I read these YA (or older children's) books between 2005 and 2007, and I think they had been published fairly recently at that time.

  • The protagonist is a young teen boy who is flying on an airplane with his family, possibly arguing with his sibling (don't recall if brother or sister).
  • Next thing he knows he's waking up in what seems like a jungle with plants that just seem wrong. With a little exploration he realizes he's the size of a bug and has awakened underneath the hedge that lines his yard.
  • It is a harrowing journey to avoid the birds just to travel across the yard to the house and look into a window.

  • It seems like maybe he wonders that his family isn't worried about where he is and then he realizes there's a doppelganger in his place who is far more accommodating and thus gets along better with his family. (I am not at all certain about this line item.)

  • I think he eventually gets the attention of his sibling (or best friend) using sidewalk chalk and s/he helps him. S/he might take him along to school one day.

  • I'm certain there was at least one and possibly two more books in the series.

  • At some point in the series, possibly the second book, he finds a group of other teens who have been shrunk and they are living in a cave.
  • They have a fireplace, possibly made from a tin can.
  • I think one girl spends a lot of time braiding rope for them to use to climb.
  • There may or may not be a shoe or boot that he (or the group) uses to hide behind.

Almost all of the vague memories above could be off by a little or a lot. Sorry. Any help appreciated. :-)

1 Answer 1


The Dark Ground by Gillian Cross

Robert wakes up naked and alone in a thick jungle. The last thing he remembers is being in a plane with his family, but there is no sign of a crash or survivors. Then he discovers the shocking truth--he is in the park near his house, but his familiar world has been transformed into an alien landscape. When he finds others in the same position, he enlists their help in getting back home. But the journey is more perilous than Robert could ever imagine.

  • This is it! Thank you!
    – Aster
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 21:38

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