Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Just David” as Want to Read:
Just David
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Just David

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  644 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
Paperback, 354 pages
Published July 11th 2011 by Clapham Press (first published 1916)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Just David, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Just David

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Victoria Lynn
This book is so sweet and such a beautiful tale. One of our family classics.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps idealistic, but very sweet and unjaded. Can life really be like that--why not!?! It was a book group read and I really enjoyed the sweet character of David and his unselfishness. The Author is also the author of Pollyanna.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This is truly a beautiful of those that I will return to again and again. Well written. Beautifully poetic, metaphorical and inspiring. A true classic. Sad that it was ever forgotten and out of print. Move this to the top of your to-read list.

When David was four, his father took him to live in the mountains where he taught David of the beautiful things in life. They learned from nature and from books and from music. It was an exceptional education. When David was ten, his father
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This book was recommended and lent to me by Isaac's violin teacher. It is by the author of Pollyanna and was a very sweet story. It is about a boy who grows up in the mountains with his father. He is very innocent. The time comes at 10 years old that he has to return to society. His nature and innocence are very odd to his new community but eventually everyone is touched and changed by him. It is a similar idea as Pollyanna but with a different plot. I thought it was a beautiful story and I enjo ...more
Sep 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-love
This is an old, old favorite. It was a favorite of my grandmother's, and my father's, and it became a favorite of mine...three generations! My mother read aloud to us from her old and very battered copy when I was young, and I managed many years ago to obtain a old and battered copy of my own to read aloud to my children. Now it appears that it is back in print!

Just David is a heartwarming tale of a boy - David - the son of a famous musician, whose father takes him at a young age to live on a mo
Victoria Minks
3.5 Stars
When I first started this book, I was enjoying it for about the first chapter...and then David actually really started to annoy me. I'm all for kids with innocence, dreams, and an imagination--but David was just a little bit too head-in-the-clouds for the first quarter of the book. It makes sense, the way his father raised him, and the book states that his father wasn't sure if he had made the right choice. Basically, David starts off as pretty much an antique version of a hippie. I had
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pollyanna + Anne of Green Gables + Heidi + A Girl of the Limberlost. Except with a boy. I can't call it great literature since it reminded me so much of so many other books, but they were all books I like. A sweet book that made me think about how we view beauty in our lives.
Annie Kate
At first my teens scoffed that this was sentimental Victorian literature, but by the end of the book they were enjoying it and were deeply involved. The book had improved by then, too, and involved more action and real emotion and less 'sappy' elements.

This is a sweet story about an idealistic little orphan violinist who changes the town that takes him in. If you read many books out loud to your children, add this one; if you read only a few out loud, don't let Just David crowd out a better book
Zachary Lawrence
“Just David” is a great a book. I would recommend it to a violinist. David is a ten year old boy who doesn’t know his last name. His dad died on the side of the road. Just before he died, he gave David a sack full of large gold coins and told him to hide them until needed. A man named Simeon Holly found him sitting on the side of the road playing a violin to his “sleeping” father. Simeon, realizing the man is dead; he and his wife try to figure out the boy’s name. He tells them he is “just David ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is nothing that aggravates me more than a perfect character.
Orhon Sh
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
uzun zamandir verilen aradan sonra okumus oldugum klasik kitaplardan biri oldu. eski gunku heyecan, dorugu yakalama adina cok iyi bir baslangicim oldu.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David and his father have always lived on the mountain, but one day his father tells him to pack, they must leave their cabin. David’s father becomes more tired and sick as the journey progresses, and finally dies in the barn of a farmer and his wife. The farmer and his wife don’t know what to make of this small boy, who “plays the look of the dew on wet grass” on his violin, and refuses to powder the potatoes from the striped bugs because they look so beautiful. David; raised in innocence, with ...more
Sue Thornquist
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel I read as a kid, after finding a wealth of Porter novels (and Anne of Green Gables and Freckles!) in my grandmother Gove's attic and devouring them. That led me on countless book quests throughout my teenage (and adult, let's be honest) years, contacting rare and used book dealers all over the country to find other titles and first editions. I've been wanting to re-read this one for some time, and right before Christmas, I did. It's a flowery style to be sure, but wonderful chara ...more
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alicia by: Emily Lawson
Sweet 1916 children's story written by the author of Pollyanna. I listened to it on Librivox ( -- awesome web site for free audio books.

From a review: "The widespread theme of the orphan in American literature is central in the main character of Just David, who through his extraordinary talent restores order to the community and heals broken relationships." Yes, this felt just like a boy version of the book Pollyanna, with its optimistic, cheerful orphan
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My grandma gave her 1916 copy of this book to my daughter for Christmas, and I borrowed it for just a bit. It's written by Eleanor Porter, the author of Pollyanna, and has many parallels to that classic story; a special, orphaned child with a positive attitude ends up blessing the lives of an entire town. If you love Pollyanna or grew up watching the Disney version (I think I like the movie even better than the book), then you're bound to enjoy this little lost gem. It is very sweet, very old-fa ...more
J. Boo
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for sentimental and moralistic tales, but "Just David"'s title character just set my teeth on edge. After a Rousseau-esque upbringing, newly orphaned David's unspoiled nature comes in contact with the cold, cruel world, leaving me cold, cruel, and spoiled.

The obligatory child-reunites-sundered-lovers bit serves as the only point of interest, but not much of one.

There is a slight twist at the end, but really, the author could just have written "HA HA HA I AM MAKING A TWIST AT THE END
Oct 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is about a ten year old boy who has been raised in the mountains by his father. He teaches him to “play” the beauty he finds in the world on his violin, and only exposes him to things that are beautiful and good. He teaches him that he has a “great work” to do in the world, and the story is about David’s attempt to discover what that work is. I loved this book. It was a very simple, story. It was written more for older children, but the message in it was so pure and uplifting. It made m ...more
Dawn Shaver
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
I loved this book! Such a beautiful spirit is shown by the main character. He is considered quite odd by everyone who meets him. That is because his father taught him to look for the beauty in the world. Unlike the other boys in the town who enjoy playing pranks and torturing animals he looks to help the animals. He is highly skilled at many things particularly playing his violin. It is through his violin he plays the beauty he sees in the world. Throughout the book he finds the good in new frie ...more
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet story. I loved that David's father taught him so much and gave him such a optimistic, positive childhood, away from the world/society and it's distractions and darker side. Sometimes I'd like to do the same for my own children. But when David was thrown into the world, he seemed ill prepared for it and was not able to communicate well. I believe it is important for all to be able to communicate to those around us.
I did love the idea that we all have a part in the 'symphony' and that we
Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Disney's "Pollyanna" movie and this is the author of the Pollyanna book, too. This book is definitely the male counterpart to the Pollyanna book. Similar theme, different scenario. A young boy taken to live in the mountains by his father at the age of 4 to learn the violin and the beauty of the earth without worldly distraction. At the age of 10 was then thrust into the world because of his fathers death. Taken in by a Farmer and his wife, David makes a difference in the lives o ...more
Sarah Whitney
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good old favorite

I read this book years ago and just decided to download it on the kindle. I thought it would be a good story to read as a family, but, I wanted to reread it first. My little girls are so sensitive and some books I enjoyed as a kid are too sad for them. I read it in one day as I cleaned and did laundry, just like I did when I was a kid. I noticed some deeper messages I hadn't noticed before. I have been wondering lately where I get some of my philosophies about life. Now, I am se
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 8-12 years old
Written by the same author who wrote Pollyanna. Wonderful book, with wonderful messages, but much like Pollyanna, the child David, who is the main character, is similarly over the top with his cheerfulness and positive attitude. Positive attitude is a great thing, but in this case maybe a bit too much. I expected that going into it, however, since I knew it was written by the author of Pollyanna, so I was able to just soak up all that was good in the book without being put off by the sugary swee ...more
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd never heard of this book before. It was suggested by a neighbor whose Mother read it for her book club. It was written by the author of Pollyanna in 1916 and wasn't as popular as Pollyanna. The powers that be in bookdom decided to repint it, thankfully. It is truly one of the best books I've ever read in spite of using one descriptive word a little too often. I'm going to get a hard copy of it as I read it on my Kindle. It's a fast read about a 10 year old boy so the whole family can enjoy i ...more
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting story of a young boy raised to know only good, yet as the story unfolds he encounters injustice, poverty, sadness, dashed hopes, and many other things that mar the natural beauty of God's creation.

Although this is a rather simple story, it does take a few interesting turns, and it may even cause you to look at the world through David's eyes to truly see all the beautiful things around you.

I think this is a great story to share with your kids, and with anyone you love tha
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just David is a less known book written by the author of Pollyanna. It is a sweet story about a boy whose father tries to protect him from the evil, wicked, and even sad things of the world and then what happens when the boy is thrust into "normal" society. A little idealistic and maybe even naive, but also makes you think about how well we do/should support the innocence of our children. It's a fast read and a good boo to read with the family.
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book throughly. This was written in the early 1900s. The story is about a boy, age 10, who has been raised by his father in a secluded mountain home. The father is ill and needs to bring the boy to family to finish raising him. He dies too soon. A mountain village is forced to care for the boy. During his life in this village the boy is considered "odd". But you find how the boy's perpective of life changes this town forever. Excellent reading.
Molly Saunders
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An old friend!

I read my grandmother's copy of Just David when I was a little girl. I loved the book and read it to my daughter, and when she was in middle school, she took a copy to her music teacher, who read it to the whole class. Now I found it on my Kindle fire, and read it again. It was just like and old friend. When I go, I shall go singing, to meet my Grandmother in heaven, and thank he for introducing me to the book, Just David.
Kris Irvin
Sep 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: toby-someday
This is a sweet little story. At times it does get a bit saccharine, but if you keep in mind the time period and the audience it was written for, it's not bad. I love David's character and am planning on giving this book to my son when he's old enough!

I could NOT find this book anywhere - so I ended up reading it online at Project Gutenberg. I think if I had had a chance to read it in real-book form, I would have liked it just a teensy bit better and thus given it five stars.
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading this book to my children! It is beautiful! I loved the message, the characters, the innocence, the little love story that David helps along, the lessons throughout. This will be a read-again classic at our house.
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written book! I can't wait until my girls are old enough to grasp the full meaning behind it. You must leave the cynical world behind to truly enjoy this story. It's a very quiet book but often the most simple things are also the most profound.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rainbow Garden
  • New Chronicles of Rebecca
  • A Father's Promise
  • To Have and to Hold: A Tale of Providence and Perseverance in Colonial Jamestown
  • Enemy Brothers (Living History Library)
  • Thursday's Child
  • The Lamplighter
  • The Red Keep: A Story of Burgundy in 1165
  • That Printer of Udell's
  • Dandelion Cottage (Dandelion Cottage, #1)
  • A Knight of the White Cross
  • Teddy's Button
  • The Basket of Flowers: A Tale for the Young
  • Elsie's New Relations (The Original Elsie Classics #9)
  • They Loved to Laugh
  • Madeleine Takes Command
  • The Wide, Wide World
  • Lord Tony's Wife
Eleanor Emily Hodgman Porter (December 19, 1868 – May 21, 1920) was an American novelist.She was born as Eleanor Emily Hodgman in Littleton, New Hampshire on December 19, 1868, the daughter of Llewella French (née Woolson) and Francis Fletcher Hodgman. She was trained as a singer, attending New England Conservatory for several years. In 1892, she married John Lyman Porter and relocated to Massachu ...more
More about Eleanor H. Porter...

Share This Book

“Why, it would be such fun,' he chuckled, 'to just forget all about the hours when the sun didn't shine, and remember only the nice, pleasant ones.” 2 likes
“Horas non numero nisi serenas,' 'I count - no - hours but - unclouded ones,” 0 likes
More quotes…