Review Blog

Jul 04 2008

The ice-cream man by Jenny Mounfield

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Ford St. 2008 ISBN 978187642680
(Age 11-14) What a great thriller. This book kept me on the edge of my seat wondering if Marty, Rick and Aaron were going to stay alive as the ice-cream man decides to come after them because they hassled him for not stopping to sell them an ice-cream. After all, why wouldn't the ice-cream man be annoyed because he got the fright of his life when a kid in a wheelchair flashes in front of him on the road, and when another kid writes 'Freak' on his van. When Aaron receives a threatening email from the Grim Reaper the boys learn that it is not a good idea to play stupid games. The stalking continues and Rick is terrified when he sees the van parked outside his house in the middle of the night. A weird phone call on his new mobile (and no one is supposed to know the number) has Marty getting worried. Then Rick disappears and the tension mounts.

Add a wonderful mix of characters who are each coming to terms with difficulties in their lives to the thrilling story and the book is a winner. Marty is a great character. He has cerebral palsy and he uses his wheelchair to demonstrate that he can do all sorts of things and leaves the reader breathless with his dangerous escapades. Aaron faces constant beatings from his bullying stepbrother, while Rick is trying to keep it all together after the death of his father, while his mother drowns her sorrows in drink.

I found this book hard to put down and would recommend it as a good way to get readers hooked on the thriller genre. Teacher's notes are available.
Pat Pledger

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