Wednesday, January 14, 2009


GENRE: Chapter Book (6-9 year olds)

“I think I’m gonna gag!”

I stared at my bowl of Nutri-Flakes. There was no way I could eat one more bite.

“Come on, Mason.” Joel set the cereal box in front of me. “Just focus.”

The message on the back of the box caught the light above the kitchen table. The silver writing sparkled.

_Win! Win! Win!_

_A Mega-naut Adventures video game!_

_Collect five Nutri-Flakes™ box tops and enter NOW!_

_Limited time offer_

“Paragliding, mountain climbing, cliff diving…” I read the list of game options. “I can’t wait to play this thing.”

Joel sighed. “Yeah, well, you won’t get a chance unless you finish this last box.”

“But the fibre gunk keeps getting stuck in my teeth.” I hunted around my mouth with the tip of my tongue.


“You know Mom won’t let you rip the top off until you’re done,” Joel said.

I could see Mom hovering in the rec room, folding laundry. She had caught me earlier, trying to dump the cereal in the garbage. There was no escape.

“Don’t remind me.” I took another gritty, gaggy bite. “Gross.”

It felt like rocks and grass in my mouth. Rocky grass. Grassy rocks. Whatever. I just wanted to spit it out.

“Mason! Just swallow it, already,” Joel said.

I made a face and gulped it down.

“Why couldn’t they put this prize on the back of a Chocobits box? Or Alphapuffs?” If that game didn’t look so cool, I would have given up four boxes ago.


  1. I would read on to see what happens. I totally can relate to trying to eat to the bottom of the box to get the prize!

  2. The funniest thing is that he has to eat a healthy cereal to get what he wants. But, I have a feeling thats not what the story is really about - him winning a video game. I'd read a little further to see.

  3. This sounds like something little kids would do.


  4. Nice voice. Hooked!

  5. I liked this idea, too. I did wonder who exactly was speaking the first line, but later realized it must be the narrator.

    I'm not a mom, but I couldn't help wondering at a mom who would let her son eat four boxes of cereal--at one time?

    The rocky grasss/grassy rocks line was great.

  6. Cute and very readable. Would be welcomed by your targeted age group, for sure. Hopefully would encourage more young boys to read.

  7. This sounds fun, but I don't see a lot of conflict yet. He has to eat the cereal to get the prize, but that's obviously do-able.

    I'm wondering why Mason isn't demanding that Joel eat his share of the cereal. Why is Joel foisting it all on Mason?

    I'm not sure I'd want to be around after mason eats four boxes of fibre filled cereal! But it could create some fascinating reading for targeted age.

  8. Nice job. I think young boys would like this.

  9. I really liked the rocky grass/grassy rocks line.

    I wasn't too hooked by the conversation, though I found it humorous that a kid was eating yucky cereal for the prize.

  10. Very cute. I'd like an early hint about the relationship between these boys. Are they brothers? Buddies? Why can't Joel help him out and eat a spoonful or two?

    Nice voice though, and I would read on. My boys need more books like this.

  11. I'm 35 (not your target) and I'm hooked. It's got the right tone and vibe to really work for me!

  12. This didn't grab me. I have seen a lot of stuff with eating-the-cereal-for-the-prize...not recently, per se, but I've seen it enough times before to make it feel something of a cliche to me.

  13. Good voice and believable.

  14. Cute<:

    Btw - This sounds like 9-11 y/o age group to me, by some of the word choices.

    Heh - the kid should also do what I did when my mom made me eat raisin bran every morning. Lots and lots of sugar makes anything taste good. ;]

  15. Nicely done, though this idea isn't entirely fresh. You maybe take a little too long to get where you're going with this, but there's fun along the way. I'd certainly read a few more pages to see how it shapes up. Most of all I want to know more about Joel, who definitely has the right idea - getting Mason to do all the dirty work!

  16. LOL. I can see my kids doing this. I'm hooked for the sake of my children. They'd love this. Or would it give them too many ideas?
    Yeah. Liked.
    Good job.

  17. I liked this too. Great voice and good descriptions.

  18. Hooked me…
    Because it’s cute. I do wonder what sensible parent would let their child eat that much toward the possibility of winning a video game and what kid wouldn’t make his (brother?) help him eat it, but hey… not all things kids do makes sense…

  19. This is pretty funny. I'd read on to see if he accomplishes his goal and if he thinks it's worth is. Kids would get a kick out of it I bet.

  20. I think it's a lot of build-up, but not getting to any conflict or tension. The action of scarfing cereal to get a prize is definitely in line with what a kid would do, but it's just not strong enough of a hook to get me engaged in reading all the way through. Sorry.

  21. I really loved this. Great voice. I'm hooked.

  22. I think your dialogue rings true, and I like the interaction between the two boys. Very funny! I would read on!

  23. Been there, done that, hehe.
    I could see it. I'd give it a couple more pages to get to the main story.

  24. Never has reading about a kid eating cereal been more entertaining!

  25. I'm not quite hooked, because for me there's not enough happening--a page of eating icky-tasting cereal--and I don't yet have a reason to really care whether he succeeds or not. But I'd read a little more, hoping for a hook, because I like the immediacy of the writing.

  26. I like this. The characters sound real to me.

    Is this the same Mason as in the earlier submittal (Mason and the Pirates)? I thought we were limited to just one each.

    I want to know the relationship between Joel and Mason sooner.

    But other than that, I'd read further.

  27. Author here!

    >>Is this the same Mason as in the earlier submittal (Mason and the Pirates)?

    Different person/story. :-)

    Thank you all so much for the fantastic feedback. Thanks to Authoress for the great opportunity and to SA for weighing in with her/his professional opinion. I really appreciate it!

    Great entries, everyone!

  28. Great title, but not hooked, not sure why. Perhaps the voice/vocabulary feels too old for the intended audience. BUT, I'd still read more!