Books

The Mutant Mushroom Takeover

Stranger Things meets The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl in this offbeat adventure about Maggie, an aspiring young naturalist, and her YouTuber best friend, Nate, who use their smarts and science to solve the mystery behind a mutant fungus that’s threatening the town.

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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 spooky to put things back in order and prevent these peculiar glowing mushrooms from taking over their home.

Praise For The Mutant Mushroom Takeover (A Maggie And Nate Mystery)

“Packed to the gills with fun.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“A fun debut novel with an action-packed climax that will leave readers eager to scope out the weirder side of nature.”
School Library Journal

“Perfect for middle schoolers looking for an engaging read that celebrates each person’s uniqueness along with the importance of family, doing your research, and standing up to evil.”
Redeemed Reader

“This had whatever element that is present in Scooby-Doo that makes the franchise eternally popular. . . Perfect blend of action, grossness, and kid power.”  
Ms. Yingling, book blogger and middle school librarian

“It’s a lot of fun and has a sense of well-paced dread that builds up to a very satisfying conclusion.”
Daddy Mojo

Attack of the Killer Komodos

This exciting second book in the Maggie and Nate Mystery series follows the friends to Yellowstone National Park where they must track down a deadly creature amidst a series of natural disasters.

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Having rescued her town from zombifying mutant mushrooms, eleven-year-old Magnolia Stone is ready for her next adventure! Maggie and her best friend, Nate, head to Yellowstone National Park to visit Maggie’s park ranger dad. But when the kids bump into a rogue Komodo dragon, a dangerous predator that shouldn’t even be in the park, and a major earthquake leaves Maggie and Nate stranded, they set off to figure out what’s going on and to reunite Maggie’s family once again. 

While Maggie comes up with scientific solutions as they battle earthquakes, landslides, wolves, and other unusual creatures, Nate focuses on conspiracy theories and getting stellar footage for his YouTube channel. But only by combining their skills will they have any hope of saving Yellowstone or each other.

Praise For Attack of the Killer Komodos (A Maggie And Nate Mystery)

A humorous, genre-blurring survival story.
– Kirkus Reviews

“A thrilling, fast-paced adventure book where readers discover awe-inspiring science with interesting and diverse characters.”
– School Library Journal

“Short does a great job of blending action thrills with humor and mystery. On top of all of that, there are plenty of STEM connections for educators to draw on to make this a recommended read for any middle school classroom.”
– Middle-Grade Mojo

“Short writes a fast-paced, action sci-fi mystery that includes strong themes related to family, trust, and stewardship.”
– Redeemed Reader

“Readers who like fast-paced action will love it just for that; readers who like fantastical creatures will love it for the menagerie presented here (especially Ezra’s snake friend), and scientifically-minded kids will appreciate how much of it is actually based in real science (as explained in the end-notes).”
– Charlotte’s Library

The Legend of Greyhallow

Disney’s Enchanted gets a Lord of the Rings twist in this fantastical middle grade adventure about two siblings who must close the portal to a magical realm that inspired a popular movie franchise before their own world is conquered by emerging foes. Coming July 18, 2023 from Simon & Schuster, Books for Young Readers

Coming July 18, 2023

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Indiebound

Twelve-year-old Ainsley Galloway and her ten-year-old brother, Tobin, have just moved to the small, picturesque mountain town of Lowry. The town is famously the setting for the blockbuster Legend of Greyhallow trilogy and there are traces of the films wherever they go. Ainsley’s parents even bought the film director’s former home, which they dream of turning into an inn that caters to fans eager to check out the local Greyhallow Movie Festival. 

But when Ainsley and Tobin are fooling around in the attic of their new home, Ainsley unleashes something. Something she doesn’t quite understand. And suddenly, purple mist is flooding the town, she’s receiving cryptic messages from strangers in medieval garb. Oddest of all, the enigmatic director of the Greyhallow movies, who’s been missing for years, has a message for them.

Ainsley and Tobin have opened a passage between the very real magical world of the movies and their own. In a swirl of shifting loyalties, capricious creatures, and movie trivia, Ainsley and Tobin have to figure out what to do—and who to trust—in order to save them all.