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The Mutant Mushroom Takeover

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  22 reviews
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
Published September 22nd 2020 by Simon & Schuster for Young Readers (first published 2020)
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Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
The blurb states that if you're a fan of Stranger Things and Lightning Girl you'll enjoy this book. I agree but I also think fans of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Scooby Doo and Goosebumps will adore Maggie and Nate as much as I did.

Though written for middle grade bookworms, I devoured this in a day and a half. It was light, creepy, goofy-funny and nostalgic. Not to mention everything that I learned a long the way. Yes, I said learned. The scientific facts that grace these pages were so intriguing I
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I had such a fun time writing this book! Of course, as the author I'm partial, but I hope readers get a kick out of my main characters––aspiring naturalist, Magnolia Stone, and her best friend, conspiracy theorist/wanna-be YouTube star, Nate Fulton, the mysterious happenings in Old Man Bell's woods, and all the spooky mushroom hijinks they bump into along the way.

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!

Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Mutant Mushroom Takeover is a fun read full of all kinds of cool and gross science. The main character, Maggie, is a super smart, eleven-year-old science geek who uses her knowledge to save her brother and her town.

Any young science nerd is going to love this fast-paced story.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing


I loved reading “The Mutant Mushroom Takeover” and thought it was a fantastic Middle-Grade mystery adventure! Think “Stranger Things” meets “X-Files” in a middle-grade genre, and this is your book!

Let me begin by saying that a book is always extra special when I learn something new from it. Even though the story is a mystery, I learned quite a lot of nature facts. For instance, Ophiocordyceps is an actual fungus! The story i
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-publisher
You can read my full review on my blog, The Bookwyrm's Den, here.

Many thanks to the author for a copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect going into this book. The cover looks delightfully creepy, and a little ’90s sci-fi to me. I figured I’d enjoy it, but I wasn’t prepared to enjoy it as much as I did!

The Mutant Mushroom Takeover is a perfect blend of science, paranormal, and mystery. It’s just scary enough to get your heart racing, but not too
Ms. Yingling
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Maggie and her brother Ezra are living with their grandmother in her trailer after their father has lost his job as a lab assistant at the Vitaccino corporation in town. He's taken a job as a park ranger at Yellowstone, and Maggie misses him. Her mother left at some indeterminate point in the past and is not much missed. Maggie wants to take a great picture and submit it to the Junior Naturalist Merit Award being offered by the corporation; she wants to win, and u
Sam Subity
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Let me just start by saying what a fun read this was. One of the things I enjoyed most was the interaction between the main characters Maggie and Nate. Maggie is the pragmatic scientist always seeking evidence while Nate is the free spirit with dreams of YouTube stardom. They work together to solve the mystery of a strange fungus that's taking over their small Texas town, turning everyone into zombies along the way. I loved how the kids solve the mystery themselves without the help of adults (an ...more
Krissy Neddo
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hand this to kids who liked Bloom, The Fourteenth Goldfish, Chirp and Masterminds. Magnolia's naivety is sometimes exasperating, but is a great way to build suspense. Her sidekick, Nate is hilarious and kept me reading. Not as scary as Bloom, but it may creep out younger or non-horror loving readers. Best for horror/sci-fi fans grades 4+. ...more
Tonja Drecker
Nov 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mystery lurks...and a bit of science, all the right twisty-turny ways to make this one simply a ton of fun to read.

Maggie lives with her grandmother, while her father's off being an amazing scientist somewhere on the other side of the country—something she's not overly thrilled about. But Maggie's got a plan. Hoping to win a science contest to catch his attention, she heads off with her friend Nate into the forest and discovers the perfect project. Or so she thinks until mutated animals
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a shortened version of the review I posted on my blog at https://librarianmagdalena.wordpress....

Eleven-year-old Magnolia and her friend Nate each have their own motivations for sneaking onto Old Man Bell’s property one summer night. Nate is an aspiring YouTuber investigating reports of “ghost lights” in the woods, but Magnolia (aka Maggie) just wants to take some photographs for her Junior Naturalist Merit Award project. The friends are joined by Maggie's older brother Ezra. Nate is dis
Soumya Gudiyella
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mutant Mushroom Takeover by Summer Rachel Short(@summerrachelwrites) is a perfect and chilling read for this Halloween. ⠀

Maggie is an aspiring young naturalist who lives in Shady Pines with her grandmother and elder brother, Ezra. Maggie’s best friend is Nate, who is a wannabe YouTube Star and alien conspiracy theorist. Maggie’s dream is to win the Vitaccino Junior Naturalist Award. Nate has an idea that can make Maggie the winner. ⠀

Nate and Maggie go to scary old man Bell’s land and disco
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic fun read that won’t let you put it down. Great book for middle graders who like nature-y and science-y stories. When I first picked this up I thought it might be a bit on the silly side just based on the playful title. Like I expected giant walking mushrooms or something completely unrealistic. Bad assumption. This story is rooted in real nature and science. The glowing spores that infect the townspeople are based off real-life fungus from the Amazon rain forest. The way Maggie appro ...more
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
[I received a print copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]

This was a great book that kids are going to love, but I personally didn't care for it. I expected more science fiction - which it does very well - and less zombie/horror pieces. I don't like horror stories. And while this is perfectly appropriate for middle grade readers, it has some horror features to it that aren't a good fit for me as a reader.

This would be an awesome cross-discip
This speculative story follows science-loving Maggie and her alien conspiracist friend Nate as they uncover a dangerous bioluminescent fungus situation in the woods by their small town, which is making people act strange. When a place called "Old Man Bell's woods" is involved, you know it's going to be fun. Or scary. Or both!

The writing is fresh and funny and feels realistic for the characters' ages. Nate is hilarious even when he doesn't intend to be, and Maggie is there to help him stay groun
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Mutant Mushroom Takeover is such a FUN book. 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. I've already pre-ordered a finished c ...more
Bioluminescent fungi is spreading through town and strange things are happening so Maggie and Nate are off to try and get to the bottom of what is happening. A page turning science fiction book perfect for middle grade science fiction lovers.

I really appreciated the Author's Note at the end of the book which explained which of the scientific concepts in the book are actually true, which are based on some truth and which are fiction.
Lorelei Savaryn
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is such a cool, fun, MG sci-fi! I think kids drawn to the scientific or the strange will especially love this story about friendship, family, and the threat of mutant zombie-making mushrooms growing a bit too close to town. Super creative with just a touch of creepy, I can't wait to see what adventure Maggie and Nate go on next! ...more
Kathryn Spurgeon
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book for kids. I love her work.
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book! It's a captivating page-turner for kids and adults! ...more
Jennifer Hottinger
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ready for a mystery with science coolness? Crazy happenings begin after a bioluminescent fungus is found! You won’t be able to put this book down until you get answers!
Diana Johnson
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
TMMT was SO MUCH FUN to read. I’ll never look at fungi the same again. Are they good spores or bad spores?

I loved Maggie and Nate’s friendship and the father/daughter story at the heart of the book.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mutant Mushroom Takeover is a spectacularly thrilling sci-fi mystery. Maggie, a budding junior scientist following in her father’s footsteps, and Nate, her best friend and aspiring YouTuber, find themselves in a very precarious situation when they stumble upon a local mystery regarding mutant fungi and a manufacturing company that recently fired her dad. With her dad busy with his new job in a new state, her brother acting strangely, and a grandmother who doesn’t like to be told very many de ...more
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Summer lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and a Maine coon cat named Emme. Before spinning tales about mutant mushrooms, she once worked as a science reporter for her university’s newspaper, where she wrote on topics like nanotech tweezers, poultry farm pollution, and the nighttime habits of spiders and snakes.

She enjoys exploring new places with the family, playing tennis, and dre

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