Mac Slater Hunts the Cool
by Tristan Bancks
Mac has always been on the outside of things. He lives in his mother's broken-down bus that she parked in a little art community near the chicken slaughter factory. He wears second- and third-hand clothes because his mother's only job is making and selling fire batons (not a lot of profit in that).
He's never been what most might call "popular" or "cool". And after his little stunt on the beach trying to get a bike to fly with a parachute and a solar powered engine, Mac and his pal, Paul, are sure to be at the bottom of the social pool at his middle school.
But the guys who run coolhunters.com see something in him. So they offer him the chance of a lifetime. For five days, he has to record and post his own video blog about what's cool in his town. If his vids get enough hits, he gets a job with them trying out new products, posting about them online, and generally telling everyone out there what's cool and what's not.
Besides not being very cool to most people, the only real problem is that he has to compete against the girl he's had a crush on for ages. And she's always been "cool".
Can he be himself and still be cool?
Final thoughts: This is definitely more of a "guy" book. Mac's dealing with a lot of issues with friends, bullies, and his outcast dad who seems to disappear whenever Mac needs him most. A good book to recommend to reluctant male readers.