The Mutant Mushroom Takeover by by Summer Rachel Short is such a FUN Middle Grade book.
Here’s a synopsis:
“Ever since Magnolia Stone’s scientist dad left Shady Pines to find a new job, Maggie’s been stuck in her gramma’s mobile home with her grumpy older brother, Ezra. Now she’s on a mission to put her family back together by winning the Vitaccino Junior Naturalist Merit Award.
When Maggie and her best friend, Nate, a wannabe YouTube star and alien conspiracy theorist, scout out a rare bioluminescent fungus, Maggie is certain she’s a shoo-in to win. But after animals around town start sprouting unusual growths and Ezra develops a bluish glow and hacking cough, Maggie wonders what they’ve really stumbled onto.
As things in Shady Pines become stranger and more dangerous, and conversations with her dad get complicated, Maggie must use her scientific smarts and Nate’s impressive knowledge of all things supernatural to put things back in order and prevent these peculiar glowing mushrooms from taking over their home.”
I love that the MC is a tenacious girl with a passion for nature and science! It’s a great read to encourage kids in STEM. It’s also slightly creepy, but not too much, so it would be perfect for kids who want to read an atmospheric fall book with some spooky vibes without it being over-the-top terrifying for them. This fascinating story kept me turning the pages late into the night, and I enjoyed every minute. It’s definitely a 5 star read. I’ve already pre-ordered a finished copy, and I can’t wait for my ten-year-old to read it, too!
Summer is also a friend of mine and she’s such a sweetheart, I’m so excited for her debut novel!!!
Thanks Summer, and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, for the free ARC to review.