Rereading: STOWAWAY TO THE MUSHROOM PLANET by Eleanor Cameron

This is my least favorite of the Mushroom Planet series, and it doesn’t help that my paperback edition omits the illustrations by Robert Henneberger, and has only this poor imitation on the cover.

David and Chuck believe they will never be able to return to the small hidden planetoid orbiting Earth known as Basidium, as the space ship their friend Tyco Bass helped them build was lost at sea, but then they meet Tyco’s cousin Theo, who has come to the house on Thallo Street in Pacific Grove, California. He and the boys are soon friends, and Theo helps them build a new space ship so they can all visit Basidium. Then a young scientist, Horatio Peabody, arrives to give a lecture to their space club, but Horatio is nosey and soon finds out about the impending flight. He hides aboard the spacecraft, and once it takes off, reveals himself, and his plans to report Basidium to the world when they return, something David and Chuck are dead set against, as they want to protect the gentle mushroom people who live there from harassment and exploitation. Horatio doesn’t care what they think, he’s after the glory of the scientific discoveries, which will make his reputation.

Once on Basidium, Horatio acts horribly to the friends there the boys have made, and pushes his way into their secrets. Meanwhile, the boys are needed to help with missing Basidiumites, and they must try to stop Horatio with the help of Theo and Ta, the leader of the gentle people.

I found the character of Horatio to be quite annoying, though I guess that was Cameron’s intent, and the plot of the book is less well crafted than the first one, especially at the end. Worth reading, and the series improves again after this.

Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron

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