By Suzanne Collins [Collins at LibraryThing – Collins a Amazon]
Gregor is more or less an average kid growing up in New York City, though he does miss his father, who disappeared over two years ago…But everything changes one day when he and his toddler sister, Boots, fall down an airshaft from their building’s laundry room and land in a strange realm called the Underland, where giant creatures—cockroaches, rats, and bats, among others—can talk.
There are humans in the Underland, too, a colony that was led there by Bartholomew of Sandwich four hundred years ago. But it’s a hard life: resources are scarce, and the humans and rats are constantly at war. Gregor, of course, wants nothing to do with war or the strange civilization, but he discovers that his falling was foretold in a prophecy Sandwich wrote…and the prophecy also tells of a quest he must undertake to find his father, who has now been a prisoner of the rats for over two years.