Simon van der Geest: Spinder

Illustrated by Karst-Janneke Rogar.
Querido 2012.
German edition: Krasshüpfer.
Translated from the Dutch by Mirjam Pressler.
Gulliver 2017.

Hedde is a freak. In a mouldy, dark cellar shack the eleven-year old collects and devotedly cares for his insects: centipedes, ants, crickets, grasshoppers. Nobody knows about his hobby, nobody knows about his hiding place. Except for Jeppe, Hidde’s older brother. When Jeppe sets his mind on taking over the cellar as a practice room for his band, the brothers get into a bitter fight that takes a dangerous turn and nearly ends in a catastrophe. Simon van der Geest tells this gripping, dramatic story about a fraternal feud from the point of view of the sensitive, reclusive Hidde, who records the events in his diary. As reader, one is thereby made into an intimate confidant about an ominous dynamic that can no longer be stopped. One learns about the boy’s distress, but also about his loving memories of his brother, and in the end becomes privy to a family secret that weighs heavily upon the two brothers. (Age: 12+)