Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne  Collins This series is Suzanne Collins before the whole Hunger Games phenomena :) I picked this one up at a library sale ages ago. At the time I didn’t even associate Hunger Games Collins with this book because the two are so very different. But, I will say Collins knows how to spin a good story and for a debut this middle grade book is really excellent.

Gregor is 11 years old and head of the family after his father mysteriously disappeared. With 2 younger sisters and a senile grandmother to take care of Gregor has a lot of responsibilities. Naturally, I sympathized with him. Gregor is a good kid, very thoughtful of others but with too many adult problems on his plate. The family is struggling on one income and to help his mother out Gregor sacrifices his summer fun time to babysit and do chores. Seriously, how can you not love this kid??

While doing laundry in the apartment basement, his 2 year old sister Boots falls into a grate. Naturally, Gregor follows suit to rescue Boots. The grate leads them to the Underlands. A land underneath our land, filled with giant nasty creepy creatures. We’re talking giant roaches, spiders, bats and rats…all who talk. Surprisingly, there is a land of humans in the Underlands called Regalia. It is here in Regalia where Gregor learns the history of the Underlands and his potential role in fulfilling a long foretold prophecy.

As you can imagine, this book is rich in adventure and very suspenseful. I really liked that Collins included moral lessons along the way without bogging down the story. It’s a book about the power of love and the importance of family and friends. I must say that even the giant roaches grew on me! I highly recommend this one to any kid or adult for that matter looking for a fun book.