The Ice-cream Man
One summer afternoon three boys play a prank on the ice-cream man. This one decision sets into motion a chain of events that will forge a life-long bond, testing each boy as never before. Three boys united by fear and their need for friendship. Three boys united against the ice-c... read full description below.
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||10 September 2014 by Ford Street Publishing
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||By Mounfield, Jenny
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One summer afternoon three boys play a prank on the ice-cream man. This one decision sets into motion a chain of events that will forge a life-long bond, testing each boy as never before. Three boys united by fear and their need for friendship. Three boys united against the ice-cream man.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||The cover and the blurb on the back of this book led me to expect a run-of-the-mill teen horror about a murderous ice-cream man. Not that I don't enjoy a formulaic horror novel every now and then... But what I read this time was an intelligent, character-driven suspense with elements of horror.
Three kids play a silly prank on the driver of an ice-cream van, and then find themselves being stalked by that driver. It's a tense book - right from the first sentence: "Marty flicked sweat out of his eyes as he hurtled down the path towards the bike compound." And Mounfield manages to skilfully maintain that tension all the way to the end.
Although the catalyst of the story is the title's Ice-cream Man, much of the tension and drama is actually derived from the three main characters' lives. Marty is stuck in a wheelchair with an over-protective mother watching over him. Aaron is trying to deal with his bullying stepbrother and parents who don't listen. Rick is coping with the recent death of his father and his mother's subsequent slide into alcoholism. It is these characters and their life-struggles that form the most interesting aspect of the book. Their dealings with the Ice-cream Man, then adds to the tension. I felt myself quickly liking these kids, if not their choices, and wanting then to be able to smooth out their lives.
I did find the resolution to the stalking scenario to be a little predictable. But that did not detract from my enjoyment of the characters' journeys. All up, this is a strong, tense novel, that's well worth a read.
Jenny Mounfield is the author of two published junior novels as well as a number of short stories and articles for both kids and adults. Her many hats include: children's book reviewer, wife, and mum to three teenagers and numerous pets.