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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure, lots to think about, 22 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Great Ice-Cream Heist (Paperback)
My seven-year old son just read this and loved it (though I think it's probably intended for slightly older children). He enjoyed the story, the characters, the daft things they end up doing, and sense of adventure and tension, and especially the ice cream van and the dog. Reading over his shoulder, I enjoyed the whole way the book was written: great characterisation, loads more metaphorical language than pretty much any other children's book I've read recently (it pretty much sets the gold standard for this), and the serious issues are presented simply as part of life, not at all in a heavy handed way. This is a really good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun kids' adventure from a skilled writer of family drama, 2 Jun 2013
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Mrs. B. S. Kemp "Beth Kemp" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Great Ice-Cream Heist (Paperback)
Elen Caldecott is one of the best writers of kids' contemporary adventures. She excels at writing sympathetically and not patronisingly about kids in non-traditional family situations, giving them interesting adventures so that the point of the story is not "look, here's a kid from a non-traditional family", but rather "here's a kid doing X".

I especially like the anti-judgmental message in this novel, in which our main character, Eva, has new neighbours whom everyone knows are trouble. Eva's view is different - she finds their loud and chaotic family intriguing, in contrast to her own very quiet and calm family: just her and her very protective Dad.

The plot is engaging, mostly because Eva and Jamie and those around them are entirely convincing and interesting characters. We can't help but feel sorry for Eva, keen to please her Dad but also to have a life of her own. And Jamie, seen through Eva's eyes as he escapes by lying on shed roof, is endearing and engaging in his own right. There are some genuinely funny moments, and plenty of points where we're worried for the characters and all seems doomed. The chase scene alluded to in the title and on the cover, is a fabulous climax.

Overall, I would absolutely recommend this for 9-12s, especially those who enjoy character-led adventures.
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The Great Ice-Cream Heist
The Great Ice-Cream Heist by Elen Caldecott (Paperback - 6 Jun 2013)
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