Monday, January 29, 2007

Annotated Bib. (I Am the Cheese)

Are you all excited that I'm posting another one of my assignments for school and passing it off as a blog? It's my cheap way of providing a book review, so get over it.

This week in Lit for Young Adults, we had to choose a book from one of the following genres: supernatural, adventure, mystery, or sports. I chose I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier- a mystery.

I really enjoyed it. I also really enjoy that I can actually read a book every week when selecting young adult books. It takes a total of 3 hours to read them. How great is that?! Because of this class and my Contemporary Lit class (where the books cannot be read in 3 hours), I will have read 10 novels in 10 weeks. As one of my favorite things to do is finish a book, you can all imagine how excited I am (and if you can't, then pretend).

Here's the annotated bib:

Cormier, Robert. I am the Cheese. New York: Random House. 1977.

In I am the Cheese, Cormier gives the reader an immediate glimpse into the psyche of Adam Farmer. Told from the first person, young adult readers will know from the title and early references to the song "The Farmer in the Dell" that Adam is a loner and does not fit in. As the book opens, Adam is setting out on a journey, via bicycle, to see his father. In preparing for this journey, Adam chooses not to take his unnamed medication and the reader can infer that Adam has some kind of problem, an emotional disturbance. Adam is immediately endeared to the reader.

I am the Cheese is the story of a young man whose family was placed in a witness protection program before he was old enough to understand. As an eighth grader, his suspicion becomes aroused that his parents have been hiding something and he begins attempting to discover his identity, both in the literal sense and in that of personal self-discovery. It is a page-turning mystery that will keep the reader captivated until the very end, wanting to learn Adam's secrets as he learns them.

Set up as parallel stories, the chapters alternate between Adam's journey to reach his father and Adam being interviewed by a man he perceives to be a psychiatrist to help him remember his past. Each chapter leaves something of the plot open so that, in order to get to this missing element, the reader must first read the next chapter, and so on. This type of format, coupled with a straight-forward plot, will entice the reluctant reader of any age to finish the book voluntarily. Additionally, several themes that are desirable for young adults are well-crafted in I am the Cheese: a love story, Adam's journey to self-discovery, and a unique, intimate bond with his parents. This novel will likely remain relevant to young adults for many years to come.

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