I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese

A Novel

Book - 1983
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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

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: New York : Dell, 1983, c1977
ISBN: 9780440940609
Branch Call Number: Y Fiction
Characteristics: 220 p. ; 18 cm


From the critics

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Nov 24, 2017

Although I loved reading prior to reading this book, I'd read primarily The Baby-Sitter's Club, Beverly Cleary, and Judy Blume books, all of which were very good. But I remember reading "I Am the Cheese" in the 6th grade and thinking, "Oh... THAT is what a book can do" when I finished. It was an amazing feeling, and I went on to read After the First Death, The Chocolate War, We All Fall Down and others by Robert Cormier. I highly recommend these books for anyone interested in puzzle solving and what makes people tick. I recently re-read the book for the first time in over 25 years, and I found it just as affecting.

Apr 17, 2017

This was the first book I discovered (in 7th grade) that began my lifelong love of reading. At that age I found this book to be very thought-provoking and much more substantive than many of the books I had been exposed to in a classroom setting.

As an adult and a reader, I still love "I Am the Cheese" and I am eternally grateful for the doors it opened to me.

JeanneWu Jun 08, 2012

Very hard to understand but if you have a guide to help you understand the reading, you'll be surprised of the crazy future of Adam Farmer.


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Jul 03, 2015

Adam Farmer sets off on a quest to find his father. But in order to do so, he must delve back into his anomalous past, reliving the memories of his secretive, paranoid life. Helping him is a doctor named Brint. But Brint also has a secret, and when Adam arrives at his destination, the gripping truth will be revealed.

JeanneWu Jun 08, 2012

Adam Farmer has a dangerous past that people try to unravel out of him. Throughout the book, Adam goes through a great adventure between finding his dad and trying to remember his past. Though, here's the catch, if he does remember his mysterious life, he will not be allowed to live because the details are top secret and the information that will be spread around by him will put the government in great danger.


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JeanneWu Jun 08, 2012

JeanneWu thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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JeanneWu Jun 08, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Every scene where Adam remembers his past.


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JeanneWu Jun 08, 2012

"He wondered if he should tell him about the clues.
T: What clues?
A: What do you mean, 'clues'?
T: What you just said--you used the word 'clues.'
He retreated into silence. Could the doctor read his mind?" (Cormier 10-11)

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