Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne  Collins
This is certainly a rousing, fast-paced story, but what really got me were the characters. For example, when I learned that a toddler was going to be involved in an action-adventure story I was more than skeptical. In my humble opinion authors almost always miss the mark with characters under about six or seven. Boots is the most realistically written toddler since Knuffle Bunny. And that's okay. The most obvious comparison is Alice in Wonderland, but I'm tempted to call it more of a bizarro Harry Potters, the Rick Riordans, the Michael Buckleys (all fine authors mind you) - in that she writes *literature* for children. Hers are the books that will withstand the test of time - much like JK Rowling and Lewis Caroll. And like most good fantasy, there's much more than meets the eye here.