Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies (Monstertown Mysteries #2)

Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies (Monstertown Mysteries #2)
Age Range
Release Date
March 07, 2017
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How well do you know the lunch servers at your school? Sure, they seem like nice people, but what if secretly they are something much, much weirder?

Best friends Carlos and Benny, who just saved their teacher from becoming a were-hyena, have been called upon to investigate the strange goings-on in the cafeteria. Why are the lunch ladies suddenly so grumpy? Why are the girls' meals different from the boys'? And what was that thing seen scuttling around the kitchen wearing an apron?

It's going to require a lot of courage--and more than an industrial size can of Raid--for the boys to avoid extermination in this buggy adventure.

Editor review

1 review
Are those FEELERS under the Hairnets?
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Carlos and Benny are back after The Curse of the Were-Hyena, and this time are fighting formidable opponents-- the lunch ladies seem to have an evil agenda that includes feeding the boys and girls different food. The girls are starting to manifest typical middle school boy behaviors, and the lunch ladies seem to occasionally morph into giant bugs. When a 2nd grader goes missing, the boys decide to investigate with the help of comic store owner Ms. Tamasese, although their friend Tina is being super weird and unhelpful, so they can't ask her for assistance. They eventually track down a scientist who was involved in experiments with insects, and realize what a big threat the lunch ladies could be if they are not contained!
Good Points
There aren't a lot of books involving monsters, and my students do ask for them. This one had a lot of fun adventures, plenty of gross moments, and a fast paced plot. It's especially fun if books with monsters occur in school-- of course the lunch ladies are mutant mantis creatures! Why not! I'm curious to see if there is ever a book in this series that covers librarians, but I hope that they get to be good creatures who are fighting off, say, the evil department heads who are making teachers write curricula!

Carlos and Benny work well together and are ingenious in the ways that they think to clean up the threats in their school. Since Tina figured largely in the first book, it's interesting to watch her seem disconnected from what is going on. I still love Ms. Tamasese and thinks it is good to incorporate trusted adults who aren't necessarily teachers or parents.

This series will be popular with students who like Gilman's Tales from Lovecraft Middle School, Lubar's Monsteriffic Tales, Whitesides Janitors or this author's other fun series, such as the Chet Gecko Mysteries.
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