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I Am David

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David's entire twelve-year life has been spent in a grisly prison camp in Eastern Europe. He knows nothing of the outside world. But when he is given the chance to escape, he seizes it. With his vengeful enemies hot on his heels, David struggles to cope in this strange new world, where his only resources are a compass, a few crusts of bread, his two aching feet, and some vague advice to seek refuge in Denmark. Is that enough to survive?
David's extraordinary odyssey is dramatically chronicled in Anne Holm's classic about the meaning of freedom and the power of hope.

256 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1963

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About the author

Anne Holm

5 books47 followers
Anne Holm, born Else Anne Lise Jørgensen (September 10, 1922 – December 27, 1998) was a Danish journalist and children's writer. At times she also wrote under the pseudonym Adrien de Chandelle.

Her books are typically recommended to age groups 8–16 years, but they include elements even for adult readers. Her best known book is I Am David (1963), adapted for a 2003 film; (also published as North to Freedom), which tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who escapes from a concentration camp and travels through Europe. It won the ALA Notable Book award in 1965, the 1963 Best Scandinavian Children's Book award and the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award Gold Medal.

Another well known book by Holm is Peter (1966), which tells the story of a teenage boy who travels in time to ancient Greece and medieval England.

Holm was born in Oksbøl. She married J.C. Holm in 1949 and later divorced him.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,032 reviews
Profile Image for Chris Horsefield.
110 reviews120 followers
December 10, 2016
In chapter three David learns that there is a Queen in England. That sets the book in a time of 1953 or later.
Were there still concentration camps in Eastern Europe?
Many reviewers feel the Nazi's were the guards, well that can't be in 1953. The story was well good enough, nothing spectacular, I struggled to give it 3 stars.
With so many good YA WW2 novels around I would not recommend it, it was a little boring. Sorry just telling how I read it.
Profile Image for Ivana - Diary of Difference.
552 reviews702 followers
January 28, 2022
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"You can't change others, but you can do something about a fault in yourself."

I Am David by Anne Holm is a very interesting and emotionally powerful story about a young boy. David was born and raised in a prison when one day, he is given a backpack and a few instructions to escape and find his way to Denmark. 

During this time, we follow David's adventure and his thoughts. He is programmed to not trust anyone and to escape as soon as he smells any danger coming his way. Throughout his journey, we can see that David goes through a lot of hardship and he meets many people, even though he fails to connect with them or entrust them with anything. Good people are somehow always there to help him, and I have to be honest and mention that I found this to be incredibly convenient to the story and in no way believable.

Besides this fact, we get to see David be his true self at all times, which is something I enjoyed about this book. There are instances where he has to make choices that require him to pretend and be something he is not, and he chooses to stay true to himself. Some times, these choices mean he has to give up the comforts of his new-found life, a bed to sleep in and food that is always on the table. 

"And if you never allow other people to influence what you're really like, then you've something no one can take from you - not even they."

David's adventure will teach him many things.

Some of these traits he already knew of by seeing them in others, but now he will learn to possess them himself. Honesty, bravery, kindness. But there is one thing David never knew before: true happiness. 

"Joy passed, but happiness never completely disappeared: a touch of it remain to remind one it had been there."

Even though I loved this book for all the right reasons, I couldn't help but notice the red flags. The parents in this book seemed to believe David's ridiculous story about the circus. They also invited him into his home without any doubts. And the most important part - David was a manipulator. Getting close to the little girl, as well as he showed open hatred towards one of the boys. And the parents were aware of all this, and still didn't seem that concerned. I understand where David came from - the way he behaved was all he's ever known. What I cannot understand was how the parents were portrayed in the book.

The ending seemed quite fast paced, even rushed. The outcome was predictable. I still manage to find the whole story unbelievable though. I recommend it to children, for the lesson of being yourself. However, I don't think that as an adult you would enjoy it. 
Profile Image for Gary.
934 reviews201 followers
September 12, 2019
An incredibly sensitive and charming book leaving a deep impression , about the voyage across Europe , of David , a boy escaped from a Communist Gulag in Eastern Europe.
Descriptive and insightful.
Particularly beautiful was the illustration of David's relationship with Maria 'the girl who looked like a flower' who David rescues from a fire , in Italy.
A classic for all ages
Profile Image for John Dishwasher John Dishwasher.
Author 2 books43 followers
November 6, 2021
A very moving and compelling story where we follow a young protagonist in his journey away from a situation of evil and toward one of goodness. Holm seems to lay out for us in his journey what is goodness. She bookends her portrait with the most important ones: Freedom and Love. Between these we see kindness, laughter, happiness, the simplicity of a smile, the idea of a home, honesty, loyalty, belonging. And practical things like enough to eat and a place to sleep and a bar of soap. Also as David travels gradually he sheds his distrust and suspicion and fear. I’m pretty sure there’s other stuff I missed because I’m only now realizing Holm was doing this. I was too invested in the story to keep track of these things. One of the overriding ideas though seems to be that most of the goodness in our lives we overlook. They are simple things we take for granted, which her character sees with excruciating clarity because of the trauma and deprivation he has suffered.

There is so much affection in the background of this story that it is just heartbreaking. You don't really get to know anyone but the protagonist, but there are whole stories in his background that are intimated and that you can feel. You sense the unnamed people in the boy’s past and how they did their best to prepare him for life each in their own way. It's as if each word of this story has ten words behind it. This is a story of great humanity.

I wouldn’t call this a children’s book. Children would enjoy it, but sticking a work of this caliber in any kind of pigeon hole is ridiculous.
486 reviews
December 21, 2007
I had first seen this movie and had a feeling the book would be great also. Although the plots differed more than I thought they would, I thoroughly enjoyed both the movie and the book. In the book, I liked how you get more insight into David's thoughts. He is a remarkable boy, to say the least.

It is a young adult novel and I think the author took some liberties with the plot that adults won't "buy". I liked the way they "fixed" that in the movie. All in all, I would highly recommend both the book and the movie.
Profile Image for Christina Getrost.
2,137 reviews66 followers
August 30, 2010
A young boy escapes from a concentration camp somewhere in "eastern Europe" and walks and hitchhikes his way to Denmark. He's lived his whole life in camp so he doesn't know anything about the outside world, doesn't even know about money or how to eat properly at a table. he prays to a "god of rivers and streams" and is afraid of being caught by "them." He's totally clueless, yet manages to survive this whole long journey, despite getting captured again. And then a bizarre coincidence at the end leads him to his family, whom he never knew. It's a weird fable-like story; I didn't really enjoy it because I thought the character was unrealistic, and I would have preferred real place names and historic facts or situations, not the vague stuff here. I compare it to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which is far better and leaves more of an emotional impact.
Profile Image for Jinky.
538 reviews8 followers
October 9, 2011
Finally! A superb book landed in my hands!! I was completely mesmerized and utterly clinging to the story's journey, especially on the last 10 pages. I tell ya, David would be a great poster boy for integrity. I loved his character development. Too good to be true as he may be, the walk of his life was a message of love, life, and prospect. Brilliant!

I agree with The Horn Book, "Read it, read it!". Be warned though, brace your heart.

My quote-ables:
"I don't know anything! How can I stay free when I don't know what everybody else knows! I don't even know what's good to eat and what's poisonous..." pg 38

"In the camp, thinking would have made life unbearable, but when you were free, it was necessary..." pg 54

"God of the green pastures and the still waters, I am David and I choose You as my God! But You must please understand that I can't do anything for You, because I've always been in a wicked place where no one could think or learn or get to know anything, and so I know nothing about what people ought to do for their God. But the David Johannes used to talk about knew that even if he couldn't see You, You were there and were stronger than any men. I pray You will help me so that they won't catch me again. Then perhaps I can gradually find out about You so that I can do something in return ... I am David, Amen." pg 68-69

"Johannes said that when you very much want something you haven't got, you no longer care for what you have got. I'm not sure that I understand, but I suppose he meant that things are only worth having if you think they are." pg 83-84

"But he would have to do it on his own; since he had not found anything he could do in return, he could not go on asking God for things --it would be greedy, and God might very soon grow tired of a boy who was always frightened and could never do anything for himself." pg 94

"God of the green pastures and the still waters, please don't help me. I want to do it by myself so that You'll know I've found something I can do for You ... I am David. Amen." pg 106

"Joy passed, but happiness never completely disappeared; a touch of it would always remain to remind one it had been there. It was happiness that made one smile, then. He would always remember that." pg 113

"Politeness is something you owe other people, because when you show a little courtesy, everything becomes easier and better. But first and foremost, it's something you owe yourself. You are David. And if you never allow other people to influence what you're really like, then you've something no one can take from you --not even they." pg 121

"It's horrible and wicked ... and no one has any right to take other people prisoner. Everybody has a right to his life and freedom, and anyone who takes them away has lost his own right to be a human being." pg137

"The way you spoke was a reflection of how you thought, and that could not possibly have anything to do with whether you were a tramp or whether you had somewhere to live and had many things of your own." pg 169

"All suffering has an end, David, if only you wait long enough." pg 194

"Johannes had once said that violence and cruelty were just a stupid person's way of making himself felt, because it was easier to use your hands to strike a blow than to use your brain to find a logical and just solution to a problem." pg 201

"Never let me hear you say it's someone else's fault. It often is, but you must never shirk your own responsibility ... You can't change others, but you can do something about a fault in yourself." pg 211

"... So one could get something for nothing after all?" pg 234

Jinky is Reading
Profile Image for Andrea.
757 reviews30 followers
October 26, 2020
I was captivated by this story when I first read it at the age of 10. It was one of my earliest audio experiences - sitting on the mat in my Grade 5 classroom while Sister Anne Louise read it aloud to the class! Although I'd forgotten a lot of the detail, the basic plot plus some random things like the soap, have stayed with me all this time.

David is a 12 year old boy who has lived in a concentration camp for as long as he can remember. Neither parent is with him, and his closest adult friend had died of a supposed heart attack some time previously. The hated commandant helps David to escape and sets him on a path to freedom in Denmark, via Greece, Italy and Switzerland. (Most of the action takes place in Italy, in terms of pagecount.) Apart from a gift for languages, a number of which he has learned to speak fluently while in the camp, David really knows very little of the outside world. He doesn't know how to play like a child, nor even how to smile. Along the way he meets both good and evil characters, tries not to rely too heavily on his chosen god, has lots of adventures, and learns many lessons.

Re-reading the book as an adult, I'm afraid I couldn't help but bring a critical eye to it. The inconsistencies, coincidences and reliance on implication just raised more questions for me, than answers given. I would have been far happier with it if I'd been able to convince myself that it was just a fairytale.

The 10yo me would give this book 5★, but for the adult me it is only 2★.
Profile Image for Pamela  Anderson.
17 reviews
September 22, 2011
David, a 12 year old, raised in a prison camp, is allowed to escape with instructions to go north to freedom. From the drab, depressing surroundings of the prison camp to the wide world of freedoms, colors, smells, scenery, being clean, and being honest, David cautiously learns about the world around him. This book is a learning adventure at becoming true to one's self. At an early age, this book had a profound effect on my life, David made me stop and appreciate the little things that are such common conveniences in life. At one point in the book, a boy beats up David, but David doesn't fight back. Angrily, the boy asked why he didn't fight back and David said, "Because if I hit you back, I'd be no better than you are. I'd be just as rotten and worthless, and I'd have no right to be free!" It's a lesson all of us can incorporate in our lives. This is always the first book I recommend to anyone.

My ALL TIME favorite children's book since the 3rd grade when my teacher read it to the class. I own two copies and have even underlined some of my favorite quotes throughout the book. This book taught me gratitude!
1 review
February 1, 2012
I Am David is a great book to read. It is a story about a little boy who has been in a concentration camp his whole life. David had one friend there named Johannes. Johannes helps him to learn stuff he needs. David loved Johannes alot but in camp if you were very smart you would be put to death. When David is offered a chance to escape he takes it. David struggles with the outer world, David wants to learn about the outer world but he is scared to talk to people. David has never talked or played with kids, when he is given a chance he doesn't realy want to but when he reilizezs that kids are not so bad he like them exept Carlo. David decides he needs a God but he doesn't know what one to choose. Johannes told David about his God the "God of green pastures and the still waters" David belives that this God would be the one for him. The God of green pastures and still waters has helped David twice David belives he has to give God something but what? David has learned how to be greatful, nice, helpful, and to speak properly on his way to Denmark with help from a few people.

I think my favirot part of the book was when he thought the children were stupid and ungreatful. I also LOVED the part were King { The dog from the barn } gives his life for David. It is very hard to just pick one part I liked or loved. I realy liked the part were David saves Maria's life { David saves a little girl who he likes } from a fire. I also loved and love the part were he meets the painter and figures out that the guard{ The man who helped him escape } loves his mom but David has never met his mother. The painter shows him a picture of a women and her son named David. David then reilizes that the women in the picture is his mother. The guard has always been nice to David like giving him vitamins and milk for vitemen -C. I love that part because it is very sweet. I love this book very much.

I want people to read this book so they know why I love the book and hopefully they will love it to! I also want people to read it because I know that they will LOVE it to! " I Am David " or "David in Denmark" or " North to freedom" is a very good book to read. I recomend that people read it but only 9 and up read it because I don't think the age under 9 should be reading a book like this because it is just a little bit much for them. If the age 9 and under are able to read it GREAT!!!! But if not that is ok they will be able to read it soon. I cried at the end and I am pretty sure everyone who read it cried to. I want people to like it not oh it was good and I like so and so better. Im not saying people should like this book better then their favirot book I just don't want people saying it's a terrible book....

I am exited to read more Anne Holm books. Befor I read more of her books I am going to read "The Foundling" by Linda Hayner.

Im sorry if you dont like my review
Profile Image for Mary.
715 reviews11 followers
November 4, 2010
I first read this book as s teen, and was deeply moved by it. Rereading it as an adult, it becomes clear both how deeply damaged this young boy is by his experience, and how important his faith becomes for him. I always cry when I read this book! If you have not read it, some things to be aware of:
David is an admirable character, but he's not entirely likeable. Nor should he be, given his experiences.
The concentration camp is a Stalinist one. This is why David is so clear that only books written before 1917 may contain the truth. But the dehumanizing effect of the camp is the same regardless of the political system.

It takes, I think, a special child to really appreciate this book. It may seem too quiet, introverted and understated for modern tastes. But those who do love it, love it deeply. An example: I suggested it to a mom for her son, who was about 12 - she told me afterwards that, as he was reading, he would say, "Mom, listen to this!" and them begin reading aloud to her. Both mother and son loved this story. I do, too.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amber.
236 reviews35 followers
November 17, 2019
"Sorrow has its life just like people. Sorrow is born and lives and dies. And when it’s dead and gone, someone’s left behind to remember it. Exactly like people.....
All suffering has an end, David, if only you wait long enough. Try to remember that.”
Profile Image for Laurent.
126 reviews2 followers
April 24, 2012
Extraordinarily elegant and humane

Anne Holm's 'I am David' is an wonderful achievement - mixing beautiful humanity and acute perceptiveness of humans' soul, both good and bad, with the harsh reality of the world. The book is seen through David's eyes, a boy who has escaped a concentration camp he was bought up in and is now adapting and learning about the 'real' world. David's young age is in sharp contrast to his world-view and experience - a detail Holm continuously reminds us through adults' observations of him - most particularly of his eyes, which represent the window to the soul.

The language is beautifully sparse and simple but somehow manages to convey an enormous amount of human emotion from pain and suffering to sheer joy. I loved the passage where David first arrives in Italy and is so touched by the blueness of the ocean and green of the land. The accessibility yet power of the language is so impressive, I want to try to adopt that into my own style (not doing too well in this review)!

David is a superbly written character and Holm does a brilliant job of creating a young man who has only ever known a concentration camp, has exceptionally high moral standards and who's discovering the 'real' world and adapting to it. He is young and innocent yet has a maturity and world-experience that would surpass most adults. The process of seeing his rehabilitation into the real-world is extraordinary.

Of note, which confused me at first (since I always read books 'cold' without doing any prior research or reading the blurbs) is the book's setting is really a parallel universe. At first I thought it was set in WWII and got confused about having English tourists in Italy - however a quick search shows the book is meant to mimic the real world without being specific actually events.

So to finish, I'd highly recommend this beautifully elegant little book.
Profile Image for Fletwerd.
9 reviews2 followers
March 17, 2014
We read this crap excuse for a book for a Honors Language Arts study and my only comfort? It will end eventually. David is a boring protagonist who is unrelatable in any way and while he does have a excuse for being devoid of and personality which is being raised in a concentration camp but if it takes so long for him to develop any traits at all (which he dosent) then don`t write about him. Also Anne Holm was attemting shove a bunch of months and events into 180 pages it was like trying to shove an elephant into a dang cardboard box, a very poor quality box. It also bothered me about his 12 year old pedophile crush on a little girl who he deemed was perfect by looking at her and obsessed over her the whole book. And her brother whom he deemed was evil hearted because after he trespassed onto there property he drove him off. I am David taught me 2 things. 1 is you can judge a persons intelligence just by looking at them which he actually says in the book (which says something about his own intelligance) and that you must never except help or advice from anybody because there trying to alter who you are and brainwash you. Both of which i will never follow
Profile Image for Allison .
394 reviews
August 5, 2011
I was really disappointed in this book because I made the mistake of actually reading the reviews that were plastered all over the cover before I read the book. The main problem I have with I Am David is the lack of background information for the setting. It would have been an exponentially better experience for me if there had been a Prologue or Introduction that would have explained the setting in time and place.

I found myself wondering throughout the entire novel: where EXACTLY did David's journey begin and what were the EXACT circumstances for his being taken prisoner and who EXACTLY were his captors? These questions drove me to distraction and made it very difficult for me to give my attention to the amazing journey (both developmental and physical) that David makes on his way to his final destination.

I strongly feel that this novel has the potential to be placed in the category of "Great Literature" but only if in a future edition there is an adequate and expansive revelation of the background available to the readers who are not already familiar with it.
28 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2013
The book I read was actually entitled, "North to Freedom" with a copyright date of 1963, but it was the same book. I enjoyed this book very much. It is not an action story; it is a psychological story; don't look for plot. This is all about character.

Because David grew up in a concentration camp, he knew little socially or culturally of the outside world, but because of conditions in the camp, he had had the opportunity to learn several different languages and had been taught manners and a degree of faith by a good and gentle man who had taken him under wing. Told in the first person, it was interesting to see how the style of the narrative developed as David learned about the outside world. There is also a strong undercurrent of faith that was very satisfying; David's integrity was heart-rending. My only criticism is I wish that there had been an afterword from the author about where David had been - what country he had been in, and something about the historical context he had been captured. Other reviewers have said he was in a Nazi concentration camp, but I thought I read somewhere it was actually a post-war Soviet camp. As David traveled across Europe, there was little evidence that a war was going on, so I think the Soviet camp theory is correct, but the author isn't clear, at least in the copy I read. I also would have liked to have known who Johannes was, due to his extraordinary influence on David, especially on the development of his sense of integrity, and especially in a concentration camp setting. Johannes himself present a whole other story.

There was also a movie made from this book. I honestly cannot say I have seen the whole thing, only bits and pieces, but the development of the narrative style that reflects David's cultural and social awakening really makes this book unique. I read a library copy, but really would like a copy of my own. I definitely want to read this book again.
Profile Image for Daleb..
94 reviews14 followers
June 20, 2011
I first read this book under it's American released title of North To Freedom way back in Jr. High (in the 7th/'72'-'73'/or 8th/'73'-'74/grade) a little less than 10 years After it's American debute in 1965.
At the time i imagined it was a W.W.II story not really knowing alot about the post war world or the whole cold war mess i grew up in. It is Obvious Now, reading it 37 or 39 years later, that it Was indeed a post war story.
Parts of it made me cry again all these years later (something i would Never have admitted to too many people way back in Jr. High school). Brought back many wonderfull feelings i had reading it so long ago. I've read it at least One other time since (probably in high school) the first go through, and still luv this story. I'd No idea that it had any other name (much less that it was first released in the Danish language) or that they had made a movie of it. I plan on looking for that movie now to see how it holds up to the book.
I saw an advert on the library website for Number the Stars about a Danish girl and her Jewish best friend during W.W.II and it reminded me of North To Freedom and so I had to re-read this one again.
Profile Image for Pat Anderson.
Author 51 books1 follower
August 3, 2012
I was given this as a reader for a group of ten-year-olds and started to read it myself before I gave it to them. I only read about half of it and gave up in disgust. Needless to say I never gave it to the children. In essence it is not really a story; more an exercise in anti-Soviet Union propaganda. We are never told why David is in the gulag; the implication being that children are banged up for nothing in Eastern Bloc countries.

David escapes to the West, where everyone has plenty of food and lives in a huge house. They also have servants to do the work. (Coughs!) So the servants don't count as people? I don't know who this book was aimed at, but it certainly wasn't aimed at the working-class children I was teaching!

Probably the readership of this book was intended to be rich, smug children that go to fee-paying schools and do not even notice all the people around them that do all the work!

I grudge even giving it one star!
Profile Image for 06charitiJ.
7 reviews1 follower
May 8, 2012
"I am David." Along with being the story's title, it is also the most repeated phrase in this book. How can we actually find who we are? David proved that even through suffering the hardest trials we can still have enjoyable experiences and learn that life can really be good, we just have to find the good ourselves. Anne Holm outdid herself in this brilliant and touching novel.

12-year old David escapes a concentration camp after being held prisoner his whole life. After seeing the same scenes, objects, and people every day for 12 years, what would you think of the world seeing it for the first time? Armed with very little to help him survive his long journey to Copenhagen, Denmark, he learns so many things spiritually, physically, and mentally. Along with learning new objects' and places' names, he learns to trust, love, and seek help for the first time. He is persistent and shows courage by learning as much as possible to him and even meeting new people such as Maria, another very important character. With her help, he learns how to smile again and to learn to trust. After many hardships and near-death experiences, he finally makes it to Denmark and finds his mom to be reunited after 12 long, brutal years.

So, when I first saw this book, I didn't think it was the type of book I'd actually like. First of all, it was based off the war (which really aren't my favorite kinds of books), and it was a low reading level. However, it had many deep lessons and things hidden inside such as the fact that David was so quiet and mysterious. Although he seemed to know so little about the world, he actually knew much more than an average adult because of his time spent in the concentration camp. "Trust no one" (page 142) was one of his main thoughts in the concentration camp which is very understandable considering what happened in those camps. He eventually learned how to trust again, which is a very advanced lesson to learn, many of us still need to learn how. So although this book seems to fit the ages of childhood to youth, I think it would be good for all ages. It is interesting and simple, yet it brings out a different aspect of the war that I never would have considered before reading this book.

Overall, I really liked this book. My favorite thing about it was probably how he narrated it. It seemed like we, as the readers, were always stuck inside his head. He was always thinking and always pondering on what he wanted to know and what he did know. I love 1st person narration so it made it even better - he found out by his wise quiet that persistence brings success and that love can, in time, be learned. This was a very good book, and it left me feeling satisfied and happy with the ending.
70 reviews2 followers
May 17, 2020
David's entire twelve-year life has been spent in a grisly concentration camp in Eastern Europe. He knows nothing of the outside world. But when he is given the chance to escape, he seizes it. Sensing his enemies hot on his heels, David struggles to cope in this strange new world, where his only resources are a compass, a few crumbs of bread, his two aching feet and some vague advice to seek refuge in Denmark. Is that enough to survive?
David is a dynamic character. He thinks of danger a lot and when he sees a baby, he is astonished at how helpless it is. He charges the mother to take care of the baby because it is so small.
Aunt Joy, I think that you would like this book if you like to study human behavior.
Profile Image for Daniela.
92 reviews2 followers
August 4, 2008
This was an amazing book! As it was never translated into Czech language I got never the chance to read it as a child. Well, it would probably be impossible to have such a chance as we have been such a country, where David run away from, so to have such a book beeing published here would be impossible. I truly understand David, although I never been into such a camp. But, who knows maybe it was not a Communist CC, as it is not mentioned exactly in the book, but why to lie to myself... It is not so important, how it goes in the book, but the most important message of this book is something other. It is not the real journey of this boy, but his beautiful mind. He, who never felt what it is like to live in a free country, doing what ever he wanted to do, who even did not know, what it means to smile, carries along the sense of freedom, of how important it is to think for yourselves and act as an independent human beeing not taking power about anybody else, not even about an animal. This book is a must for every child, I think, as David shows them, that it is important to go to school and learn new things to be able to make their own decisions, that it is important to treat everybody else like you would like to be treated by them. And far more...David shows us that the world is beautiful and we should cherish every moment of it, and if we decide to do something we are able to do it and we are able to do it without doing harm to anybody else. And what is most important do not decide for the children, as they are able to decide for themselves in every important situation.
Profile Image for Jeneé.
370 reviews18 followers
May 8, 2017
Loved this movie and so when I found out it was based off of a book I had to read it. Come to find out the book is a young adults novel so it was a really easy read, but that doesn't mean it's not filled with emotion and important situations. When it comes to whether I like the book better or the movie I think it's about 50/50. I liked the fact that in the book you know everything that David is thinking because it's narrated by him, you really find out how he feels about things and why he is the way he is. But I like the ending in the movie a whole lot better, I think it is much more powerful, where as the ending in the book just kind of ends. I also feel that parts of the book seemed rushed through like there could have been more information but the author just left it out. That does make sense though seeing as it is a book for younger people. Overall I think this is a pretty great book and you should deffinitly check it out if you've seen the movie or are interested in historical fiction dramas.
Profile Image for Skip.
3,249 reviews393 followers
June 29, 2014
The story follows young David from his life in a eastern European concentration camp to freedom, traveling through Italy, Switzerland, Germany to Denmark. Despite the rigors of life in a prison concentration camp, abandoned by his mother and seeing his only friend die, David is a kind person by nature who feels compelled to help people without asking for anything in return, although he does not consciously know all the time that by doing so, he is performing acts of kindness. His valiant effort in saving a young Italian girl from a fire was truly heroic, but he has trouble overcoming the damage inflicted by the prison guards/life.
Profile Image for Kassie.
404 reviews2 followers
September 26, 2012
This was one of Heidi's books recommended for teen book club....I loved it and will consider it.
Reread for teen club this Thursday, 9/27/12....very good!!!!! Should be great for our discussion....
Profile Image for Eric J F1.
25 reviews
May 25, 2021
May 20:

Some people might think that forgiveness is not an essential part of one's life. However, it is. We often see a situation where we are affected negatively and think it's other people's fault, but a lot of times, we don't see the other person trying to apologize. It comes off as us not being able to accept others. In Anne Holme's Novel I Am David, in David's year-long journey from the camp to Denmark, he realizes how important it is to forgive others to grow and find peace, making him a lot more mature than he was a year ago when he was in the camp.

May 25:

At the beginning of the novel, David is a 12-year-old kid at the concentration camp, following the guards' orders all day long. He believes that the world is evil because all he has seen from the world is its worst: a concentration camp. Initially, David maintains the belief that the world is evil; he always thinks that people are trying to hurt him. For example, the guard at the camp would help David escape, but David thought the camp guard was going to use this as an excuse to kill him. When David fled from camp, he was astonished that the man did not kill him. He goes on the ship heading to Italy and is found by a sailor. Once again, David thinks that the sailor will take him back to the camp, but the sailor actually pities him and gives him advice on where to go once he's in Italy. 

Profile Image for Jenny.
455 reviews1 follower
May 4, 2018
This book was written over 50 years ago by an author who felt like kids needs literature that made them think and this was a good book for this purpose. Even though he's escaped from a concentration camp it's definitely a book you could read with kids.
Profile Image for Carson.
5 reviews
January 22, 2012
I Am David by Anne Holm is a fast paced page turning adventure. The Main character is David. He is thirteen years old or so he thinks. As far as he knows he has spent his life in the camp that was made by the Nazis. In just sixty pages he escaped from a camp, he ran for days and nights, he stowed away on a ship, and he ended up in Italy. In Italy he tried to learn about the ways people live in Italy. He then overheard some citizens talking about him and saying they were going to ask some questions. That scared David so he ran.

This book so far has been very surprising and exciting for me to read. This book makes me wonder who his parents are and what religion or race he is.

On the road from the town in Italy,David meets two Americans broken down on the side of the road. David offers to help them but they don't trust him. He offers to get them some gas from the service station ahead. The people don't trust him, but in the end they do trust him. They slip a lot of money into his bundle, enough to get bread and other supplies for a long time. After this David finds a mirror and sees himself for the first time, starts talking to God the way he had learned from Johannes, and he learns to hitchhike.

David gets a ride from a nice man named Angelo, wanders up to a house playing beautiful music and gets beaten up by a boy named Andrea. David saves a girl named Maria from a burning shed. The sister of Andrea is Maria. David learns about all of the wonderful things that life has to offer from the family of Andrea and Maria. He goes to stay with them because he saved their daughter and they want to thank him by having him stay at their fine house.

This book so far has been exciting because he has done a lot of brave things that most people would not have done. I still wonder what pushed him to saving Maria from the burning shed or if it was just instincts.

In this last portion of the book David has gotten his picture taken, trapped by a farmer, made a new friend that is a dog, escaped soldiers, and has found his mom. David got his picture painted by a woman named Signora. She offered him to come to her house, while there David looked at her photo album and sees a picture of a woman. In this picture the woman's eyes seemed to have caught David's eye, he asks Signora about the photo and she says that it was a woman named Edith, Fengel. Signora said that her son David had died but she still lives in Denmark. David takes off to Denmark to find this woman and gets caught in a blizzard. A farmer finds him and puts him in the barn as his slave. David is in the barn for a whole winter. He meets a dog in the barn and later towards the end of the winter he escapes the barn by cutting through the wall and sneaking out without the farmer seeing him. On the way down the road from the farmer's house, he sees a figure coming down the road. Sure enough it was the dog. The dog came with him to the point were they were both stuck. By that point he had named the dog KING. They were both stuck at a Nazi road block. King David is scared because if they see him then they will shoot him. He is hoping that they will shoot strait so he doesn't have to suffer by being shot in the arm or leg. King senses David's fear and runs to the guards and gets shot while David runs past them. David later on reaches Denmark and gets a ride from a truck driver ad uses a phone booth to find his mom's address in the phone book. He finds the mom's address in the book and heads to the house. By the time he reaches the house he is feeling sick. He rings the doorbell and the woman opens the door and David says "Ma'am I am DAVID." The woman says "David, MY son!" That is how the book ended and to me, I think that this book is great for people that would like to read adventure stories that will keep you turning the pages.
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