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Suzanne Collins' debut novel, Gregor the Overlander, the first book in The Underland Chronicles, received wide praise both in the United States and abroad. The series has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous accolades. Also a writer for children's television, Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut.
Gr 4-8-It's the beginning of summer and everyone is going off to camp except Gregor, an 11-year-old boy from New York City. Since his father's disappearance from their New York City home, he has been helping out with taking care of his little sisters, especially two-year-old Boots. Gregor sacrifices his chance to go to camp, letting his other sister go instead. While doing laundry in the basement of his apartment building, Boots disappears down an air chute and Gregor goes after her. At the bottom of this inner-city "rabbit hole," the two find themselves in the "Underland" surrounded immediately by giant cockroaches, or crawlers. The story moves quickly as the two "Overlanders" are taken to the Queen of the Underlander humans, where Gregor learns of a prophecy which focuses on him and a quest to find his missing father. He travels with bats, crawlers, spinners (giant spiders), a rat, and two of the royal Underlanders. Gregor spends his time between protecting Boots, who doesn't know she needs to be protected, and becoming the leader of the questors who must not only save his father, but also save the Underlanders' kingdom. This fantasy by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, 2003) is skillfully written with well-developed characters and enough action to keep listeners' attention. Narrator Paul Boehmer does an excellent job of providing different voices for the myriad of characters. With the hint of a sequel, this would be an excellent selection for libraries to add to their fantasy collections.-Lisa D. Williams, Chocowinity Middle School, NC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
In the second title in the Underland Chronicles series, Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins, Gregor returns to the world beneath New York City, seeking his young sister, Boots, who has been kidnapped by giant cockroaches that are trying to protect her from murderous rats. PW said of Gregor the Overlander, "Collins does a grand job of world-building.... Unlike Gregor who cannot wait to leave, readers will likely find it to be a fantastically engaging place." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.