Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies: A Monstertown Mystery

Book Review, Halloween, Middle Grade
Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies by Bruce Hale. Middle grade fiction book for kids ages 8-12.

“The world’s biggest praying mantis was charging straight at us, wearing a hungry expression and an apron that read: WHY YOU ALL UP IN MY GRILL?” – Bruce Hale, Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies! A Monstertown Mystery

Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies by Bruce Hale. Middle grade fiction book for kids ages 8-12.

Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies! (A Monstertown Mystery) by Bruce Hale

Age Range: 8 – 11 years | Grade Level: 3 – 7 | Series: Monstertown Mysteries | Hardcover: 208 pages | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (March 7, 2017)


About Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies

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.


Find the Book (affiliate links)

Amazon | Goodreads |Book Depository


Our Thoughts on Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies

Dena (Mom):

My kids and I read the first book in the Monstertown Mysteries series and enjoyed it so much that we HAD to continue with the series. Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies! is the second installment in the series and even more fun than the first. While it didn’t have quite as much silly humor, it delivered some big laughs along with the mystery and suspense.

Something strange is happening with the lunch ladies. They’ve gotten really mean and started feeding boys different lunches than the girls. Worst of all, one kid claims he saw a lunch lady momentarily transform into a giant bug!

This is such a fun series. My girls and I had a great time reading the latest book. The cast of characters stays largely the same as the first book, with just a few additions. And once again, we see Carlos and Benny march themselves directly into the thick of battle to save the day.

If you have a child in the 8-12 age range that enjoys scary stories, monsters, and humor, this is a great series. It’s creepy, but it’s also funny.

Content: Some scary scenes.

Source: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.


Miss A (6-year-old):

I liked it. I really liked the pictures, especially the one with the big, fat mantis. It wasn’t scary at all. I love this book even more than the other one. I hope they have more fat monsters in the next books.

Now I wonder what was inside the food that made the girls go crazy?


Miss K (8-year-old):

I like both Monstertown Mystery books. I liked the big fat mantis picture. It was hilarious. I thought it was kind of creepy when the girls started going crazy. Usually, girls are a lot more proper than boys. Maybe some girls go crazy, but usually not ALL girls.

I don’t think I would want to eat either lunch the mantis lunch ladies gave the kids. I didn’t like the girls’ lunch because it sounded kind of gross and the boys’ lunch was a lot of fast food and junk food.

Benny is my favorite character. I like Benny because he’s silly and he has crazy ideas but sometimes they work. Sometimes. Like with the fire which made all the cockroaches come out.

It was a little scary. The scariest part for me was when the giant mantis starts attacking Benny and Carlos.

I really like the books and I hope we can read the next book. I’m excited to read them!



Read the Whole Series!

The Curse of the Were-Hyena

Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies!


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  • Reply
    March 1, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Fun reviews! And this series would be perfect for my Kid’s Korner meme!

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      March 1, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks! My kids love books like this. I hope you get the chance to read it. It’s pretty funny!

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