The book being titled Im not scared is very appropriate as the common theme of the book is orientated around many characters facing fears and overcoming them or giving in to them.

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The book being titled "I'm not scared" is very appropriate as the common theme of the book is orientated around many characters facing fears and overcoming them or giving in to them. Furthermore the progression of the story is determined by characters not being "scared".

The book is based in 1970s Italy. More specifically in an isolated village named Acqua Traverse. Acqua Traverse is typical of southern Italian villages at the time geographically with contact with the outside world being very limited and the villages being of a small scale. This fictional village represents the situation of the majority of typical southern agriculture villages in Italy at the time who suffered financially due to their failure to develop their industry, in which the north had much success.

Due to instability in these regions many fled to the north in search of opportunities for wealth. This instability also provoked the regular occurrence of kidnappings in southern Italy.

"I'm not scared" also embodies typical culture references throughout, with a society influenced strongly influenced by the males of the village, being present the book.

A main character of this thrilling novel is that of Michele, a boy possessing such strong curiosity and strong morals that is unique of a child his age. Also proving to be an influential character is the kidnapped Fillipo who is discovered by Michele in a hole. Fillipo is a young boy whose dramatic contrast in upbringing compared to Michele makes for an absorbing relationship between the pair.

The main protagonist of the book is 9 year old Michele Armatti. Michele is a boy strongly connected around family values and the concept of "Machismo". "Machismo" being a popular attitude that was installed in Italian culture at the time and is clearly witnessed in the book. Ideas of Machismo revolve around the men of the community such as Michele's papa showing excessive masculinity and being the commanders of society. In contrast the women were expected to take a more subtle background role involving household chores and taking care of young children such as mama.

Michele has been brought up in a society that has caused him to develop an incredible imagination, as during this time children were expected to seek entertainment through solely themselves. Therefore in order to entertain one another Michele and his gang base their imaginary adventures around books and stories they have read. Michele in the book seems to gain an inner-strength through the heroes featured in these comic-books particular Tiger-Jack, to which aids Michele through difficult and worrying situations such as when sneaking off to meet Fillipo he tells himself "I must be brave. Tiger Jack. Think of Tiger Jack. The Indian would help me. Before making any move, I must think what the Indian would do in my place. That was the secret" [p. 183]. Tiger Jack is used by Michele as a way to confront his fears as well as allowing himself to be more brave.
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During the course of the book we witness how Michele is forced to mature rapidly. At first Michele thought only monsters possessed evil qualities, but as his father once said "Stop all this talk about monsters. . . . Monsters don't exist. It's men you should be afraid of, not monsters" [p. 170]. Michele soon realizes that this true. This is down to the fact that he is quickly discovering the harsh actuality of the world he lives in., which previously he had been protected from. This links back to the title, as the reality of the world ...

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