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.

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