Gregor the Overlander
Suzanne Collins

What if an air vent in a laundry room could lead to an unknown world? What if rats, bats, and cockroaches were as big as humans? What if an eleven year old boy could save a nation? What ifs become reality for Gregor in his journey through the Underland in Gregor the Overlander.

Gregor is an ordinary eleven year old boy. He has a father and a mother, though his father went missing about two years, seven months, and some odd days ago. He has two sisters, Lizzie and two year old Boots. When mom tells Gregor he has to stay home to watch Boots instead of going to summer camp, Gregor is not the least bit excited. But when Boots stumbles down an air vent in the downstairs laundry room, Gregor’s world is turned upside down. Well, more like inside out.

Gregor and Boots’ fall land them in an underground world. This world is full of giant cockroaches, bats, rats, spiders, and many other insects. There are also humans who reside within the city of Regalia. The humans and bats are united together in harmony and live in fear of the giant rats. There is a ruler, Vikus, who is the grandfather of the future queen, Luxa. They welcome Gregor and Boots with much honor. Overlanders do not usually survive the fall into the Underland.

Gregor and Boot’s presence in the Underworld causes commotion and word travels to the rats of their presence. A war begins in Underland. There is an ancient prophesy by the founder of Underland that tells of an Overlander who will make a quest. Gregor is the Overlander, and the quest is to find his father. The quest is very dangerous. A group of humans, cockroaches, bats, a rat, and a spider go in search of Gregor’s father. They encounter many perils, but succeed in finding Gregor’s father. Many lives are lost in the end; in the group, and back at Regalia where the rats had attacked the humans. The battle is won against the rats; their leader has been killed and they retreated from the fight. Gregor fulfilled the prophecy and return home with his father and his sister. Yet, there is mention that one day he may return.

The story line is very magnetic. The emotion and conviction displayed by the characters draws you into their struggle to fulfill the prophecy. The Underland is an imaginative world full of fascinating and complex ideas. Once Gregor learns that his father may be alive and in the Underworld, the plot pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the last page. The story sends the positive messages of courage, trust, hope, and love of family. I would recommend this book to elementary readers and believe that they would greatly enjoy Gregor’s journey!