I Am the Cheese
By Robert Cormier
(Laurel Leaf, Mass Market Paperback, 9780440940609, 224pp.)
Publication Date: August 1, 1991
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Before there was Lois Lowry’s The Giver or M. T. Anderson’s Feed, there was Robert Cormier’s I Am the Cheese, a subversive classic that broke new ground for YA literature.
A boy’s search for his father becomes a desperate journey to unlock a secret past. But the past must not be remembered if the boy is to survive. As he searches for the truth that hovers at the edge of his mind, the boy—and readers—arrive at a shattering conclusion.
“An absorbing, even brilliant job. The book is assembled in mosaic fashion: a tiny chip here, a chip there. . . . Everything is related to something else; everything builds and builds to a fearsome climax. . . . [Cormier] has the knack of making horror out of the ordinary, as the masters of suspense know how to do.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A horrifying tale of government corruption, espionage, and counter espionage told by an innocent young victim. . . . The buildup of suspense is terrific.”—School Library Journal, starred review
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Horn Book Fanfare
A Library of Congress Children’s Book of the Year
A Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award Nominee
Robert Cormier (1925-2000) changed the face of young adult literature over the course of his illustrious career. His many books include The Chocolate War, I Am the Cheese, Fade, Tenderness, After the First Death, Heroes, Frenchtown Summer, and The Rag and Bone Shop. In 1991 he received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, honoring his lifetime contribution to writing for teens.
Something about Robert Cormier's I Am the Cheese, made author Ben Marcus worry. It was the first time he had encountered an unreliable narrator â�� and he found it disconcerting. Do you have a favorite narrator who doesn't quite tell the truth? Tell us who in the comments. More at NPR.org
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"A horrifying tale . . . the buildup of suspense is terrific." - School Library Journal, Starred"AN ABSORBING, EVEN brilliant job. The book is assembled in mosaic fashion: a tiny chip here, a chip there. . . . Everything is related to something else; everything builds and builds to a fearsome climax. . . . Cormier . . . has the knack of making horror out of the ordinary, as the masters of suspense know how to do." - The New York Times Book Review