Reviews for Mac Slater Hunts the Cool

Booklist Reviews 2010 April #1
Mac and his friend Paul are about as uncool as middle-school kids can get. Paul is the brains, Mac is the daredevil, and together they invent wild contraptions like a flying bicycle built from spare parts. When the bicycle wipes out rather spectacularly, it brings the attention of Web site executives looking for a kid to spot cool trends and report back to viewers. The executives are interested in Mac and offer him the opportunity to challenge Cat, the most popular girl in school, for the job. Over the course of a week, Mac (with the help of Paul) attempts to outspot Cat and win viewer votes, and, in the end, their geekiness becomes the new "cool." Cat is unfortunately stereotyped as the typical queen bee deserving of comeuppance; thankfully, Mac is a likable character who will appeal to a wide range of readers, especially boys willing to identify with his antics. This is clearly only the first book about Mac Slater, and fans will be eagerly awaiting more. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Geeky Mac Slater faces off against popular-girl Cat DeVrees in a "coolhunters" competition. Each contestant video-blogs for five days about what's cool. Quirky, independent Mac, along with his nerdy friend Paul and Mac's humorously eccentric parents, ultimately outshines shallow Cat in this well-written, inventive underdog story set in Australia. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 March #1
An Aussie teen turns global coolhunter in a slick, fast-paced story that bookends nicely with Scott Westerfeld's So Yesterday (2004). No one is more surprised than Mac Slater when the nerdy underdog child of impoverished hippie parents is tapped by corporate trend-spotters to compete for one of their adolescent Internet correspondent spots. His adversary is none other than sinister fashionista Cat DeVrees, whom Mac has a crush on despite the fact that she backstabs him at every turn. Her weapon is couture while his is invention, and soon it seems that Cat's hemlines are going to win out over Mac's attempts at creating a flying bicycle. But the end is never really in doubt, though what happens next will be covered in an upcoming sequel. Tackling the topic of cool for capricious and increasingly media-savvy teens is inherently risky. While Bancks's diverting portrayal of trend-spotting rings true, its shelf life may be limited due to the subject's inconstant nature. A timely tome for today but not necessarily tomorrow. (Fiction. 10-13) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 March

Gr 6-9--Once a haven for hippies and starving artists, eighth-grader Mac Slater's seaside hometown in Australia has begun to be recognized as one of the world's coolest destinations. After watching Mac crash his latest extreme invention, a flying bike, Coolhunters, a Web-based company looking for young people to post their reports on the hottest new trends, invites him to participate in a contest to become their next correspondent. All he has to do to win is post daily videos of the coolest trends coming out of Kings Bay and attract more online votes than his competition. The gig comes with cash, free stuff, and travel opportunities, including a trip to New York. The problem is, unconventional Mac is not sure he knows what "cool" even means. A geeky outcast at school, he lives in a converted double-decker bus with his street-performer mom. His estranged dad, still living nearby, is a prickly, aging activist and inventor who spends time working on oddball projects like an energy-capturing "lightning farm" when he's not serving time for civil disobedience. Mac's biggest obstacle, though, is his cutthroat classmate Cat DeVrees, a beautiful, calculating fashionista with a huge wardrobe and a goony boyfriend. There's no way she's going to let some loser get between her and the big-time celebrity she feels entitled to. First in a planned series, this novel affirms a truth adolescents need to be reminded of: that true cool comes from within and can't be obtained with a credit card.--Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI

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