Mac Slater isn’t cool or popular, and he doesn’t care. But after attempting to jump over a group of kids in a flying bicycle, he is approached by the creators of the “Coolhunters” website about the possibility of becoming a coolhunter. Mac doesn’t think he knows what cool is, but he agrees to join the contest when he learns that winning the job will earn him a trip to New York from his home in Kings Bay, Australia.
The very hip Cat Devrees is also up for the title, and Mac’s initial attempts to outcool the coolest teen in town don’t go very well. An unyielding competitor, Cat is the obvious choice for the position; Mac appears to be just a small obstacle as she seeks to claim her prize. To compete, the two teens seek out what they think is cool and post their ideas online. The person with the most online votes will win the job.
The website creators gamble on Mac in the hopes that he’s so uncool he’s cool. Mac isn’t so sure, so he has to test himself and consider: Is “cool” found in new products and fashions and trends, or is “cool” something a little more elusive? Through seeking cool, Mac learns a few lessons about himself—and who he really aspires to be.
Kids searching for a place in what seems to be the strictly coded world of cool versus uncool will find hope and a new life outlook in Mac Slater Hunts the Cool. The novel is a refreshing and irreverent take on the underdog protagonist seeking and reaching new heights. And while Mac Slater is an obvious choice for boys, it will appeal to girls, too, because the themes are relevant to kids everywhere.
Emily Booth Masters reviews from Nashville, Tennessee.
Copyright 2010 BookPage 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.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2010 August/September
Mac Slater is the most uncool kid at school. He lives in a bus, his mother makes flame batons, and his father is in and out of jail when not working on his lightning farm. Mac lives to take risks, dreamed up by his friend Paul, but these risks rarely work out as planned. His nemesis, Cat, the coolest girl at school, and Mac are tagged to compete to become the fifth, and final, coolhunter. They have five days to videotape what they feel is cool and share it on the Internet for others to vote on; Mac and Paul make a comeback to win. The value of friendship, invention, creativity, and being true to oneself are all explored in this novel. The concepts and ideas are appropriate for upper elementary and middle-school readers who are on the outside looking in, wanting to be more but afraid to show their true colors. Filled with current technology, and based on the growing rage of coolhunting, this book speaks to today?s youth. Recommended. Sara Rofofsky Marcus, Electronic Resources Librarian, Queensborough Community College, Bayside, New York ¬ 2010 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
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[Page 151]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.