Adult and children’s worlds are placed in stark contrast in I’m Not Scared. The juxtaposition of the two and the bewilderment between one and the other is accentuated by the searing heat of the 1978 Italian heat wave which adds an other-worldly dimension to the setting.
It is against this scorched backdrop that the children of Aqua Traverse set out upon bicycles, exploring the countryside and their environs as their parents stay indoors waiting for the temperature to cool. The arrival of a stranger at Michele’s house leads to a revelation which Michele must come to accept.
Social interaction, a desire for betterment and the difference between adult and child perspectives drive this distinctive and highly original novel forward. Published initially by Canongate, Walker Books have chosen this as one of the titles for their new crossover venture ‘Meet at the gate’. This is a strong and surprising rites of passage novel that leaves a lingering legacy of thought and intrigue, an equal offering for adult and adolescent readers.