By Suzanne Collins
AR Level: 4.8
AR Points: 8.0
I suggest: 3rd through 7th grade interest
I can’t talk about this series enough. You may be more familiar with Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games. But did you know about this breathtaking adventure she wrote for middle grade (grades 4 through 8) that takes place under our world?
The first book in this five book series, Gregor the Overlander was the top pick of my daughter for her third-grade holiday book exchange. We spent a great deal of time considering different books, running almost an America’s-Got-Talent type of competition for the top pick! It couldn’t be too recent (people may have read it), too high in the AR range (keep it middle of the road), or two girly (no sparkles, glitter, or unicorns). She’d recently devoured all five of Collins’ novels, so we eventually picked Gregor.
Here’s the synopsis from B&N:
When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor’s arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland’s uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it — until he realizes it’s the only way to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.
I would add that he has to take care of his little sister, and this adds so much of the humor my daughter loved. It also raised questions of why she couldn’t have another baby sibling. So…be warned!