Original Photos and Mostly-True Stories about Football,
Glue Guns, Moms, and a Supersized High School Tradition
That Was Born Deep in the Heart of Texas
Amy J. Schultz

Nonfiction / Photo-Driven Memoir / Women’s History / Pop Culture / Texana
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Page Count: 178 pages
Publication Date: April 25, 2023

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The closest you'll ever get to seeing someone actually wear their heart on their sleeve is in Texas, every fall, at the local high school homecoming game.

They're called homecoming mums. They are as bodacious as football, as irresistible as a juicy rumor, and as deep as a momma's love. Over a hundred years ago when the custom began, mum was short for chrysanthemum, a typical corsage that boys gave to girls before taking them to the big football game. But through the decades, mum went from a simple abbreviation to a complicated shorthand for an eye-popping tradition that's as ingrained in the culture as it is confounding to outsiders.

Through her original photography and collection of stories from across and beyond the Lone Star State, Amy J. Schultz takes us deep in the heart of mum country. You'll meet kids who wear them, parents who buy them, and critics who decry them as just another example of consumerism gone wild. But mostly, you'll discover that just like every ritual which stands the test of time, someone is keeping the tradition alive. Someone like Mom.


 Mumentous is the type of book I love to stumble upon on my reading journey. The author narrates the history, the highs, and the lows of the mum industry in Texas through  various points of views and pictures of the people, places, and mums to correlate. I love that this book felt like it was a mum coming together through the picture, stories, memories, and self-reflection at the end. It's truly a fun and different way of telling a story of an object through a multitude of stories.

As we go through the book, I found myself learning so much about mums, despite attending a Texas high school. The history of the mum and what it stands/stood for never came up, it was just something you did because everyone else had a mum. I wasn't a big homecoming person, but my best friend and my mom made sure I wasn't left out of the fun. My best friend's mum was misplaced through one of my many moves in my early 20's, but I still have my mom's um that she got for me that really represented who I am - someone that wants to be included but not the center of attention. 

I also appreciated that our author brought multiple viewpoints together in her book. As a reader, we are able to see and understand the different stories and viewpoints of the mum world. We get to hear from the viewpoint of people who come from out of state and don't know anything about mum culture. We also get to look into the people who have made a business around mum and from the the people who are anti-mum. Reading the story this way had me feeling like I was reading a well put-together documentary about every angle of mum culture.

Overall, I enjoyed my time reading Mumentous and found myself reaching back into my memories of homecoming. It's not a book you would expect or something you thought you would want to read, but once you discover it, you should give it a shot. I give Mumentous a 5 out of 5 stars for it's creativity, narration, and curiosity. 

 Until next time, Happy Reading!

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Amy J. Schultz is an author and award-winning photographer who explores unique aspects of modern culture that hide in plain sight. When she isn’t talking about homecoming mums, Amy is writing, taking photos, working on other creative projects, traveling, snort-laughing, or vacuuming up dog fur.

First Prize: signed hardback copy + enamel pin; 
Second Prize: eBook + enamel pin
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 9/8/23)


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  1. Isn't it the best when you discover a book and unexpectedly connect and enjoy it? I am glad you mentioned the anti-mum contingent -- I wondered if that would be covered. Great review! I look forward to checking out Mumentous.

  2. Amanda, thank you very much for sharing your thoughtful review of my book, MUMENTOUS, with your readers! And happy HOCO :)


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