An adventure novel about a boy and his baby sister that set out on a journey to fulfill a prophecy and reunite their family once again. Gregor finds himself having to help pick up the pieces left of his family after his father mysteriously disappears one day. While babysitting his sister, Boots, the two find themselves falling down a portal into the Underland. It is there that Gregor learns that there may be more to his father’s disappearance. Together with others, he sets out to fulfill his destiny and find out the truth; a story of unlikely characters coming together as one for the greater good of their world.
Collin, S. (2004). Gregor the Overlander. NY: Scholastic.
Evaluative Criteria: Characters and themes
- The story’s main characters are easily identifiable and relatable from the get-go. The novel starts off with the description of a normal, single-parent family struggling with the hardships that life has placed along their path. The readers are introduced to the protagonist, Gregor, an 11-year-old boy stuck with babysitting his sister; a relative tie to most kids his age. As the novel progresses, and Gregor and Boots find their way into the Underland, we’re introduced to many characters, and though different from the norm, these characters possess human-like qualities. In fact, there are humans in the Underland. All linked to their fears and emotions, much like the majority of us. In addition, Gregor’s character evolves throughout the novel, his role changes, and he begins to believe. Here, the author presents a “believable character who initially doubted the fantasy then is convinced”, and this prompts the readers to feel the same way. All of the main characters are relatable on both physical and mental characteristics, even those that are not human.
- The textbook states that themes that are presented in fantasy novels are universal, “truths that transcend time and place”. In Gregor the Overlander, the battle between good and evil is a relevant theme in a fantasy world as well as the real world. Against all the odds, an 11-year-old and a 2 year-old, set out to save the Underland. This in itself is a symbol of hope and faith. Despite the struggle and the sacrifices along the journey, good still triumphs over evil. When Gregor realizes that he is the fourth who will fall, he excepts this wholly, and finds the courage to do what ever it takes; a selfless act that yields a victory.