Cover image for The country of Ice Cream Star
The country of Ice Cream Star
Newman, Sandra, 1965- , author.
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : ECCO, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Physical Description:
581 pages ; 24 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library FICTION Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Science Fiction/Fantasy
Audubon Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library FICTION Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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In the aftermath of a devastating plague, a fearless young heroine embarks on a dangerous and surprising journey to save her world in this brilliantly inventive dystopian thriller, told in bold and fierce language, from a remarkable literary talent.

My name be Ice Cream Fifteen Star and this be the tale of how I bring the cure to all the Nighted States . . .

In the ruins of a future America, fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star and her nomadic tribe live off of the detritus of a crumbled civilization. Theirs is a world of children; before reaching the age of twenty, they all die of a mysterious disease they call Posies--a plague that has killed for generations. There is no medicine, no treatment; only the mysterious rumor of a cure.

When her brother begins showing signs of the disease, Ice Cream Star sets off on a bold journey to find this cure. Led by a stranger, a captured prisoner named Pasha who becomes her devoted protector and friend, Ice Cream Star plunges into the unknown, risking her freedom and ultimately her life. Traveling hundreds of miles across treacherous, unfamiliar territory, she will experience love, heartbreak, cruelty, terror, and betrayal, fighting with her whole heart and soul to protect the only world she has ever known.

Guardian First Book Award finalist Sandra Newman delivers an extraordinary post-apocalyptic literary epic as imaginative as The Passage and as linguistically ambitious as Cloud Atlas. Like Hushpuppy in The Beasts of the Southern Wild grown to adolescence in a landscape as dangerously unpredictable as that of Ready Player One, The Country of Ice Cream Star is a breathtaking work from a writer of rare and unconventional talent.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In a future America, the population has been decimated by a mysterious disease, leaving only a few tribes governed by youths who dread the fatal sickness known as posies, which afflicts everyone by their late teens. Ice Cream Fifteen Star lives with her tribe of Sengles in Massa Woods, scavenging abandoned homes and hunting for survival. Their leader, Ice Cream's beloved brother, Driver Eighteen, is already showing posies symptoms. When the Sengles capture a roo (a fabled light-skinned foreigner), and Ice Cream learns that he's reached the unattainable age of 30, she secures his promise that he'll help her steal the cure from the roos. But when another roo is spotted nearby, Ice Cream's roo, Pasha, convinces Driver and El Mayor (leader of the industrious Lowells) that the roos are positioning for an invasion, and they must flee. The journey forces the Sengles and Lowells to navigate power, rebellion, and war among unfamiliar civilizations as Ice Cream struggles to secure the cure without sacrificing her humanity or the lives that depend on her. Ice Cream's story, related in patois, is a richly detailed dystopian epic that blends elements of American history, popular culture, and political allegory with romance and thriller pacing. This suspenseful, provocative tale is The Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies and The Walking Dead, only much, much better. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Could this be the next big book to capture readers all across the age spectrum? Don't bet against it.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Newman's latest depicts a dystopian future in which America has been decimated by "Posies," a powerful plague that leaves few living beyond 20 years of age. Ice Cream Star, the novel's 15-year-old narrator, is a member of the Sengles tribe of the Massa Woods, which was once Massachusetts. Ice Cream's brother, Driver, the 18-year-old leader of the Sengles, has just begun coughing-the first telltale sign of the plague. During a standard raid of an abandoned neighborhood for left-behind supplies, Ice Cream and her fellow raiders capture Pasha, a stranger to Massa, who is a shocking 30 years old and knows a rumor about a Posies cure. Ice Cream begins her harrowing adventure to find it and save her brother-and maybe the rest of the country in the process. Written entirely in the broken English of these short-lived children, now generations removed from the plague's onset, Newman's novel is ambitious, taking on race, sex, class, religion, politics, and war all at once. What sets the work apart is its unapologetic narrator, whose fantastically unbridled, wholly teenage point of view renders each page a pleasure to read. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Ice Cream Star is a courageous and charismatic 15-year-old girl, a near elder in her small band of black children living in the chaotic Massachusetts countryside in the aftermath of an epidemic that has wiped out most of the population. The disease continues to infect and kill all people before they reach their 20th birthday. As her older brother falls ill and she assumes leadership of her tribe, Ice Cream forms an unlikely friendship with Pasha, one of the rarely glimpsed white "roos" (Russians) who are widely feared and despised. Pasha, whose people have developed a cure, inspires Ice Cream to lead her tribe on an expedition to acquire the remedy through warfare. This literary dystopia inhabits a fully imagined, remarkably inventive universe with its own bizarre rituals and language. Ice Cream narrates the entire tale in an invented patois with an unusual cadence incorporating odd bits of French. VERDICT Though there is a risk of alienating the reader with a nearly 600-page book in a made-up lingo, and some of the plot twists strain credulity, the patient reader will be intrigued by the poetic prose and captivated by the exploits of Ice Cream Star. [See Prepub Alert, 8/18/14.]-Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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