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Tales of Ordinary Madness
Charles Bukowski
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Invisible Cities
Italo Calvino
Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne  Collins Being an active parent, I get to read at least four books every day (small books) with some larger volumes thrown into the mix. Because of the volume, I generally chose not to review these books, nevertheless, every now and then I have to make an exception. My favorite 'kid's authors' are Kate di Camillo, Brian Jacques, and now Suzanne Collins.

It is not often that a book I read to my kids grabs me as much as this one. I truly enjoyed the read.

Collin's character development was very realistic, her "underland" scene setting spectacular, and the life lessons weaved into the story very appropriate. There are many reviews on here already, so I won't go into the plot and the settings, but rather concentrate on the what interested me about the character. Gregor is a young boy, eleven years old to be precise, however, he is not your average eleven-year old. Why? Gregor has seen things, he has lived through things, and he views the world through more mature eyes. This is why I found the story so grabbing. It is not one of the happy-go-lucky stories for kids. This story has pain, dilemmas, choices and consequences. Much like di Camillo's stories, this book offers a rare glimpse into a child's world where everything isn't perfect. His father is gone, his mother struggles to keep the household afloat, he doesn't get to be the 'normal' kid because they don;t have enough money. There, this is reality. While the settings of the story are in the fantasy realm, the reality of emotions is real.
Since finishing the first book in the series, I requested the remainder of the series on an inter-library loan. We finished The Prophecy of Bane tonight, and I already started Warmbloods.

Suzanne, you have a new fan.