The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Sixteen year-old Austin spends his days in dead-end-town Ealing, Iowa, hanging out with his best friend Robby: skateboarding in the back alleys of the run-down local mall, which they call Grasshopper Jungle. But something strange has come to life beside the dumpster and abandoned beer cans. An unlikely series of events has unleashed an unstoppable army of six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things… This is the end of the world - and no one can do anything about it.
Narrated in Austin's distinctive voice, this is both an exciting edge-of-your-seat young adult dystopia, and a bold and thoughtful novel about history and identity. Andrew Smith is unflinching in his depiction of teen sexuality, dealing frankly with Austin's confusion as he tries to make sense of his powerful attraction to both Shann and Robby. Not for the faint-hearted, Grasshopper Jungle is high on the gross-out factor, but fans of Michael Grant and Stephen King, will love the punch and panache of Smith's unique coming -of-age tale.