Gregor the Overlander is a captivating novel by Suzanne Collins that will take students on an unforgettable journey through the dark and mysterious Underland. With its gripping plot, dynamic characters, and richly imagined setting, this book will surely be a hit with students.
The story begins when Gregor, an 11-year-old boy, falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building and discovers a hidden world beneath New York City. He encounters a host of strange and fascinating creatures in this subterranean realm. Gregor meets giant bats, enormous cockroaches, and intelligent rats who speak and wear clothes.
As Gregor sets out on a perilous quest to save his younger sister, whom the rats have kidnapped, he must navigate treacherous terrain. Gregor battles fierce foes and confronts his own fears and doubts. Along the way, he forms alliances with unlikely allies. He also learns important lessons about courage, loyalty, and the power of friendship.
Full of suspense, action, and heart, Gregor the Overlander is a thrilling adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. So join Gregor on his journey through the Underland and discover a world unlike any you’ve ever imagined!
Gregor the Overlander Activities
Book Unit Samples
This sample contains the following:
- Comprehension for Chapters 1-3
- Constructed Response Question
Teaching Idea #1 ~ Comparing Two Books with Underground Settings
Underground settings have fascinated readers for many years, and some of the earliest literary works exploring this theme include Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). Fast forward to contemporary literature, and we find captivating stories like The City of Ember and Gregor the Underlander.
The City of Ember is a great book compared to Gregor the Underlander. In one scene, Gregor attempts to flee the Underland by navigating a boat down the river. Despite the stark contrast in outcomes—Gregor’s journey ends in a fierce battle with rats—the resemblance to Doon and Lina’s escape from Ember is striking.
Further parallels between these two works can be drawn, highlighting shared thematic elements. To help students make comparisons, consider using this downloadable T-Chart as a resource for students engaging in these underground adventures.
Teaching Idea #2 ~ Mapping the Underland
Have students create a map of the Underland, the setting of the book. They can include important landmarks, such as Regalia and the various locations that Gregor visits throughout the story.
Here are some landmarks that could be included on a map of the Underland from the book:
Regalia: the capital city of the Underland, where the royal family lives and where the humans first arrive after falling through the grate
The Waterway: an underground river that runs through the Underland – Characters use the Waterway for transportation. The Waterway also serves as a major source of water for the inhabitants of the Underland.
Additional Subterranean Books
This story focuses on crimes by or against fairy-folk who live beneath the earth’s crust.
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Gregor the Overlander Novel Study includes vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.