Adam's father is in hospital and Adam has set off to visit him. It's a long, cold journey; as he travels along, Adam gets tired, and to take his mind off his exhaustion, he traces the events that led up to his father being taken to hospital. He had testified against government level corruption and the family became the subject of a government-orchestrated protection plan. The journey is a kind of odyssey, a search - through the mysteries of the mind. Adam must unlock the past and really remember it if he is to survive.
Imagine discovering that your whole life has been a fiction, your identity altered, and a new family history created. Suddenly nothing is as it once seemed; you can trust no one, maybe not even yourself. It is exactly this revelation that turns 14-year-old Adam Farmer's life upside down. As he tries to ascertain who he really is, Adam encounters a past, present, and future too horrible to contemplate. Suspense builds as the fragments of the story are assembled--a missing father, government corruption, espionage--until the shocking conclusion shatters the fragile mosaic. Young adult readers will easily relate to the shy and confused Adam, whose desperate searching for self resembles a disturbingly exaggerated version of the identity crisis common to the teenage years.
First published in 1977, I Am the Cheese provides an exciting introduction to psychological thrillers. This sensitive, emotional, subtly crafted novel by Robert Cormier (author of The Chocolate War) was a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year, as well as a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. --Emilie Coulter