Stranger in the Mushroom Patch

The Mischief Series Book 4

Children - General
135 Pages
Reviewed on 03/14/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Amanda M. Thrasher is an award-winning author of Young Adult, General Fiction, Middle Grade, Early Reader Chapter, and Picture Books. Amanda is a multiple Gold Recipient of The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA), earning the award in multiple categories, including Young Adult, General Fiction, and Early Reader Chapter Books. She is also a two-time Gold Medal winner of the Readers’ Favorite International Book awards, a New Apple Literary Award winner, and a North Texas Book Festival award winner.

Amanda founded and is the CEO of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, an independent publishing company. She shares her writing and publishing experience with others through school visits, book signings, trade conferences, and workshops for aspiring writers of all ages.

In addition, Amanda was contracted to write a graphic novel for the Driving on the Right Side of the Road Program. The publication is part of the Driving on the Right Side of the Road (DRSR) program, developed by the Law-Related Education Department of the State Bar of Texas Law Focused Education, Inc., and the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center with funding from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Department of Transportation. The program’s purpose is to offer a preventive educational program to encourage responsible decision-making when it comes to obeying traffic laws and following safe practices. The graphic novel titled What If … A Story of Shattered Lives, was adapted into a reader’s theater and remains part of the DRSR program.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Stranger in the Mushroom Patch is a work of fiction in the fantasy adventure subgenre, and it serves as the fourth book in the Mischief series. It is aimed at younger readers and was penned by author Amanda M. Thrasher. This novel continues the adventures of Lilly, Boris, and Jack as a game of slimy moss bomb leads them to an encounter with a human child, with whom they find some surprising common ground. Tasked with returning the child to their own kind, the group of friends must go on another fun-filled adventure to reunite their new friend with her family before the humans come looking for her.

This was a delightful adventure pitched perfectly at its young audience, with whimsical characters on a fun and exciting quest after making an unusual new friend. Like all good children’s authors, Amanda M. Thrasher has some important values she wants to share with the next generation of readers, and her characters lead by example to demonstrate the importance of friendship and being kind to the people you meet. These themes are delivered well and it never feels like morals are being forced on the reader. Instead, the author tells an excellent story with characters who embody those values. I was particularly fond of the elders who balance their protective nature with the knowledge with which they must equip the young to look after themselves, an elegant metaphor for the trust that develops in the parent and child relationship. Overall, Stranger in the Mushroom Patch is a worthy continuation of an already excellent series of children's books, and I recommend it highly.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Stinky moss bombs are flying everywhere and everyone appears to be the target. All because Boris got his wish for an endless supply of moss bombs, something he readily shares with Jack and easily trades with others in the ‘shroom school. In spite of being an occasional target, Lilly still considers Boris and Jack as part of her friend circle. The fairies-in-training have a lot to learn and friendship binds them forever. It’s a good thing, too, as there’s something amiss in their mushroom patch; there are strangers entering their special safe space. Lilly can sense them; she can even hear them. Her magical powers came to her early, but they have saved the fairy school from previous dire circumstances. The only thing is, she’s not allowed to tell her friends about her secret powers. After all, that’s why they’re ‘secret.’ So, what do they do about this new invasion, if that’s what it is? Are they in danger?

Amanda M. Thrasher's novel, Stranger in the Mushroom Patch, is the fourth book in the Mischief Series. The bond of friendship is a strong component of this engaging fantasy story. The fairies, young and old, all come together and work as a team to keep their ‘shroom patch and ‘shroom school safe from invaders. Only, this time the invaders are human. When they learn that the human they encounter is merely a child like them, they confront another quandary and wonder if they really are in danger, or if the child is in danger and needs rescuing. Using simple language to help young readers improve their reading skills, the plot thickens as the moss bomb battles accelerate (these moss bomb incidents will certainly appeal to young boys and their mischievous sense of adventure). There is lots of laughter and camaraderie amongst the young fairies and the young reader will certainly feel part of the friendly group. Beautiful use of description and, even though this is the fourth book in the series, readers picking this up first will not feel confused in any way. There is a lot to appeal to all tastes in this delightful fairy story.

Rylanne Burdette

Lilly and her friends are young fairies who live with elders who watch over and take care of them. While they are in class learning, at times they also have a fun time hanging out and starting wars with moss bombs. One day, they run into a young human girl who is separated from her family. Although the fairies don’t know what happened to get the girl separated, they soon decide that they need to step up and help reunite her with her family, even if they are scared of the girl. Amanda M. Thrasher’s Stranger in the Mushroom Patch is a quick and entertaining children’s book.

Overall, I had a fun time reading Stranger in the Mushroom Patch. Even though it’s the fourth book in a series, I didn’t feel lost as to what was going on, and I quickly grew interested in the plot. The only aspect of the story that was a bit distracting is that the perspectives tended to shift multiple times in each chapter. Sometimes, we read about Lilly’s thoughts, actions, and feelings, and without any distinction or starting a new chapter, I was reading those things from another character’s point of view. Other than that, though, I thought this was a super cute read that was full of heartwarming moments and a great adventure. I would recommend Stranger in the Mushroom Patch by Amanda M. Thrasher to families with children who have recently started reading chapter books; this is one they are certain to enjoy.

Brenda Daniels

Stranger in the Mushroom Patch by Amanda M. Thrasher is a fantasy adventure featuring fairies. It is a tale reminiscent of Harry Potter in which a magical world exists alongside the human world. Characters, in this case, fairies, are at fairy school where they learn to hover and fly, engage in tournaments, use fairy dust to good effect, and discover unique gifts. Encounters with humans always spell danger and in Stranger in the Mushroom Patch, a young human stumbles into the forest while the fairies are engrossed in an exciting game. Boris and Jack look on as their friend Lilly has her courage and strength tested when she helps, not only to protect the fairy colony but the human as well.

Amanda M. Thrasher has created a fully realized fairy world with wonderfully imaginative and engaging elements. There are ‘fairlings’ (young fairies) and elders, wings that can be engaged and straightened, invisible (to some) secret agents, stinky moss bombs that develop magically and are superb for ‘moss bomb wars’, spiders that wear clothes and cook food, and teachers who are addressed as Monsieur and Madame. Characters are uniquely developed and easy to identify. I enjoyed the mischievousness of Boris and Jack and the playfulness of Monsieurs Pierre and Claude. The writing style flows nicely as the story progresses, with just a few overly long sentence constructions at the beginning that could be challenging to the young reader. Stranger in the Mushroom Patch is book 4 in the Mushroom Patch series and is enriched with references that readers of the earlier books would understand. However, it is good as a standalone, and I enjoyed being immersed in the ‘shroom patch fairy world.

Jennifer Ibiam

A colony of beautiful fairlings existed in a natural domain, but Lilly was the special one. She had the gift of sight and could see other elders and invisible agent fairlings that others couldn’t. One day, the fairlings received a security alert that humans were near their territory, but they were safe for the moment. They were terrified of humans. The fairlings had fun by getting into battles of throwing moss bombs, and they took the fight into the forest. On their way home, the fairlings encountered a human child who was gigantic by their standards. The child, Ellie, had wandered off and was lost in the forest. With the possibility of getting killed or trapped by Ellie, what would Lilly do? Find out in Stranger in the Mushroom Patch by Amanda M. Thrasher.

Stranger in the Mushroom Patch by Amanda M. Thrasher is a beautiful story of kindness, bravery, and unity. This book is perfect for reading bedtime stories to kids. It had a solid premise that expressed the brilliant plot of the story. The story was also dramatic and humorous, with some suspense to capture my attention. Children will also learn to preserve nature for animal and insect protection. The havoc human beings wreak on nature eliminates plants and displaces animals from their habitat. Humans and animals are more alike than they are different. I loved that Amanda used simple language to write this book while activating the my fantasy. This book is a captivating fourth installment of The Mischief Series. Great job, Amanda!