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Gregor the Underland Chronicles (5 Volume Set) Paperback – September 1, 2009
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this series for my 8 year old who loves to read. I loved the Hunger Games and was very excited to see that Suzanne Collins had written a series for kids as well. Read morePublished 10 days ago by RGPHIB
Had a student read all 5 of these in a matter of 3 weeks. Stoked on getting kids to read!Published 1 month ago by Christopher Greeley
I never had these books stay in my library as a student was always checking them out! Its great for kids who are too young for hunger games but want a neat adventure/science... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kaity
This series is a roller coaster ride and a half.
You will laugh, be stumped, aww over cuteness, be proud, and have your heart ripped from your ribcage. Read more
Got the hole series for my 9 year old she loves the a lot she has read the series 3 times alreadyPublished 2 months ago by Judy