Illustrator(s)
Publication date
June 2016
Publisher
WSOY
Format info
264 pages

Ice Age

Jääkausi

A timely novel about the unfair way the strong tend to treat the weak

Ice Age is a novel about bullying, competition, fear, and friendship. The paths of bullied middle-schooler Helmi and her teacher Juha cross in small northern town, and everyone ignores the yield signs.

The collision sends Juha spinning into a current of cruel rumours, and he flounders helplessly in the eddy. Surrounded by peers who click into each other in majestic vistas and glamorous cityscapes, Helmi is a lone piece from the wrong puzzle.

The book’s central questions are: Do we view others as a source of support or as a threat? Does our success demand we mow down others? The way the strong treat the weak is an eternal and, unfortunately, particularly timely theme.

“If you shave a squirrel’s tail, you’ll end up with a rat.”

 

Reading material

English sample
Finnish edition

 

Praise for the work

“Ice Age is an acute and witty work about school bullying and its consequences (…) The best part of Ice Age is its avoidance of black-and-white depictions, its skilful use of animal symbolism and its illustrative descriptions of the northern environment. Ice Age is a typical story of growth and facing adversity; it is jagged, multi-edged and unaccusatory.”­– Eija Komu, Savon Sanomat newspaper

“Mooses Mentula’s Ice Age is a modern version of a Greek tragedy with far too many victims. (…) According to film director Orson Welles, the most important theme of Western literature is the loss of innocence. Mooses Mentula takes Welles’ theme and picks it apart piece by piece. Is there any greater loss of innocence than to be a victim of school bullying?”– Juhani Brander, Aamulehti newspaper

“If Mooses Mentula’s previous novel was mesmerising and impressive, the author has his foot even harder on the gas. The characters are drawn so believably that people in real life seem more bookish. After finishing the book, it feels like you have seen everything told in it from up close: the people and the events. It is wonderful to witness such an acceleration in literary quality.” – Esko Karppanen, Kaleva newspaper

“Mooses Mentula’s second novel examines school bullying from a multi-level perspective. (…) Ice Age forces the adult reader to really look school bullying in the eye.” – Taika Dalhbom, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

“Mentula’s book is a fantastic reminder that any one of us, even as adults, can become a target of bullying and exclusion from the herd at any time. People are compared to wolves, and not for nothing. That’s why I recommend Mentula’s book to absolutely everyone.” – Inahdus literary blog

Ice Age is an angry book. The central characters are united not only by their position as a victim, but also by their pain. They are angry, and that anger manifests itself in vengefulness and action. Deep, painful feelings are not really shown. (…) Ice Age will not leave the reader cold.” – Sivutiellä literary blog