Grasshopper Jungle (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Austin Szczerba is confused. He’s in love with his girlfriend AND his best friend--oh, and there’s a plague of giant mutant praying mantises running amok in his town, about to destroy the world. This book is not for the faint-hearted: Austin is at times painfully frank about his tangled-up desires, and like any sixteen year-old, his language sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. But that’s what makes this book so great: it’s real. (Despite, y’know, giant mutant mantises.) I wish I could have had this book when I was sixteen--it’s an authentic, funny, and incredibly brave story about kids just trying to figure themselves out...and not get eaten.

— From Liz's Kids Book Recommendations


A 2015 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
Winner of the 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction

"Raunchy, bizarre, smart and compelling." --Rolling Stone

"Grasshopper Jungle is simultaneously creepy and hilarious. Reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut's in "Slaughterhouse Five," in the best sense." --New York Times Book Review

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things.

This is the truth. This is history.
It's the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it.
You know what I mean.

Funny, intense, complex, and brave, Grasshopper Jungle brilliantly weaves together everything from testicle-dissolving genetically modified corn to the struggles of recession-era, small-town America in this groundbreaking coming-of-age stunner.

About the Author

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several young adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Winger and The Marbury Lens. He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. Grasshopper Jungle is his seventh novel. He lives in Southern California. You can learn more at and follow him on Twitter: @marburyjack.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780142425008
ISBN-10: 0142425001
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: February 17th, 2015
Pages: 416
Language: English