With a name like Scottish Play Doe, Scott is used to being a little different. In addition to his unique name, Scott also has the odd tendency to see things—cats with unicorn horns, human-sized rabbits hiding in storm drains and a very frightened leprechaun. Cold Cereal, the new middle grade novel from Adam Rex, follows Scott, his friends Erno and Emily, and Mick the leprechaun as they attempt to discover what is happening behind the scenes at the Goodco Cereal Company.

In this first book of a planned trilogy, Scott catches Mick the leprechaun trying to steal his backpack. No one is more surprised by this than Mick, since, well, no one is supposed to be able to see him. Mick decides that Scott must be part fairy (since that would also explain seeing the unicat and the giant rabbit), and enlists his help. Mick tells Scott that the characters he sees in the commercials for Goodco Cereal Company are real, and the company is stealing their “glamour” to make its cereal better.

While Scott is struggling with this new (and strange) information, his classmates, twins Erno and Emily, are going through some struggles of their own. Their foster father’s riddle games have been getting more difficult, and Emily’s headaches are growing worse. Only the constant presence of their strangely hairy housekeeper Biggs keeps the children going forward.

As the story progresses, Scott, Erno and Emily realize they are all trying to discover much of the same thing. As they begin to work together, each discovery brings them deeper and deeper into a mystery they never could have imagined.

In his strangest book yet, Rex pulls together Arthurian legends, secret societies, nefarious plots, cryptozoology and giant pink dragons. Cold Cereal jumps from one story to the next with breakneck speed, and the reader is left gasping for air by the end. By creating incredibly likable characters, Rex is able to make the reader feel like he or she is a part of the book. Perfect for fans of fantasy, folklore or humor, Cold Cereal leaves you hungry for the next bowl!

Kevin Delecki is the Head Librarian of the Cedarville (Ohio) Community Library, a member of the 2011 Caldecott Committee and the father of two very energetic boys.

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