Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes
written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Don’t mess with Lunch Lady. This yellow-gloved cafeteria worker will take you down.
The latest book in the series, Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes, opens with Lunch Lady putting a stop to a robbery with Batman-style fighting. From there we get into the main story, which is about the mathlete team. Kids Dee, Hector, and Terrence skipped out on the museum tour, and the principal hands down his punishment for them: They have to join the mathlete team. It’s definitely punishment; as Dee puts it, “Who would voluntarily choose to do math after school?”
But the three of them are good at math, and the school mathlete team is soon winning competitions. However, the odds are stacked against them when it comes to winning against the Willowby Academy Mathletes. Willowby Academy has never lost a match. Lunch Lady thinks there’s something odd about them and decides to investigate.
Of course her suspicions are correct and something sinister is afoot with the competing team. Lunch Lady will have to use her super (or not-so-super) powers in order to save the day and let her school’s team get a fair chance in the competition. To say Willowby Academy is made up of sore losers is putting it lightly—these people are dangerous! But Lunch Lady can handle it—I don’t know of any other superhero who has pineapple mace.
The Lunch Lady books are fun, quick reads for kids, with lots of zany and culinary-inspired humor. Though Lunch Lady is the titular character, she’s only in part of the book, with Dee, Hector, and Terrence also being important characters. The art has that purposefully cartoony style, like something you might see on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon, and the colors come in black, gray, white, and yellow. Is that to bring more attention to Lunch Lady’s yellow gloves? Lunch Lady’s definitely the one who steals the show, and readers who enjoy this book ought to check out the others in the series.