Unlucky Charms: The Cold Cereal Saga, Book 2
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Unlucky Charms, the sequel to Adam Rex's Cold Cereal, continues in the same vein, with lots of wacky mayhem, wordplay, mythology, time travel, and pop culture references. Some moments may unnerve more sensitive kids -- such as when a mom suddenly vanishes (though there turns out to be a benign explanation) or when some of the characters are trapped in an alternate world. Occasional mild sexual innuendo will go right past some younger kids and possibly draw questions from others (e.g. a remark that two intertwined, thrashing dragons aren't fighting).
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What's the Story?
Picking up where Cold Cereal left off, UNLUCKY CHARMS starts with the sudden disappearance into thin air of scientist Samantha Doe, whose kids Scott and Polly, along with their friends Erno and Emily and long-absent father John, had many mad adventures in the series opener. A crazy roller-coaster of a plot ensues, complete with frequent flashbacks giving the back story on some characters and even more frequent leaps from country to country. Once again, Arthurian-era nymph Nimue is bent on taking over the human world for the fairies, time-traveling accountant/wizard Merle Lynn is out to foil the plot, and it's all connected to pink dragons, weird food additives, the Queen of England, and the Goodco Cereal Company. A cliffhanger ending sets up the series finale.
Is It Any Good?
Those who haven't read Cold Cereal may find themselves at sea with the roster of quirky characters behaving strangely, as well as much world-building in the first book that's essential here. Author Rex is clever, funny, and inclined to throw everything but the kitchen sink -- including time shifts, wisecracks, family drama, mythology, and more wisecracks -- at the reader, which might not be every kid's dish but will have others in heaven. Rex's black-and-white illustrations help bring the characters and their predicaments to life.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the relationship between fairies and humans in Unlucky Charms. What other books have you read that involve interaction between the fairy and the human worlds?
Do you see any similarities in how Goodco Cereal Company develops and markets doctored food to achieve world domination and other real-life products and advertising?
Have you ever had an experience like the Doe kids -- of someone returning after being gone a long time? What was great about it, and what was hard?
- Author: Adam Rex
- Illustrator: Adam Rex
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Superheroes, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Fairy Tales, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: February 5, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Our Editors Recommend
The Squire's Tale
Delightfully warmhearted Arthurian tales.
The Sword in the Stone
Brilliant, high-level take on Arthur's childhood.
Half-faery boy fights to save his sister in magical fantasy.
For kids who love humor and fantasy
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