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
Parents recommendPopular with kids
One of the best of the post-Potter fantasies.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 93 reviews

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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.


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

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
Parent of a 1, 3, 5, 6, and 10-year-old Written byCamey82 February 15, 2014

Wonderfully Fun, Thoughtful, and Action Packed!

I LOVE this book. I have not yet begun book two, but book one was phenomenal. Someone else explained it as Alice in Wonderland for boys. I understand that. It d... Continue reading
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byahcim3 May 9, 2010


i was going to skip over this book because it sounded so totally weird but when i saw your review i read them all in 2 days!! (I must say i had a sick fascinati... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 2, 2019

(the series) changed my life

Ge-gor ;), the main character is a modern middle-schooler and actually LIKEABLE.
He adapts to his situation and all the characters are good! This 'ne makes... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byevanie January 23, 2015

love it

This book is the best book ever they should make a movie out of it.

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?

Book details

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