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Ice Cream Con
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Ice Cream Con

4.0 2
by Jimmy Docherty

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Danger, diamonds, and disorganized crime! This gritty, funny debut will have readers rooting for--and laughing with--the underdogs!

Jake and his buddies are over being bullied by the thugs at the housing projects he calls home. That's why Jake decides to play the goons at their own game by creating a fake gangster, the Big Baresi. But before long, the imaginary


Danger, diamonds, and disorganized crime! This gritty, funny debut will have readers rooting for--and laughing with--the underdogs!

Jake and his buddies are over being bullied by the thugs at the housing projects he calls home. That's why Jake decides to play the goons at their own game by creating a fake gangster, the Big Baresi. But before long, the imaginary mobster seems to have taken on a life of his own! The stakes are raised when a stash of stolen diamonds goes missing. From behind the wheel of an ice cream van, Jake's got to pull off the ultimate con--while managing to keep the mint chocolate chip from a meltdown. Because, as the Big Baresi knows, revenge is a dish best served cold.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
Young Jimmy, looking to protect himself from constantly being mugged by the tough characters at his Glasgow, Scotland housing project, starts a rumor about a protective Sicilian godfather he calls the Big Baresi. With the help of Jimmy's friends, the rumor sweeps through the project, and it soon takes on a life of its own, with everyone speculating about this ruthless gangster. Then a fortune in stolen diamonds vanishes, and the local crime lord tries to hunt Baresi down. Jimmy and his pals find themselves in real trouble, careening down the street in an ice-cream truck and dodging bullets. This funny crime adventure features some great characters, lots of getting-kicked-in-the-groin teen-type humor, and plenty of action. Terrific fun. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
VOYA - Shari Fesko
Missing diamonds, notorious criminals, and a bunch of feisty kids add up to great fun in Docherty's debut effort. Jake Drake is trying to make it in Lochrannoch, a rather rough housing project where he lives with his grandmother who has been raising him ever since his parents died several years ago. Even with a trio of good friends, Sophie, Aidan, and Harvey, beating the bullies is no easy task. When local crime-boss Cortesi pushes Jake too far, he hatches a plan involving a fictional new gangster, The Big Baresi, that just might bring peace to Lochrannoch for the first time in years. Docherty keeps the action coming fast and furious from beginning to end. He also gives readers a very likeable hero in Jake, a fast-thinking, smart aleck who still loves his grandma and appreciates his friends. Although the constant "potty humor" might turn off some readers, (Grandma has chronic, audible gas, and the Dubble Twins frequently kick poor Jake in the "goodies") it is bound to be a huge hit with tween boys and especially reluctant readers. Top that with a bunch of exciting car chases, a final shootout with minimal violence that the good guys win, and the result is a sure winner for light vacation reading. Reviewer: Shari Fesko
School Library Journal

Gr 6-8- Set in a tough, crime-ridden housing project in Glasgow, this novel opens with 12-year-old Jake Drake getting kicked in the groin and mugged twice in 10 minutes, losing the money meant to buy his Gran's food. Jake and his friends decide they have had enough and will fight back against the local crime bosses by creating a fake gangster, the Big Baresi. By spreading rumors of this biggest, baddest thug ever, the con works, but soon things spiral out of control. A lot is going on in this novel: Jake and his buddies steal an 18-wheeler full of sumo suits and get in a gunfire battle with corrupt police; an ex-convict looking for $3 million in diamonds returns to the project; the boys steal $20,000 that then is stolen from them; and, finally, they steal an ice-cream van. All works out in the end, with Jake being instrumental in getting the community center rebuilt so that residents young and old have a place to gather. The end is set up for the reappearance of the Big Baresi in a sequel. The theme of kids taking control and showing adults how to make things better is a good one, although the means the characters employ to do so are questionable at best. While humorous in tone, there is much that is crude and objectionable here. Preadolescent boys will no doubt giggle over Jake's flatulent Gran, whose "butt trumpeting" is renowned. But fighting, belching, and farting on nearly every page gets a bit old.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME

Kirkus Reviews
Scottish teens and vicious gangsters mix together deliciously in this tasty treat from overseas. Jake Drake's just about had enough when he's mugged twice in one day for his grandmother's grocery money. Lochrannoch Estates seethes with criminal elements and none is quite as criminal as resident kingpin Franco Cortesi. When Jake suffers a humiliation he can't forget, he decides to create his very own criminal mastermind: Big Baresi. With the help of his three best friends, Jake sets about convincing everyone of Baresi's existence. Unfortunately his plan is a little too effective; now rival gangs and the police are out to kill Baresi, and only a con involving an ice-cream truck and some stolen diamonds will get Jake out of this sticky mess. Though a bit chunky in its plotting, with an overreliance on potty humor (the farting grandmother wears out her welcome pretty quickly), this is still a rollicking good time, filled with high-speed chases, a cinematic sensibility and some pretty clever conning to boot. Enjoyable fare from start to finish. (Fiction. 11 & up)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
800L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

JIMMY DOCHERTY is an award-winning advertising copywriter and television commercial director. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Ice Cream Con 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Having the little money they have stolen from them is getting a little old for Jake and his buddies. The thing is, though, Jake and his gang aren't the toughest bunch of kids, so the only way to get back at these thugs is to outsmart them at their own game. To do this, the kids create a fake gangster, the Big Baresi, who soon becomes a lot more real then Jake ever anticipated.

When a stash of stolen diamonds goes missing, the community truly believes it's the Big Baresi, but as Jake and his friends know, it's not. While trying to clear Baresi's name and keeping his intimidation factor high, the kids go on quite an adventure that includes a stolen ice cream truck, sumo suits, corrupt cops, lots of mobsters, and lots of crime.

Overall, this was a good book. It was humorous and the plot was pretty darn creative. My only complaint is that the book was a real boy book (not that there's anything wrong with that!). From being kicked in the "goolies" to the talk about girlie pictures, the book was clearly meant for adolescent boys. While being a girl and not truly appreciating these topics, I did think the book was good. I found myself laughing aloud many a time and loving the adventures the kids went on.

The author definitely has a talent for making people laugh and I hope that his future novels will be just as funny. As mentioned before, I think that young teen boys will really get a kick out of this book. It would also be a great book for reluctant readers as it's not too long, but provides a substantial story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago