Summary - Playing a prank on the ice-cream man seems harmless enough at the time. After all, he asked for it! But what happens next ignites a terrifying chain of events that will bong three friends for life.
The ice-cream man is coming.
And he knows just where to find them.
Review - This is my third MG review in the past fortnight and I am really impressed by the quality of books I have been reading. This one is no different. The three main boys – Marty, Rick and Aaron – are all exceptionally characterised with different pressures at home. Marty has cerebral palsy and is straining to have any sense of independence, Rick’s father has died and his mother is an alcoholic and Aaron is tormented by his bullying step-brother. They all have tough situations at home and yet this story introduces the evil ice-cream man and their predicament get even worse!
My class was clamouring over this novel when it came in. The idea of a kid stalking, maniac ice cream man is too appealing. With the exception for my one student who actually has an ice cream van driving father (chances!) There is an exceptionally slow build which makes it a tense read with the use of the Pop Goes the Weasel tune, the phone calls and threats made. I think kids would really find themselves concerned for the welfare of their heroes. As an adult I could see some leaps of logic that kids would overlook but it is a great terrifying read for the independent reading set.
I can see many kids getting wrapped up in the story without realising that they are relating to kids that they may normally avoid. Marty is disabled but you wouldn’t know it, Aaron is overweight but extremely tech savvy and Rick is neglected but extremely loyal and resourceful. The strength of this book is in the depiction of kids that look different but are extremely relatable.
Thanks to Jenny, I am now a little wary of the ice cream man...and I have a parent / teacher interview with him in a couple of weeks!
Format: Paperback, 187 pages
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing