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Grasshopper Jungle Summary & Study Guide

Andrew Smith
This Study Guide consists of approximately 75 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Grasshopper Jungle.
This section contains 607 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Grasshopper Jungle Summary & Study Guide Description

Grasshopper Jungle Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.

“Good books are about everything,” writes Austin Szerba, narrator of the novel “Grasshopper Jungle” by Andrew Smith. The teenager, who considers himself an amateur historian, has taken it upon himself to record the history of his life, which turned out to include the end of the world. The novel also addresses issues like ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, friendship and the lifecycle of a strange form of mold that turned humans into over-sized, man-eating indestructible bugs.

Austin’s story began when he and his best friend, Robby Brees, were beaten up while smoking and skating in the alleyway behind the Ealing Mall, an area they called Grasshopper Jungle. The boys, Grant Wallace and some others from Hoover High School, threw Robby and Austin’s shoes and skateboards on top of the roof of the Ealing Mall as an additional insult. After the fight, Robby tried to write the message “GRANT WALLACE MURDERED ME” on the pavement behind the mall using the blood coming from his nose.

Later that night when Austin and Robby went back to Grasshopper Jungle to retrieve their things from the roof of the mall, they found the roof access trap door that led into the secondhand store where Austin worked part time. Austin decided to see what his boss, Johnny McKeon, was hiding in his office. They found a globe filled with some sort of writhing, glowing mass labeled “Contained Plague 412E”; along with other globes containing a pair of hands, a penis and a two-headed baby boy. While there, they are surprised by Grant Wallace and his friends. Austin and Robby hid while Grant and the other boys looked at the things in the office. They took the globe with the glowing mass.

As they left the mall building, Grant and his friends dropped the globe containing the mass on top of the blood from Robby’s earlier nosebleed. These four boys, along with three other people who happen to be in the alley in the course of the next few hours, were infected with this strange plague that made them hatch into huge, man-eating praying mantis like creatures that only want to eat and have sex.

Meanwhile, Robby and Austin found a teletype machine inside the wall of their friend Shann Collin’s house. The machine was typing a message telling them the 412E plague had been detected in the atmosphere and they were to go to the silo. The three went exploring and found an underground shelter with an opening where a silo had once been on the farm. The shelter had everything a human population would need to survive. A welcome film introduced them to the shelter, named the Eden Project, and outlined the history of McKeon Industries, a plant that had once been the biggest employer in Ealing.

In an effort to produce Unstoppable Soldiers for the department of defense, scientists at McKeon Industries had produced the mass that caused humans to turn into huge praying mantis like bugs that ate humans. Dr. Grady McKeon, the founder of the company, gave instructions on an introduction to Eden film that the only way to kill the Unstoppable Soldiers was by shooting them with the blood of the human host of the plague. In this case, that person was Robby, as it was his blood in Grasshopper Jungle that allowed the plague to active. Although they gave it their best effort, the boys were not successful in reclaiming the town of Ealing from the massive insects. With Shann’s parents and Robby’s mother and her boyfriend, they start a new life and human species in Eden.

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This section contains 607 words
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