The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Publisher: Querido Children's Books
Written in diary form, Sputterfly is the story of insect-lover Hidde, his brother Jeppe, and their mum. Three years after the death of Ward, their big brother, they're all still feeling the impact. Hidde hides away in his secret cellar with his menagerie of insects, carrying out experiments without realising how cruel he's being. Jeppe's become a bully who lashes out at everyone. Their mum's on her way to a breakdown.
Jeppe hasn't been into the cellar since Ward's death, having made a deal with Hidde in exchange for his silence about how Ward died (a seizure, after Jeppe locked him in the cellar during a game). When Jeppe decides he wants the cellar for his drum practice, it's all-out war between the two brothers. Jeppe traps Hidde inside the cellar, but Hidde has his revenge.
He thinks he's killed Jeppe after tripping him down the stairs and giving him concussion. It's the trigger they need to talk about Ward and to open up to their mum. Hidde finally sets his insects free. Sensitive and often humorous, Sputterfly is a book that deals skilfully with important themes.
Original Title: Spinder