Gregor's own journey of self-discovery. The author's ending is true to the fantasy she has created in the Underland, with hints regarding Gregor's next adventure there. For the most part, Collin's story is an adventurous read for young children. However, the novel lacks at certain points necessary descriptive details of the characters and settings. For instance, the descriptions of Regalia, the Underland city, and many of the book's characters should be so distinct that we visualize them. Overall, though, I recommend Collins's book to the young reader who loves fantasy and mystical reading adventures. 2003, Scholastic Press, and Ages 9 to 12.
—Tina Gregory
Eleven-year-old Gregor anticipates a long, boring summer babysitting his two-year-old sister, Boots, and keeping an eye on Grandma, who has lost touch with reality, until he heads down to the cellar of his apartment building to do the laundry. He is distracted, thinking about his father, who disappeared almost three years ago, and just as he puts a load of clothes in the dryer, his sister crawls into an air vent. A strange wisp of steam curls around Boots and suddenly she is gone. Terrified, Gregor dives through the air shaft after her only to find himself falling endlessly down into a frightening and dangerous world inhabited by giant bats, cockroaches, and rats. Befriended by a group of humans, he finds that his arrival has been foretold and anticipated-Gregor alone possesses the power to defeat the rats and save the kingdom of Regalia. By championing Regalia's cause, he also fulfills his greatest desire: to find and rescue his father. As with Tad in Rebecca Rupp's The Waterstone (Candlewick, 2003/VOYA February 2003), this classic reluctant hero has his dreary, mundane life suddenly transformed by fantastic adventures. Gregor, an extremely responsible and endearing big brother, sets out to save the world with Boots in a backpack. His youth is tempted by danger, fear, and death, but in the end, he is triumphant, Regalia is saved, and his family is reunited. A refreshing combination of sensitive characters, innovative devices, and an unusual setting make this an appealing purchase for younger fantasy fans. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9).2003, Scholastic, 320p, Wallace
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-In this accessible, almost-cinematic fantasy, Gregor and his two-year-old sister fall into an amazing underground world. Taken in by people who have lived beneath the earth for centuries, the 11-year-old learns about the giant-sized talking creatures that also reside there, including bats, cockroaches, and vicious rats. Gregor just wants to get home, but a prophecy hints that he may be the "overlander" destined to save the humans from the warlike rodents. He is reluctant until he learns that his father, who disappeared from their New York City home a few years before, is a prisoner of the rats. Gregor is not an eager hero, but with common sense, quick thinking, and determination he grows into the role. His sister, who provides some comic relief, also plays a key part because of her ability to befriend creatures, especially the giant cockroaches. Plot threads unwind smoothly, and the pace of the book is just right. Exciting scenes and cliff-hanger chapters are balanced by decisions and interactions that drive the action. Gregor is not the most compelling figure at first, but as the story progresses he becomes more interesting, maturing through the challenges he faces. Supporting characters are generally engaging, particularly the enigmatic warrior rat that claims to support the protagonist's mission. This is an engrossing adventure for fantasy fans and for those new to the genre.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Gregor's luminous, supremely absorbing quest takes place in a strange underground land of giant cockroaches, rideable bats, and violet-eyed humans. When his two-year-old sister Boots tumbles into an air duct in his building's laundry room, Gregor leaps after her and they fall, à la Alice, into another world. Gregor wants desperately to get home-until he hears that his father, who left Gregor heavy-hearted by disappearing two years ago, may be in Underland himself, kept prisoner by enormous, war-hungry rats. A coalition of creatures and royal humans is formed to rescue him, modeled after an ancient prophetic poem that has foretold Gregor's arrival and calls him the Overland Warrior. The abiding ache of Gregor's sadness is matched by his tender care for Boots. Creature depictions are soulful and the plot is riveting; Underland's dark, cavernous atmosphere is palpable. Explanation and subtlety balance perfectly. Wonderful. (Fiction. 8-12)
Children's Literature - Enid J. Portnoy
While taking care of his two-year-old sister in their apartment building Gregor is horrified when she seems to have fallen into a hole behind one of the large machines in the laundry room. This kicks off a series of adventures involving evil rats as guards and soldiers, huge cockroaches, and more in this suspenseful novel. Talking giant insects and frightful looking bats and other "Underland" insects are part of the world Collins has created: a world of ugly, dirty creatures and subservient humans who live under the floor of Gregor's building. It appears that not even his mother or his grandmother can help him to deal with these bizarre creatures from their hiding place. How can Gregor and his baby sister ever get back to their apartment? What Gregor experiences will keep readers breathing heavily as they quickly turn pages to see what exciting adventure remains. This is book one of the "Underland Chronicles" series. The three parts of the novel are followed by an "After Words" section which contains author information and an interview, along with suggestions of how to design a similar Underland and populate it with fantastical characters. Stirring creativity is what Collins does best, along with providing scary surprises. For those teens who have not yet explored Suzanne Collins' writing, this book is an excellent beginning. Reviewer: Enid J. Portnoy

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Underland Chronicles Series , #1
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Sales rank:
File size:
581 KB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Suzanne Collin's debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. All three titles in the series are available on audio from Listening Library. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

From the Audio Download edition.

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Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 928 reviews.
TRV More than 1 year ago
Gregor the Overlander is a great tale of a secret underground world that a group of humans migrated to long ago. Gregor, a kid living in New York City, finds a gateway to this underground world, or underland in his apartment's laundry room. He and his sister Boots then enter a world of wonder, inhabited by giant cockroaches, bats, spiders, rats, and the humans. Upon his arrival, Gregor is taken to the human's city of Regalia, where he is informed of a quest he must take part in in order to find his dad, who vanished to the underland over two years ago. His dad is held a prisoner of the rats, and it is Gregor's job to rescue him and bring him back to New York City. This book does a fantastic job of portraying the setting and characters of this book. This book is sure to keep the reader's attention with it's intriguing plot and memorable characters, and is a book the reader will remember.
ktfiend More than 1 year ago
I am a 43 year old mother of three adult children and I decided to read this book after finishing The Hunger Games series. While this book is geared toward a little younger audience, I loved reading every page. It's fun that the reader is easily able to follow the growth of each character and eventually realize why they are important to the story. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.
booksonmynook More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It has a story I couldn't put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When i first saw the cover of this book it looked like this book would be wierd, but i read the book anyway because i had to so i could win a award for school. the minute i started reading the book i couldnt stop, because it was so good! I have read every book in this series. I hope that they make anpther sequel to this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the whole series! It has a hard start but when you get in to it you will most likly love it! I would read for a 3erd time. If you like hunger games you will moat likely love this book. Highly recomed for 10-14 kids and adults to. If you like fantisy you will probley love this to i know sci-fi lovers who love this series! 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read, so far, the first three books. Amazing!! I have to say, this is the best author EVER!!! It's absolutely great! Suzanne Collins is my favorite author, no doubt! 5/5 stars! I was a little skeptical about this book at first... the cover wasn't very appealing. But, I decided, since Suzanne Collins made the awesome Hunger Games, to give it a try. Guys and girls, DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER! NEVER! I love this series so far, and I'll most likely end up reading it a second time this summer, along with The Hunger Games. They are both AMAZING series. I just love it. 5/5 star rating. --RECOMMEND!--
CPSinPhilly More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read this because I loved the Hunger Games series, and while I did like this book, as an adult, I think I could not appreciate it the way a child might. But, if I had a 10 year old boy, I would buy it for them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great series. After reading The Hunger Games I wanted more and this series definitely did not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know what those people who put 1 star are thinking. So let me tell you, those people are flat out WRONG. Gregor has a good plot, easy to read, and has a character we can all relate to. I would highly recommemd this book. I believe it is up to par with the Hunger Games.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. Period. Sorry if you dont like it but dont say its bad. Some people say it wasnt as good as the hunger games but i personally didnt like the hunger game as much as this. The plot twists are perfect, the languague is descriptive, the word choices are
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HELLO READ THIS!!! READ IT PLEASE!Well you see i have been craving the hunger game series. As i was saving up money for the third book i needed something to read. I was looking at other books suzanne wrote and i stepped upon the gregor series. It looked kind of kiddish. (And i am a kid.) Im 11. Well i needed something to read and i heard 6th graaders liked this book. So i pick it up and start reading. SO FAR ITS AMAZING!!!! Its a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good. Wonderful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG I am SIXTEEN and I LOVED IT!! LOVED the Hunger Games too... but I liked this one better :) Read the whole series trust me it's worth it ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought that it was a good book that realy left u thinking what is the next thing that will happen so get the book it was realy good
Jenny_Rose More than 1 year ago
At 11, Gregor’s life seems to have hit bottom. His 7-year-old sister Lizzie gets to go to summer camp while he has to stay home with his grandma who is battling Alzheimer’s and his 2-year-old sister Boots so his mom can go to work. His dad disappeared. Gregor didn’t think he could feel any lower until he and Boots get sucked into Underland. This he hit rock bottom. They discover a world where humans exist normal size but bugs and rodents are giant and can talk. At first Gregor seems stuck in this hidden world, until he learns of a prophecy and the hope this his dad might also be stuck in Underland. This is a great page turner that I would recommend to upper elementary to middle grade.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why is hunger gamees so popular gregor the overlander shold be a movie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth the money. I would give it (**********************************************************************************************************************************************************)this many stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book EVER!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this is a great book, and I would recommend it to 4th to 6th grade, even though I read it in 3rd. PS:What does shrimp with cream sauce even taste like?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
omg this is the best book ever i loved all 5 books. i even want more after i was done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my all time favorites! I can literally read it over and over again! I like it because it has that kind of thing where the author comes up with a topic that is so weird and cool and unimaginable that makes the book even more entertaining! I would totally recommend it for eveyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These are great books!!! They are not just for boys!!! Girls i read them and they are amazing!!!!! I recommend these books to teens or pre-teens. I dont like reading but i had to read the first one in class so now i am hooked!!! Bats, rats, mice, UNDERLANDERS, Regalia!!!! So much to "see"!!! READ IT
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom made me read this. I thought itwould be bad but i loved it!!!!!! Boots is so adorable :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books i have ever read!