Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Novel: Gregor the Overlander

Author: Suzanne Collins

Target Audience: 8 to 12 years

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Year: 2003

Setting: Underland (world beneath New York City); contemporary

A Favorite Quote: “His dad said even the cavemen had geniuses among them. Somebody had thought up the wheel.”

My One Sentence Summary: When Gregor’s two-year-old sister falls through a grate in the laundry room, Gregor goes after her and discovers an entire world of bats, rats, roaches, and  humans whose fragile truce is on the verge of fracturing.

What I loved about this book: I’m a sucker for stories about children saving their siblings or parents. I love Gregor’s affection for Boots, his two-year-old sister, and his quest to find his missing father. I also liked his friends in the Underland (particularly Luxa and Ripred who are complex characters). There is rich humor, smooth dialogue, and a vibrantly imagined world.

Major themes: Devastating effects of war and violence; Loyalty and the consequences of betrayal

Who should read this book: Described as a modern-day, American Alice in Wonderland, this book is great for readers who enjoy a fast-paced, exciting adventure novel. Filled with giant cockroaches, bats, and rats, as well as some depictions of violence, this story is probably best for non-squeamish readers.



  1. Gregor the Overlander
  2. Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
  3. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
  4. Gregor and the Marks of Secret
  5. Gregor and the Code of Claw