I'm Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti
The hottest summer of the twentieth century. A tiny community of five houses enclosed by wheat fields. While the adults shelter indoors, six children venture out on their bikes across the scorched, deserted countryside. Whilst exploring a dilapidated and uninhabited farmhouse, nine-year-old Michele Amitrano discovers a secret so momentous, so terrible, that he dare not tell anyone about it. To come to terms with what he has found, Michele has to draw strength from his own sense of humanity. It is Ammaniti's ability to inhabit the mind and perspective of his young hero that makes I'm Not Scared such an affecting and extraordinary novel. The book is a masterpiece of coming of age; a compelling portrait of losing one's innocence and a powerful reflection on the complexities and compromises inherent in growing up.