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I Am Thomas
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I Am Thomas

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The author of Mahtab's Story and the author of The Island team up to bring young readers another powerful social justice-related work—an inspiring, thought-provoking picture book about finding one's way in the world 
"You must do as you're told."

"Let the army make you a man."

"Your country needs your vote."
 As the voices in his life crowd in on him, Thomas looks for anothe
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Allen Unwin (first published May 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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An evocative book that requires grappling with the sparse text and striking images to understand the meaning. I find this book to be very appropriate for Middle and High School Students, who are dealing with issues of identity vs. conformity. There are multiple applications for this book in the classroom, and I consider this book to be a picture book that promotes literacy. Some people may balk at the images, but remember they are from the point of view of a young man who is resisting the demand ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
If I taught high school, I would share this book, and certainly it would begin some serious conversations. It is riveting, but harsh in the telling of a boy who rejects everyone in order to go his own way. I’d love to discuss it with someone, because the message is support for those who don’t follow expected paths, the questions asked like “why don’t you?” or “I wish you would…”, and we usually celebrate those who go their own way and are successful. The illustrations show only angry pushy adul ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Kirsten rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
Although the words within a picture book are important, often there is a stronger message to be gained through illustrations. The illustrations in "I am Thomas" are very dark and grotesque, even sinister. I am very disappointed in the overall pessimistic point of view of this story. I believe that the author intended to over the message that its OK to not go with the norm and be different. But because of the dark imagery (as well as the negative words) all we are given is a story where the chara ...more
Linda Atkinson
Feb 24, 2012 Linda Atkinson rated it really liked it
Powerful! Though recommended for 7+, I think 13+ would have a better appreciation for what the book is trying to convey. I loved it!
Shallowreader VaVeros
Apr 06, 2012 Shallowreader VaVeros rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A YA picture book on teenager's disconnecting with conformist adults. Brilliant.
May 24, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Cool story about a boy who was brave enough to be himself.
Mary Refalo
Mar 03, 2015 Mary Refalo rated it really liked it
This is a very confronting picture book, perfect for adolescents in late Stage 4 and beyond. The protagonist, Thomas, allows the reader to explore the expectations families, schools and societies place on young people. There is quite a lot of anger in this book, represented in the language, layout, images and other visual features. However, it is beautifully contrasted with images and ideas that are soft, safe and authentic to Thomas and his choices. A great example of how meaning is made throug ...more
May 27, 2011 Nova rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 9 to 15 year olds
It is an amazing sophisticated picture book; great art work! Thomas is growing up and does not want to conform. He resists the calls of his parents, the army, the religious zealots and politicians to be what they think he should be. Do I detect some irony in that on the last page he is following a crowd climbing onto a Greyhound bus (to begin his OE?)?
I gave it 5 stars but I do prefer books that make me laugh like Tadpole's Promise.
Not quite sure who this is for audience wise. It's a book about not-conforming, about rebellion in a way - but a steady non-violent rebellion that amounts more to refusal to listen to grown-ups barking orders. The picture are scary at times, but the end is gently hopeful. I would have liked it as a 5th-6th grader in the 1960s -- it would have fit that time perhaps more than the present maybe...
Belinda Missen
Mar 11, 2016 Belinda Missen rated it liked it
Interesting. Dark. Play on conformity and making ones way through the world. Not sure main character appeared to be of an age to understand any of it? Possibly something about mental illness? Illustrations were great but, as someone else mentioned, a little grotesque.
Nov 21, 2011 Beth rated it did not like it
Not only is the story diadactic, the pictures are scary. The angry black and white faces yelling at the reader are a bit too intense.

I'm sending our review copy to our library booksale. Co-workers know how to contact me if they want to discuss.
Michael Earp
Dec 29, 2011 Michael Earp rated it really liked it
Ann Marie
Oct 09, 2012 Ann Marie rated it it was ok
I seriously do not know why this was _________. Seemed an incredible waste of _________. Found in teen reading room at library. Definitely not a teen read. Not sure where it should have been placed...
May 22, 2011 Seraph rated it it was amazing
This was.... Interesting. And slightly bleak. But I liked it!!!!
Jul 10, 2013 Alastair rated it it was amazing
Another stunning and disturbing book by Gleeson which should be able to generate some serious discussion about he nature of identity and tribalism.
May 22, 2011 Gabby rated it it was ok
it was ok, but it was a bit boring and dull :/
Whoa. There is a lot you could do with this book from a teacher's perspective.
Mar 10, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, picture-books
An incredibly powerful picture book for YA readers that explores how hard it is to be yourself when everyone, even adults -- especially adults -- want you to conform and comply.
Meghan Douglas
Beautiful illustrations by Armin Greder compensate for the lack of subtlety in the story itself.
Christine Bongers
Adolescent picture book about finding your own way. Powerful illustrations inspired by minimalist text.
Edward Sullivan
Feb 14, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A dark, disturbing, powerfully illustrated parable of non-conformity.
Oct 30, 2016 Ellie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 56-classroom
Makes you think and the illustrations freaked my students out a little bit!
Mike Mullin
Mike Mullin rated it really liked it
Mar 03, 2012
aftron rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2012
Krista rated it liked it
Oct 15, 2013
Chantal rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2012
Erin rated it liked it
Nov 12, 2011
Emma rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2017
Felix Cheung
Felix Cheung rated it it was ok
Sep 10, 2014
Lucy rated it liked it
Mar 23, 2015
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"I was born in Young, a small town in south western NSW in 1950. After a few years we moved to Glen Innes, on the northern tablelands and then when I was ten we moved out west to Dubbo. We moved because my father was a schoolteacher and each change meant a promotion for him.

There were six children in the family. I was number three and there wasn't a lot of money. We didn't have television and of c
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