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Description - The Ice Cream Man by Jenny Mounfield

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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781876462680
ISBN-10: 187646268X
Format: Paperback
(200mm x 135mm x mm)
Pages: 221
Imprint: Ford Street Publishing Pty Ltd
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing Pty Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - The Ice Cream Man by Jenny Mounfield

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Book Review: Ice Cream Man by Jenny Mounfield - Reviewed by (27 Jul 2010)

Queenslander Jenny Mounfield is a relative newcomer to the writing scene, but she has already created a niche for herself with her first two books, Storm Born (Koala, 2005) and The Black Bandit (Lothian 2006).

In this new book, Marty, Rick and Aaron form an unlikely friendship when fat-kid Aaron is bullied in the schoolyard. The three cruise the neighbourhood, visit the local billabong and hang out. When Rick targets the local ice-cream man’s van for a series of pranks, the boys are shocked at what follows. The ice-cream man stalks them via email and then mobile phone. Terrorised by a series of incidents, the boys know that the ice-cream man is coming — and he knows just where to find them. But they don't have proof of the stalking, and if they did, would anyone believe them? Nope, they’re going to have to sort this out themselves.

A multi-layered and entertaining read, containing a whiff of “horror” and which tackles issues affecting today's kids: bullying, family dysfunction, grief; mental illness and friendship, this book is likely to appeal to the upper primary to lower secondary school age group.

Hypatia is a regular contributor to Specusphere.

Book Review: Ice Cream Man by Jenny Mounfield - Reviewed by (14 May 2010)

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.

Author Biography - Jenny Mounfield

Jenny Mounfield is the author of two published junior novels, Storm Born and The Black Bandit, 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.