Gregor the Overlander: Underland Chronicles, Book 1

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Gregor the Overlander: Underland Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
One of the best of the post-Potter fantasies.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 82 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Gregor is a model of care for his toddler sister, and grows in strength of character throughout the book.

Violence

Battles with scary creatures, some rather gory, but the message of the book is anti-violence.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is much to discuss here, especially the family relationships and the Underland parallels to Overland racism. There's also a strong anti-violence message, and Gregor wonders if he couldn't have succeeded without even the enemy rats being harmed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjlondon April 9, 2008

Alice & Wonderland for Boys

This was a marvelous fantasy read. First time author Suzanne Collins gets this one right and we can look forward to more adventures with Gregor. This adventur... Continue reading
Adult Written bymjdulaney April 9, 2008

5th grade teacher raves about "Gregor!"

As a teacher, I am always looking for books that will grab the attention of my more reluctant readers. "Gregor" was such a title this year. I purcha... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by8colony8 August 9, 2010

BEST. FANTASY. EVER!!!

YOU HAVE TO READ THE UNDERLAND CHRONICLES!!!! They are just amazing. They have adventure, great characters, great plot, and that tiny bit of romance that makes... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 12, 2011

Really Good!

All I remember from this book is that it was really good. I'm sorry that this review is a fail. But... READ "GREGOR THE OVERLANDER!!!"

What's the story?

Gregor and his toddler sister, Boots, fall through a grate in their laundry room and land in the Underland, a world far beneath the earth's surface populated by humans, as well as giant intelligent bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders. Taken in by the humans who live in an underground city, at first they only want to find a way back home. But then Gregor learns that his father, who disappeared years before, is in the Underland too, held prisoner by the rats, who are about to launch a war on the humans.

The humans are allied with the bats, and the spiders and roaches are in the middle. But an ancient prophecy talks about the coming of a warrior from the Overland to unite them to defeat the rats, and the Underlanders think that Gregor is the warrior of the prophecy.

Is it any good?

In this first part of a planned five-part series, first-time children's novelist Collins gets it just right. There are strong characters, vivid descriptions, flawless pacing, breathless excitement, laughs and scares, and a vision that makes this fantasy very different from the flood of fantasies filling up bookstores since Harry Potter. This is one that will keep kids turning the pages and begging for the sequel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the relationships in the story and the book's anti-violence message. Why are the strong family relationships so important to the story? Was there any way Gregor could have succeeded in his mission without the use of violence?

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