Friday, 2 May 2014

The Great Ice Cream Heist

The Great Ice Cream Heist
Elen Caldecott
London, Bloomsbury, 2013, 181p

This week, Book Trust were excited to announce the selection for the Bookbuzz scheme 2014. To join in the celebrations, here is my review of one of the short listed books - The Great Ice Cream Heist.

During a long and potentially boring summer, Eva's father volunteers her to help rennovate the local community centre. There, she makes friends with Jamie, despite being told repeatedly that he is nothing but trouble. When the centre is vandalised, everyone assumes Jamie and his brothers are responsible, but Eva really wants to give Jamie the chance to prove his innocence.

The friendship between Eva and Jamie defies parental consent and social expectations - all the other kids at the community centre think Eva is silly to befriend such a devious boy. But Eva shows them that there is more to Jamie than the bad behaviour of his family, and that you can never judge a book by it's cover.

Through her friendship with Jamie, Eva is also able to work through her confusing feelings about her mother, who died in a skiing accident. Eva's father is overprotective, bubble-wrapping Eva to protect her from harm, be it physical or emotional. But with Jamie, Eva feels most alive, and comes to understand the value of adventure.

Caldecott's novel also explores the challenges of dyslexia for a teenager. Eva struggles with reading, describing the words on the page as they blur together into a incomprehensible mess. She has to recruit friends to help her read - she is embarrassed by her problem but her friends are happy to help.

The ice-cream heist comes towards the end of the book, where adventure peaks and madness ensues. Eva's story is uplifting and heart-warming, a great fun read.

You can find the rest of my reviews for the 2014 Bookbuzz selection here.

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