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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Parent's Review
I got this for my 8 year old and read it first to see if I think it would be appropriate for him and if he'd like it. My verdict is that a lot of the content would be "over his head", but that he'd appreciate the characters.
There is no "bad language", there are two allusions to cuss words but none are spoken. There is some violence there are references to...
Published on March 23, 2012 by Jana Taylor

versus
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Reader, age 11
(posting this for my 11-year-old son).

I'm a fan of the MT Anderson books about Pals in Peril and I thought this one would be funny and weird like that, but it's not really like that. Reading this book, I had a hard time telling what was going on. There were too many things going on at the same time, and people talking, but I couldn't tell where they were...
Published on February 19, 2012 by Sarah


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Parent's Review, March 23, 2012
This review is from: Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got this for my 8 year old and read it first to see if I think it would be appropriate for him and if he'd like it. My verdict is that a lot of the content would be "over his head", but that he'd appreciate the characters.
There is no "bad language", there are two allusions to cuss words but none are spoken. There is some violence there are references to "untimely" deaths, there are some instances where people get guns pointed at them and/or shot at (no one ever gets shot though), and there are some other assorted scary parts but no one gets seriously hurt. There is a part about how one character's mom has an endless parade of "dad's" coming in and out of their lives and I found that part unnecessary and it displeased me greatly. If you want to have a single parent that is one thing, but don't have her be a revolving door!

My own feelings on the book were that I personally enjoyed reading it, and at just over 400 pages I was able to do it in an evening and part of the next morning.

The story gets moving very quickly out of the gate - important for young readers. It combines every day situations (school interactions for instance) with very whimsical characters and I think that will hold the interest of most young readers. There are a lot of funny lines thrown in for good measure that will appeal to a wide age range. For instance there is a dialogue between two main characters discussing the lax nature of their schools' attitude toward education because February they celebrated "Slacks History Month" which they theorize was due to a typo. This being said, my 8 year old did not get the joke until I explained it to him. So I think some of the humor might be lost on the younger readers.

There are also heavy references to Freemasons (who in this story are made into bad guys), which kids may or may not know about. As an adult I know a bit about Masons as most of the men in my family were Masons, so it lends a bit more "richness" to the story... but I'm not sure how it will come across to kids who have no exposure to that, and also the fact that the author makes them out to be sinister when in reality they are quite benign. They also many other examples (to a lesser extent) of things in the real world being brought into this story that I'm not sure kids would necessarily have much exposure to - for instance there are references to the "New Jersey Devil", "King Arthur", "The Hobbit", and you wouldn't have to have any background on those to enjoy the book... but I just wonder if that will be confusing later in life to kids if this is their FIRST introduction to these things? Perhaps I am making too much of it. It is a fictional story book after all.

But I felt like the story itself built up well, there was a good flow. I felt like the ending chapters were a little frenetic, a little rushed. I think the author could have done a little bit more character development with Merle earlier on in the book connecting him with Mr. Wilson perhaps, instead of using him mostly towards the end of the book and not giving us much in the way of connections between him and Mr Wilson. I also felt like Emily's character left a little to be desired it felt like she was not "finished" working through her issues and hadn't come to an equilibrium yet.

Part of the character development though was because I felt the ending was not completely wrapped up... probably because this is book 1 and there are more to come I would imagine. The episode at hand was cleared up but there were - let's just say some much larger over encompassing issues that were left hanging unresolved. The battle was won but we don't know for sure who has won the war. I guess I can't say more without doing a spoiler.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Reader, age 11, February 19, 2012
By 
Sarah (Middle of the US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) (Hardcover)
(posting this for my 11-year-old son).

I'm a fan of the MT Anderson books about Pals in Peril and I thought this one would be funny and weird like that, but it's not really like that. Reading this book, I had a hard time telling what was going on. There were too many things going on at the same time, and people talking, but I couldn't tell where they were. There were a lot of different kinds of creatures in the book, and I didn't know why they were there. I kept trying to read, but finally I gave up. I can't really recommend this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fey & Frosted Flakes, February 7, 2012
This review is from: Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) (Hardcover)
Scott and his friends Emily and Erno find there's more than milk in their morning munchies and those goofy cartoony characters on the breakfast cereal boxes aren't just imaginary mascots in this surreal adventure brought to you by the good folks at Goodco.

Sixth-grade becomes a bit strange when Scott and his family have to move to the tiny town of Goodborough, N.J.. The change becomes difficult as Scott starts seeing strange creatures and having migraines. This seems to be the least of his problems when the figments start talking to him and telling stories of stolen magic and bizarre business practices. Along with his new sidekicks Erno and Emily, Scott will start to unravel the secrets of the local cereal company, and uncover a conspiracy by the not so good people at Goodco.

Modernity crashes into fairytales like a Coney Island freak show plopped in the middle of Wall Street in Adam Rex's meal of the day, Cold Cereal. It's a strange thought that that Trix-like rabbit is really a Phouka, but believable in an evil genius kind of way. Fans of the fey will appreciate the re-imagined oddities advertisers use to brainwash children into bullying parents to buy their products as real life legends of lore. Cold Cereal is a crazy insane take on the world of fairy. Rex has an uncanny way of grounding his inane ideas of classic folklore with commercialism. Illustrations sprinkled throughout the book add a feeling of finding that coveted toy in the cereal box, while at the same time enhancing the reader's imaginative visuals of this unique world.

Author Adam Rex might have gone off the rails a little here and there but his tale of tweens and fey is interesting and different for even the biggest kids, making Cold Cereal a great story time book sure to capture the imagination of children and adults alike.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Started off with a bang...ended with a long slow spiral into confusion, October 8, 2012
By 
This review is from: Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) (Hardcover)
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What a great concept! An evil cereal company with a secret plot to be carried out through unsuspecting consumers (Children)? Magic, intrigue, secrets and strange characters? How could you lose? Well, unfortunately, I can tell you how - keep adding more and more history, details, characters and plot twists until you have no idea what is going on. Or add several historical monologues given by characters that are meant to divulge some key plot point, but only leave the reader(s) slack-jawed, wondering what the point of all that was. I don't want to spoil the plot if you plan on reading this, so I won't be too specific, but if Arthurian figures mixed with leprechauns, time travel, giants that live in tree houses and magical creatures (and their hunters) sounds like a coherent read to you - go for it! To me and my kids (ages 7, 9 and 11) that tried desperately to get through and like this book, it just didn't work. For about 100 pages we laughed at the crazy fantasy that was unfolding and liked the mystery of the clues that were left as a game for two of the characters. For the next 100 pages, we sort of followed the story and got enjoyment out of some of the one liners delivered by the characters. For the last 200+ pages we got confused, bored, frustrated and finally just begged for it to be over. I guarantee you, after 390 pages, no kid reading this book is going to care what the characters are sitting in/on while trying to wrap up this story. Yet, there it was in detail. I'm sorry if this seems snippy or trivial, but giving my impressions and those of my kids right after finally finishing the book seemed like the best way to convey the feeling the book left us with - which I guess in short is: "Totally not worth it".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever, but creepy satirical adventure, March 24, 2012
This review is from: Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
-------------------------------------------------
"Cold Cereal"
Written by Adam Rex
(Harper Collins/Balzer & Bray, 2012)
-------------------------------------------------
NOTE: mild spoilers below
-------------------------------------------------
I'm a big admirer of Adam Rex's picturebooks ("Pssst!" in particular) and was eager to read a longer novel filled with his comedic sensibilities. This is a good story, though eventually it creeped my kid out and she asked me to stop reading it. I can see why: this starts out as a typical young-adult novel, with outcast kids suffering through their days in a stuffy school fraught with social pressures. Slowly, a fantasy element asserts itself, as we get glimpses of how one protagonist, Scott Doe, may have magical abilities that are tied to the headaches that have plagued him for years -- when Scott gets a migraine, instead of seeing spots, he sees magical beings such as leprechauns and Alice-in-Wonderland style white rabbits.

Here's where the creepy part comes in: these same magical beings are being exploited by the breakfast cereal company that dominates Scott's hometown... Turns out the Trix rabbits and magic leprechauns in their ads are real, living beings, and the company has been draining off their powers in order to "fortify" their cereals. Even more disturbing is the way the company experiments on humans as well, including Scott's weirdo friends, siblings Erno and Emily who have been given experimental drugs that the evil corporation is thinking of putting in their cereals. Yeah, that's kind of intense for a primary-grade school kid. So, maybe the Ages 8-12, Grades 3-7 recommendation could be taken with grain of salt... I'd add a couple of numbers to those figures, even though I did think the book itself was clever and engaging... We just weren't quite ready for this kind of disturbing, paranoid narrative yet. Worth checking out, but worth vetting first as well. (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous kid-centric adventures in Cereal Land, November 29, 2012
By 
Heidi Waterhouse (Minneapolis, MN, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book was amazingly hilarious.

I picked it up because it was cheap and I keep looking for things that would appeal to my daughter, and I trusted Adam Rex because we all love the Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich books so much (they're really excellent).

Cold Cereal is a romp in the vein of The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, or The Westing Game. A trio of kids and some supporting quasi-adults work together to take down a sinister company with shadowy motivations. I am sort of enjoying the shift from sinister governments to sinister corporations.

Each of the characters had strengths and weaknesses -- I enjoyed that they were related to the character design as a whole -- the super-smart kid was also a worrier and had agoraphobia. The less-smart kid was brave and observant. One kid's ability to see magical beings was linked to migraines.

This may seem like a weird connection, but Cold Cereal is like the bubbly mid-grade version of Elizabeth Bear's Blood and Iron. The very rough outline of the plot, the enormous breadth of mythical creatures, the cleverness in wordplay, the trickster nature of the fae. Just me? Well, I have to imagine the overlap of people who have read both is smallish.

Sample bon mots:
"Or he could just sit down next to the girl nobody liked and take his cooties like a man. He sat down next to the girl."

This one made my fourth grader laugh and laugh:
It so happened that they were serving pizza, or more accurately a kind of impersonation of it, as though the whole concept of pizza had been rather poorly explained to the cafeteria workers by people who'd only read about it in books and didn't really like children much."

And the one that made me howl with nerdy laughter, from the Pooka named Harvey:
"We're the mere anarchy loothed upon the world," he told Mick. "You've forgotten what I am, anyway. In four thouthand yearth I haven't never done no one a good deed he didn't regret."

Read if: You are a smart 10 year old. You have fond memories of reading that style of book. You are looking for something to read to a kid over about 7. You are tired of Meaningful Literature.

Skip if: You have no tolerance for pesky kids. You will not find a cast of mythical creatures funny.

Also read:
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
The Westing Game
Blood and Iron: A Novel of the Promethean Age
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An odd little book - seems split on audience, April 5, 2012
This review is from: Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This was an odd little book that seemed split on the intended audience. For example, there were many references to people or situations which I doubt a child would understand without running to wikipedia for a quick reference. While that might actually be a good thing - inspiring a bit of additional research or curiosity - the sheer amount of it could also make a child set the book down. On the other hand, if this book was intended for older children or teens then I think it missed the mark entirely as the general story line was a bit immature. Then there was the negativity or perhaps its what counts as realism today; either way, references to how many men mom had dated (ie, slept with but thinly veiled) and other such adult type topics may open the doors for additional conversation but of what type and at what age? Again, the main storyline seems young but the adult references and situations seem to target a much older child.

Finally, there are areas which seem redundant and just downright annoying but I chalk that up to being an adult. Overall, I'm only half impressed. The book may encourage some students to expand their reach and do additional research but numerous adult contextual elements seem to target an entirely different age group. In short, I wouldn't know what age is appropriate for this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Middle Schoolers' Book, March 20, 2012
This review is from: Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Cold Cereal" by Adam Rex offers a wide variety of characters that kids in middle school(both boys and girls)can relate to, as well as family situations and structures. The adventures at Goodco ~ the local cereal company ~ and the daily school experiences keep the reader engaged and eager to read the next page (even I, as a senior citizen, turned the pages wondering "what will happen next). Not all the characters are your everyday run of the mill human. Leprechaun and other mystical beings join the mix.

I think this book would be most enjoyed and understood by the 11-14 year old. It can be used easily as a 'chapter book' for slightly younger children. The pencil sketches that are available are well done and I wish all the "Art to Come" areas had been completed to add to the quality of the story. I am not convinced that the comic strips that are throughout the book are necessary.....for me they bogged down the flow of reading the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Cereal is good, February 22, 2012
This review is from: Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It is a good story with a great premise. Imagine all of the cereal characters you grew up with were real, but were being used by an evil cereal company. That's the wonderful story line of this book. Unfortunately, it was a bit difficult to really get into. I could not get lost in the story as I sometimes can in a children's book. It is hard to put my finger on the problem other than to say it was all just a bit too crazy. What it seemed to be missing was the "this could happen to me" factor. It is a cute read for middle school age children and definitely has the potential to be made into a movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Part of this complete conspiracy of magic, December 15, 2012
By 
Heidi Waterhouse (Minneapolis, MN, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book was amazingly hilarious.

I picked it up because it was cheap and I keep looking for things that would appeal to my daughter, and I trusted Adam Rex because we all love the Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich books so much (they're really excellent).

Cold Cereal is a romp in the vein of The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, or The Westing Game. A trio of kids and some supporting quasi-adults work together to take down a sinister company with shadowy motivations. I am sort of enjoying the shift from sinister governments to sinister corporations.

Each of the characters had strengths and weaknesses -- I enjoyed that they were related to the character design as a whole -- the super-smart kid was also a worrier and had agoraphobia. The less-smart kid was brave and observant. One kid's ability to see magical beings was linked to migraines.

This may seem like a weird connection, but Cold Cereal is like the bubbly mid-grade version of Elizabeth Bear's Blood and Iron. The very rough outline of the plot, the enormous breadth of mythical creatures, the cleverness in wordplay, the trickster nature of the fae. Just me? Well, I have to imagine the overlap of people who have read both is smallish.

Sample bon mots:
"Or he could just sit down next to the girl nobody liked and take his cooties like a man. He sat down next to the girl."

This one made my fourth grader laugh and laugh:
It so happened that they were serving pizza, or more accurately a kind of impersonation of it, as though the whole concept of pizza had been rather poorly explained to the cafeteria workers by people who'd only read about it in books and didn't really like children much."

And the one that made me howl with nerdy laughter, from the Pooka named Harvey:
"We're the mere anarchy loothed upon the world," he told Mick. "You've forgotten what I am, anyway. In four thouthand yearth I haven't never done no one a good deed he didn't regret."

Read if: You are a smart 10 year old. You have fond memories of reading that style of book. You are looking for something to read to a kid over about 7. You are tired of Meaningful Literature.

Skip if: You have no tolerance for pesky kids. You will not find a cast of mythical creatures funny.

Also read:
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
The Westing Game
Blood and Iron: A Novel of the Promethean Age
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
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Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga)
Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) by Adam Rex (Hardcover - February 7, 2012)
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