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Gregor the Overlander (2003)

by Suzanne Collins

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Underland Chronicles (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,2751812,031 (3.97)142
When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.
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» See also 142 mentions

English (175)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (180)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
Source: Children's Books in Children's Hands
Age Range: 9-12
Evaluation of Quality: Familiar fantasy tropes, like falling into a fantasy realm from the real world, are used and given an urban spin that city kids can more relate to.
Assessment of potential use: This would be a fantastic independent reading series for a child who loved stories like The Borrowers or The Tale of Despereux.
Assessment of appeal to children: Children will find the fantasy creatures and their cultures (human-sized bats, rats, roaches and spiders) fantastical yet more familiar than trolls, fairies, and other typical fantasy beings.
  TAndrewH | Oct 17, 2020 |
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  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
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  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
A fantastic middle grade fantasy adventure. It was predictable, but that didn't stop it from being fun and giving me all the feels. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series! ( )
  LynnK. | Aug 4, 2020 |
It's a rare child (or teen) protagonist that doesn't annoy me at least a little as a reader, but Gregor never did. He is perhaps not all that interesting, but he is likable, sensible and never whines no matter how crappy his situation gets.

The book is a "child discovers a hidden world" fantasy where 11 years old Gregor and his 2 years old sister fall into a hollow earth-style land deep below New York where societies of sentient oversized animals (rats, cockroaches, bats and spiders, though others are hinted at) live in harmony, peace, tentative trade and/or open conflict with a subterranean race of humans. They have a prophecy, of course, and wouldn't you know it, Gregor qualifies.

Admittedly nowhere near as gripping or real-feeling as Collins' more famous later work "The Hunger Games", "Gregor the Overlander" is aimed at a decidedly younger audience, and does a really good job of making an engaging story with some depth to it out of a very fairy tale-like premise. I even found my eyes watering a bit during some of the more emotional moments at the end of the story. Considering I'm decades away from being in the target demographic for this, that is in itself rather high praise. I wasn't sure for the first half of the book if I'd end up reading the whole five-book-series, but I think I will. If I rather like this at age 35, I'd surely have loved it at age 11, and so I think I owe my younger self to read it through to the end. ( )
  Lucky-Loki | Mar 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Suzanne Collinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boehmer, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craig, DanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
To, VivienneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my mom and dad
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Gregor had pressed his forehead against the screen for so long, he could feel a pattern of tiny checks above his eyebrows.
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He could never hate people very long because he always ended up finding out something sad about them that he had to factor in. [p. 146]
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When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

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Average: (3.97)
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