'While "I'm Not Scared" revolves around the adult's world of corruption and violence, it is essentially about the child's world of friendship and betrayal.'

Essay by yangliusoHigh School, 12th gradeA+, August 2007

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Summary: In the novel "I'm not Scared" by Niccolo Ammaniti, Michele likes presents, objects and money, but finds that loyalty and trust are far more important.

The novel "I'm Not Scared" explores the playful and interesting world of childhood through the eyes of a nine year old kid. In the hot, dry summer of 1978, Michele, the main character, and his friends have nothing better to do than play new games and dares. Their small town Aqua Treverse only occupies four houses. Michele and his friends usually ride on their bikes across the deserted countryside, while the adults stay indoors shielding from the enormous heat. This gives the children the freedom to do anything they want.

Like any other gang in the world, this one has a leader as well. His name is Skull and he's only 12 years old. Skull would not even stop at forcing a girl to expose her private parts to the whole gang just to prove he is the leader and everything has to be done his way.

After being falsely punished, Barbara has been ordered to do the forfeit. To spare the fat girl who tags along a humiliating forfeit, Michele decides to do the forfeit as a result of harsh demands by Skull. This is the first time in the novel that Michele uses his heroism and sticks up to Skull. He knows that Skull is cruel and that he asked for too much. Michele is smart and knows that he can't fight Skull by himself but would have to involve the whole gang. Therefore he calls upon a second vote on the forfeit so he can do it instead of Barbara. The gang of course backs up Michele.

As a result of accepting the forfeit, Skull decides that...