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Monday, August 1, 2011

This Book is Over the Top Awesome

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles #1) by Suzanne Collins  

I have been meaning to read this book for years.  I finally did.  It was one of the free books offered to kids who completed the Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program.  My friend was having a book discussion on it, so I got the audio for the kids and I to listen to as we drove back and forth from camp.  I mentioned earlier that my kids don’t really like fantasy books, so I wasn’t expecting them to like this book, but since we were stuck in the car I hoped they would just keep listening.  Well, they were hooked within the first couple chapter when the cockroaches say Gregor’s two-year old sister smells good and she announces, “I poop.”  I think I had to pause the CD so they could finish laughing and copying what they heard, but they were hooked and they paid close attention throughout the whole story.  And, we all loved it!!!!  We immediately listened to the second book once we finished the first, and we can’t wait to read the third!

Suzanne Collins wrote this story after wondering what city kids would think of Alice in Wonderland.  They wouldn’t have rabbit holes around.  I’m so glad she wondered that, and then wrote about it.

Life has been difficult for Gregor and his family after his father disappeared over two years ago (Grerogt can tell you how long his dad’s been gone to the day).  Soon into the story, Gregor and his sister, Boots,s fall down a shaft taking them to Underland.  Giant cockroaches find them and greatly admire Gregor’s sister.  Eventually, Gregor and Boots find themselves in Regalia, a city of underground dwelling humans who ride giant colored bats.  They live in fear of the Gnawers.  Gregor learns of a prophecy telling of a warrior who helps them against the rats.  The humans believe Gregor is the warrior.

So far, this follows the path of the ever-loved classic quest.  A boy, unsure of himself, is forced upon a quest to find his father and help his friends, if only he can find the inner strength to make the right decisions.  There’s a reason we love quest stories so much.  And this is definitely one to love!

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