Gregor the Overlander

By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of Gregor the Overlander

Book description

The first in a gripping young fantasy series from the
author of THE HUNGER GAMES.

When eleven-year-old Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry
room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland,
where spiders, rats and giant cockroaches coexist uneasily
with humans.

This world is on…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked Gregor the Overlander as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I have recommended this book to so many people over the years! I loved the unique setting—deep beneath the sewers of New York City—and the way Gregor travels to this world—through a chute in his apartment’s laundromat. 

My ten-year-old son and I both read this one and loved all the talking creatures and subterranean adventure—giant anthropomorphic rats, cockroaches, and bats you can ride! All those creepy crawlies might sound a little icky to some, but I loved how inventive and unexpected it all was. One of my favorite characters is a smart-mouthed, grumpy warrior rat named Ripred, who, deep down,…

Sometimes you just want to read a story with a giant talking rat, you know? Oh, just me? Well, whether or not you enjoy giant talking rats, if you like adventure, you should check this out. It’s written by the same woman who wrote The Hunger Games, but this one’s appropriate for middle-grade kids. It’s huge stakes for a kid who just wants to get home. Adventure just under our feet! And if you’re reading this with imagination, you can picture it happening right under the ground… right now.

I know better than to judge a book by its cover. Still, I didn’t want to read Gregor the Overlander when I first saw the cover. It was recommended for 5th graders and I read it so I would be able to talk to my students about it. I am so glad I did because I loved the story, characters, and world building. When Gregor and his sister, Boots, fell through the grate in the laundry room I was right there with them. The world they discovered was so well described that I felt like I was in the Underland…

From Jessica's list on middle grade books to fall into.

Exchange Student

By Michael R. Lane,

Book cover of Exchange Student

Michael R. Lane Author Of The Gem Connection

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

As an avid reader, I read a wide variety of books. Of the fiction genre mystery and suspense remain my favorite. From the classics to the gritty, a well-told mystery is a literary gem. As my mystery palette has aged—like my taste in wine—so are my demands of what makes a good mystery novel. The best mysteries for me contain more than a serpentine journey toward the hidden truth. They have intriguing characters, crisp dialogue, interesting settings, formidable foes, and of course indispensable heroes or anti-heroes. My writing goal is aimed at achieving the same level of literary penmanship of the mysteries I enjoy reading so much.

Michael's book list on African American mysteries

What is my book about?

Daniel “Dan” Bluford is the Director of Polar City Single Organism Research Lab Facilities. A business he helped to create. The world’s leading architect of sustainable, ecologically conscious products for energy, manufacturing, water treatment, waste management, and environmental clean-up equipment. A company whose mission statement read in part, “Better environment through industry.”

Unable to stay awake on his drive home after work, the loving husband and father stopped for coffee at a familiar coffee shop. The place was empty, aside from a lone barista. A young woman with a sacred Maori chin tattoo and an infectious smile. Shortly afterward, Dan…

Exchange Student

By Michael R. Lane,

What is this book about?

Daniel "Dan" Bluford is the Director of Polar City Single Organism Research Lab Facilities. A business he helped to create. The world's leading architect of sustainable, ecologically conscious products for energy, manufacturing, water treatment, waste management, and environmental clean-up equipment. A company whose mission statement read in part, "Better environment through industry."

Unable to stay awake on his drive home after work, the loving husband and father stopped for coffee at a familiar coffee shop. The place was empty, aside from a lone barista. A young woman with a sacred Maori chin tattoo and an infectious smile.

Dan decides to…


Gregor the Overlander is an excellent example of how the exploration of a fantasy world can inspire curiosity about one’s own world and cultivate a desire to question assumptions and explore more deeply. Years before Suzanne Collins published The Hunger Games, I became entranced by her work in the Gregor the Overlander series. The book takes readers on a fast-paced adventure with Gregor and his little sister Boots as they search for their father in the Underland, an underground world populated by creatures including translucent-skinned humans and giant spiders, rats, cockroaches, and bats. Studying Gregor the Overlander also helped teach…

While on the more fanastical side of things, and again targeted for younger readers, the overall environment that’s built throughout really lends itself to questions about other worlds and how, not just societies, but animals adapt as well is interesting and often described really well. The prose also reads very quickly, so it’s easy to read and engaging.

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