No, this isn’t my new autobiography. Instead what I’ve been carrying around for a month is a new book by Chris Rylander. I previously laughed my way through his contemporary THE FOURTH STALL. Here he opts for a fantasy set in Chicago.

The title is one I will always treasure, though the subtitle kind of ruined the moment for me. I can easily cover it up with a few fingers. The thing is, other than a certain wimpy kid (Greg Hefley), I finally have another middle grade protagonist sharing my first name.  Too bad the neighbors and relatives have asked me to leave the book at home when I’m traveling about. I guess attaching it to the front of my bike or the car’s front bumper was going a bit too far.

The story centers around Greg Belmont, a short, well fed boy who has never been told he’s a dwarf. It’s not until a troll kidnaps his father that he learns of his past and future. There’s a whole underground beneath the windy city where dwarfs live. He ends up there and vows to get his father back—if his dad is even still alive.

His one friend above ground is an Elf named Edwin. The Elves and Dwarfs are now on the verge of war with each other and their friendship is challenged. Greg finds new dwarf friends who warn him of having nothing to do with any of the distrustful elves. None of this matters to Greg. His purpose in life now is to rescue his dad at all costs. Yes, not all goes as planned.

Forty-eight chapters keep the action moving. Greg’s first person narration takes you through the adventure and a partial conclusion. Little did I know until the end that this is a series. A few plot points are left undone for the second book. Fantasy lovers have another winning to disappear into and you don’t even have to be called Greg to enjoy the ride.




  1. If you’ve ever been to Chicago, the fun is multiplied with all the iconic sights Greg visits, including a climatic finish at The Navy Pier.
  2. You get to know Greg and Edwin the most, but I’m sure the other characters will be developed more as the series moves forward.  Both of the boys come from different backgrounds and seeing them as friends was a definite plus. But will it last?
  3. The stakes are high as the Technological Age is threatened to go away. Can you even imagine a world without cell phones or the Internet? Might be fun to try it for a day.
  4. Hilarious chapter titles like Chapter 15: The Grand Spectacle of Borin Woodlogger’s Big Toe or Chapter 11: There’s Bad Weather Brewing in My Guts.
  5. Despite this being a fantasy, real life themes of trust and commitment will ring true for the intended audience.

FAVORITE LINE (And it’s the first line):

It should come as no surprise that the day I almost got my face clawed off by a vicious monster was a Thursday.

Learn more about Chris Rylander and his books at his very unique web site.


Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to THE LEGEND OF GREG

  1. That is a gorgeous cover on the book. I like the idea of a dwarf underground beneath Chicago! It sounds like a great fantasy series to read. I may give this one a try. Your comments are convincing.

  2. Hi, Greg ~ When I first saw the title of this book on my blog feed, I thought you had changed the title to match your own name. Ha! Nevertheless, this sounds like an entertaining read for middle-grade readers of all ages. Thanks for sharing it on MMGM today.

  3. This sounds truly fun! I generally shy away from books set under ground since I prefer open spaces and don’t tend to enjoy them as much, but your connection to the title and super fun review has left me willing to try this one! Many thanks!

  4. Andrea says:

    I bet kids will really like this one!

  5. Hahaha! I love the description of Greg being a well-fed kid. I know what that means! Anyway, this sounds like a lot of fun. I will check it out. Thanks for the post.

  6. Funny story: My 10yo and I saw this at the library, and we were both like, “You have to read this!” Because my husband’s name is Greg. So the 10yo picked it up and we sent a picture to my husband, pointing out that subtitle :). I can vouch for kids loving it because he laughed through the whole book! Not surprising, as both of us read The Fourth Stall books. I didn’t get a chance to read The Legend of Greg before we had to return it to the library (nor did my husband), but I’m sure we’ll be picking up the next one too!

  7. Oh, yes, this sounds great! I’ll keep my eyes open. Thanks for letting us know!

  8. Chris Rylander was one of the first middle grade authors I reviewed, way back when! Good to know he’s still around, and still being very funny. I loved the cover, the premise, and the title is a winner for all you Gregs out there!

  9. Susan Uhlig Ford says:

    I loved his The Fourth Stall book. Will have to check this one out.

  10. Pingback: The 2018 GOLDEN CUP AWARDS | Always in the Middle…

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