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 purchased and read my copy when the Texas Bluebonnet list chose it as one of its nominees for '05-'06. Two of my students were reading right along with me and our enthusiasm for the book caused many others in my class to get on the library's waiting list. Then we all spent time on-line checking out when book 2 of the chronicles would be available!
The characters in this book were vivid and the story line moved quickly. The vocabulary was excellent, the more challenging words being easy to understand using context clues. Many kids were captured by the fantasy aspect, but since magic was not a part of it, those parents who object to the "Potter" series should be OK with the "Gregor" books. With the title character facing trials in his life such as poverty, poor housing, an absent father, and having to care for his younger siblings, many of today's kids will see themselves in Gregor, and others will possibly develop some understanding of classmates who face such difficulties. All around, an excellent book and I plan to start this coming school year with "Gregor the Overlander" as my first read aloud!