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Gregor the Underland Chronicles (5 Volume Set) Paperback – September 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.; Box Rei edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545166810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545166812
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 7.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (566 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Underland Chronicles

A New York Times Bestselling Series

A USA Today Bestselling Series

A Book Sense Bestselling Series

*"Gregor's luminous, supremely absorbing quest takes place in a strange underground land. . . . Creature depictions are soulful and the plot is riveting. Wonderful." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*"Collins does a grand job of world-building, with a fine economy of words. Unlike Gregor who cannot wait to leave, readers will likely find [the Underland] to be a fantastically engaging place." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

*"[An] exceptional debut novel, a well-written, fast-moving, action-packed fantasy. [S]ure to be a solid hit with young fantasy fans." —Booklist, starred review

From the Author

Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, author Suzanne Collins was struck by how rural the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in the city. In New York City, you're much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you're not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Collins's musings led to the creation of The Underland Chronicles. "I liked the fact that this world was teeming under New York City and nobody was aware of it. That you could be going along preoccupied with your own problems and then whoosh! You take a wrong turn in your laundry room and suddenly a giant cockroach is right in your face. No magic, no space or time travel, there's just a ticket to another world behind your clothes dryer," Collins says.

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Customer Reviews

My 10 year old son loved the series.
Khaled Tolba
It is a good, adventurous story and Collins is GREAT with character development.
Uncle Andross
These are great reads and would recommend them for all young adult readers.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

158 of 161 people found the following review helpful By B. Butterfield on March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read the whole series to my seven year old son and I'd be hard-pressed to think of a book with more memorable characters or hilarious dialogue. It also gives an incredibly visceral and emotional depiction of the horrors of war.

The books follow an 11 year old boy, Gregor after he has fallen miles underground with his exuberant 2 year old sister Boots. He is drawn into complicated interspecies conflict between multiple groups of huge talking animals and humans. The humans were brought underground centuries ago by a leader "Earl of Sandwich" who had visions of the future which he carved into the stones as prophesies. Gregor and his sister seem to be named in the prophesies.

Of the books themes which seemed to impact my son were:
1. The responsibility of taking care of the vulnerable (This is also some of the funniest scenes in the books as he tries to look after Boots)
2. How much can be solved if you can communicate with others. (A gifted child is able to speak the languages of several of the creatures and avoid disaster)
3. Nothing is inevitable, especially war.

The writing is beautiful.. this is the author that went on to write the Hunger Games/Catching Fire. (In that way I wouldn't compare it to the pedestrian Lightning Thief). A closer analogy would be Garth Nix.

A word of caution. Some of the battle scenes are truly horrifying and I did end up skipping some sentences for my son's benefit. Also, major characters do die. While some would complain about the lack of a truly happy ending (it's happy enough, considering all that happens) I found it more satisfying and realistic than most YA books.
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121 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading the first two books in the Hunger Game series (and waiting impatiently for Mockinjay), I decided to try Suzanne Collins' Gregor books. I LOVED this series! I had to make myself stop reading so I could get some sleep for work the next day. The characters were well-developed and the story was a wonderful fantasy. Both of my daughters in their twenties devoured these books too. I have come to the conclusion that books with young protagonists are classified as young adult, even though they are enjoyed by all ages. Don't hesitate to buy this series!
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136 of 146 people found the following review helpful By greenlady on February 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
*Contains Mild Spoilers*

All the positive reviews of this series are spot on, but I would throw out one caution to parents who are trying to decide allow this series for their children. The violence level in the books is about on par with the Harry Potter books (which I've allowed my son to read), but the ending lacked emotional resolution. Basically, Gregor returns from the "wars" the equivalent of a wounded veteran, suffering from what appears to be PTSD, and is left with an uncertain future.

On the one hand, it is a much more realistic than your typical fantasy novel, and I have to give the author credit for not glamourizing war. On the other hand, it left my then 8-year old son sobbing and ultimately very unsatisfied with the series. It's always been hard to find appropriate books for him, since he reads above his grade level, and I did read the first one all the way through before letting him read this series. Just wish I had jumped to the end - I would have held off on this a couple of years until his emotional maturity caught up with his reading skills.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate on May 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
Suzanne Collins is the author of the phenomenally successful - and phenomenally good - young adult series, the Hunger Games, which began with The Hunger Games, continued in Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) and will conclude with Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games), due in August, 2010. (Can't wait!) I hope fans of the Hunger Games series will be willing to give Collin's earlier series, offered here as a box set, a try. Though aimed at a slightly younger audience than the Hunger Games, the story is, IMHO, equally absorbing and unforgettable.

If someone would have told me that I would fall in love with a series of children's books featuring giant bats, giant rats and giant cockroaches among other creatures, I would have been very skeptical (to put it mildly). In fact, after I found the first book in the series, Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles, Book 1), in a used bookstore and picked it up to see if it should be added to my growing library of children's books, it sat in my to-be-read pile for more than a year. When I finally sat down with it, though, I was less than half way through when I set it aside just long enough to drive to the bookstore so that I could buy the rest of the series. I knew that I would want them on hand so that I could finish the series in one big rush - which is exactly what I did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for children's television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Collins made her mark in children's literature with the New York Times bestselling five-book series for middle-grade readers The Underland Chronicles, which has received numerous accolades in both the United States and abroad. In the award-winning The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. Collins lives with her family in Connecticut.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#86 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#4 in Books > Teens
#87 in Books
#4 in Books > Teens
#87 in Books