I love a book that makes me just itch to read the sequel and Gregor is that kind of book. It’s another title that I’d long ignored in my classroom library, but when a former student read it in two days and really liked it, it made me put it on my own list. The cover gives it a fantasy feel so the first few pages were a surprise: meeting a kid named Gregor stuck at home during the summer babysitting his little sister in a normal, but boring, hot and sticky New York City apartment. They’re poor, and he’s sad ’cause he’s missing his dad, a science teacher who disappeared two years earlier.Boots, a spunky two year old born just after her dad went missing, gets into everything. When she chases a ball into the basement laundry room, Gregor is quick to go after her….but not quick enough to keep her from falling through an open grate in the wall behind the dryer. Terrified, Gregor goes in after Boots, and the adventure begins as the two fall into “the Underland,” a place where humans struggle to co-exist with cockroaches, spiders and, sometimes, rats. So what’s different than what we do in “Overland”–here, above ground? All the Underland creatures are mega-sized, speak English, and combine human behavior with their animal one. Creepy. This is a great story with interesting characters. Part of a series written by Suzanne Collins (who would go to write the powerhouse Hunger Games), Gregor is a page-turner that I think boys and girls will both enjoy. Now I need to read the sequel….
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