What is this book actually about? I get asked about this book more than any other on the whole list, by both adults and children alike. It seems to be used as a class reader in schools all over the world, from America, to Australia and Canada and the UK.
When I was preparing my review of this book for readingmatters I was quite confused about the background. I wrote to some children's literature academics who I was in correspondence with at the time. These were my questions:
Has anyone read I Am David by Anne Holm? And can anyone tell me what it is about? I can't place the setting - is it set in a real political situation, or is it just vaguely Cold War-ish? I'm not even clear who 'they' are. Are they Russian or, since David had to head south for Salonica, perhaps 'they' are Bulgarian? or Greek? Arguably, it doesn't matter, but I'm one of those people who likes to know the background to a book and its author.
Is the book principally a vehicle for religious speculation? A sermon on standards of morality? Because of his background David has an unusually intense character, and lends himself well to philosophical theory. The story itself is a strange collection of unlikely coincidences, and so not very satisfying as an adventure.
No-one answered, so I conclude that no one had a considered opinion on this text, or that no one could be bothered to discuss it, except one chap who said he thought David was a Jew and the book was about the Holocaust. I replied:
Yes, the action of the story takes place after 1953 because he asks if there is a king in England and is told that there is a queen with a beautiful crown. David is 12 though and he was 1 when he was arrested. Could he have been taken in 1942 by, say, the Russians and still be held 11 years later? Did that happen to people in Russian concentration camps? Is this what Anne Holm is drawing our attention to? The book was written in 1963 so the Cold War was at its height.
I don't know if David is Jewish. We are told that before they were arrested he and his parents lived abroad in a country where the political situation made it necessary to be very careful - and his father wasn't. That's all. It doesn't even really follow that he was arrested during the war. He could have been arrested in 1946, couldn't he?
Do you think it is meant to be a real political situation, or just a synthesis of everything bad that happened during those years?
That was the end of the conversation. He didn't respond. So I am no wiser.
But here are my thoughts, for now.
The story is most likely set in Bulgaria, and 'they' are communists. During the Second World War Bulgaria at first sided with the Nazis but although Bulgaria later tried to change sides, this was not enough to stop Russia from invading Bulgaria. The communist occupation was ruthless and totalitarian. There were many purges, and dissidents were sent to dreadful concentration camps during the Cold War period.
The geographical argument for Bulgaria is simple. David is told to travel south by the compass until he reaches Salonica (Thessaloniki), which places him in Bulgaria, or possibly Yugoslavia, part of which was administered by Bulgaria from 1941.
From the point of view of the story, it makes no difference at all exactly where David's concentration camp is situated. As time passes and international politics change readers will inevitably apply their own contemporary interpretations. That is why 'they' are merely 'they'.
Is David Jewish? Johannes tells David in Chapter 2 that he is sure David is not Jewish. Perhaps Johannes knows for certain that David is not circumcised. Or perhaps Johannes knew David's parents. One of the earliest tasks David gives himself is to choose his own God. He rejects the Jewish God because he feels that if you are not Jewish, perhaps you have no right to choose him. He also rejects Catholicism, because he knows nothing about Mary, or any other woman for that matter. But he does remember a story that Johannes told him about a man, also called David, who had lived a long time ago:
Suddenly it came back to him. That other David had said of his God, 'He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters.'
He was the one he would choose!
That other David became King of Israel but always remained faithful to God. Perhaps David's journey in this book is in some way intended to reflect the psalms that we see in the Bible written by that other David. Of course, Moslems, Jews and Christians all believe in the God of David. That is why David is called David in this story.
I am not a religious scholar, and this argument satisfies me as far as it goes. Perhaps there is more to say?
But I cannot totally avoid all reference to the Holocaust. The Jews are of the tribe of David. The central image of this story is a journey. The tribe of David have been on a journey ever since they took exile from Egypt. This book was written shortly after the Second World War when Europe was awash with shame and guilt at the crimes that had been committed against humanity in general, but the Jews in particular. Zionism was by no means a new idea, but during the post-war period when the state of Israel was created there must have been an overwhelming impression of the Jews coming home. Perhaps their sense of relief at their homecoming was something like David's homecoming in this story? If ever a comment needed to be made on freedom of thought and religion, perhaps this was the moment. Whether Anne Holm makes it work is for you to decide.
It's taken me ages to come to terms with this book. Thank you to everyone who has written to me with very valuable comments. Delighted to hear from you!
Read the review of I Am David
Seán, girl, age 20, from Ireland, on 27th April 2006.
Initially on reading this book a few years ago at school I was motivated to find more information on what happened in concentration camps and this lead me to learning about the holocaust. This surely can be considered a positive thing all as result of reading "I am David". Of course since then I have learned that the book is full of historical inaccuracies but it is a novel and I dont think it is intended as a History book.
rick, boy, age 12, from tyrone , United Kingdom, on 26th April 2006.
I think this book was very interesting.David was always so curious about life that it made me curious.He always thought that people were dangerous.He was very cautious.At first I thought that David was dumb,but he is actually very smart.I'm glad that I read this book because I learned a lot from it like how we take life for granted and how we have an advantage of living in a free country and to get to pick our own religions and not be judged just because of your race our beliefs.It shows how the human spirit can cope with the difficulties and prevail. David is a very akward,and strange child but it is amazing how he grows and learns from strangers and a friend called Johannes. Ryan, boy, from Alberta, Canada, on 7th July 2005. This was a nicely - I mean beautifuly written book. The sheer brilliance stemed from the perspective of David. Sarah, girl, age 12 year's old, from Southern Highlands, Australia, on 1st July 2005. the book was really good it contained so many Facts and i thought David went threw allot of Emotions , Sadness , hurt , happy , David also experienced alot of things like dealth ,sickness , freezing , starving.I read I Am David because my teacher read it to the class. I really really really really really really really really really really really enjoyed i am david and will read it any time. A.J.L.K.C, girl, age 12, from moss vale southern highlands, Australia, on 30th June 2005. WE THOUGHT DAVID WAS SO COURAGES WITH HOW HE TRAVELLED THE WORLD AND WENT WITH OTHER PEOPLE ALONG HIS JOURNEY. ENCOUNTING LOVE, FEAR AND HOPE, WE ALL THINK DAVID WOULD WIN A BRAVERY AWARD , THE BOOK WAS GREAT IT TAUGHT US MANY LESSONS AND TAUGHT US WE ARE LUCKY TO BE IN A FREE COUNTRY AND TO DO WHAT WE DO.DAVID HAS INSPIRED US TO TRY TO BE LIKE HIM IN WHAT WE DO AND ALL THAT WE DO. FROM BIG DAVIDS NO. 1 FANS. Sez, girl, age 12, from Hamilton, New Zealand, on 13th June 2005. Hi my name is Sarah, I am an Imagrant from South Africa ... I reckon this book is cool as. Its the mean book to read. im a slow reader but thats only because i like to soak up all the words and picture EVERYTHING in my mind, like it s movie. I cant wait to see the movie, but there is no way it will be as good as it was in my mind. Thats the best place to veiw a movie!! It makes it your own and you can make up what people look like (judging fromm what they tell you in the book) and heir expressions and gestures, and the terrain. But That book was really fun to read. We had to read a book for school, and at first i didnt take any interest in "I am David". But there werent enough copies of the book i originally wanted, so i went with "I am David". I am glad i did, because its an awesome book!! I was wondering if anybody could help me, I have this sheet i need to finish before friday and it has 34 questons that i need to answer and alot of them have to have long justified answers. I am having trouble with one of the questions and i dont know what to put for the answer. please help me!! The question is this "Why did it happen". Meaning why did every thing happen the way it happened in i am david. I am really confused and dont know what to do!! PLease help. By the way this question is about " I am David"!!!! Matt, boy, age 16, from Ontario, Canada, on 7th June 2005. Hello my name is Matt. I am 16 years old and live in Canada. I really enjoyed ur book Anne. At first when my English teacher told us we would have to do an independant study, I didnt know what i would read. My teacher really amde that choice easier for me though.. i told him a couple of the things I enjoy reading about , and he told me I would like your book "I am David" and he was right. Your book was amazing.. and for that girl who wrote and said it sucked and that she hated reading it shes obvosuily one of the few Canadians that have no life. So I would like to tell you that I think it would be neat if you amde a second book to this. From Matt . Seren.A., girl, age 10, from sydney, Australia, on 6th June 2005. Hello everyone first of all i love and i mean it love this book i am trying to get a hold of the movie i am david it wonderful trust me read this book it is abit sad but wonderful thanks please support this book it WONDERFULYGOODLYGREAT Tanya, girl, age 13, from nova scotia, Canada, on 6th June 2005. it was an exalent book, all the description made it so much more beautiful to read. We are soon to be watching the movie in class, i dont think it could match up to the book. this is the first book i read by Anne Holm, but with a first impression i want to read more by her. Isobel, girl, age 12, from Cork, Ireland, on 4th June 2005. I read this book in school with my class and it actually took a few months! our teacher really made us understand and talk about each of the different sections. I think this helped a lot. After we read it, we watched the film and everyone thought it was terrible. I don`t think any film producer will ever find and actor or write a script for a boy as bizarre and as unusual as David has been described. I think this book is brilliant, Anne Holm is an excellent writer. Well, you`d want to be, if you were writing a book as good as this. Cairo, girl, age 13, from Sydney, Australia, on 27th May 2005. I am David is the most emotionally effective novel read. The author uses techniques which doesn't tell us where the novel is set or when it is set etc. We just assume that it is set during a war in Europe. Alyssa, girl, age 14, from Winnipeg, Canada, on 26th May 2005. This was an amasing book. I would read it again and again. We had to read it as a novel and i just wanted to read forever but i couldn't. there should be a second one. CC, girl, age 12, from NSW, Australia, on 25th May 2005. I think that "I Am David" is a book that mainly reflects the effects of war, politics, etc. on children. I say this as the author, Anne Holm, generally talks of the aspects of experiences of David, a child, who is basically a victim. Alison, girl, age 16, from Dublin , Ireland, on 16th May 2005. In my opinion 'i am david' is a classic read and should be savoured in all its richness by the young and aged alike. it is a beautiful and compelling tale of a young boy, wise beyond his years. Throughout the story the good people that lend him a helping hand take note of his wizened face and his eyes that have seen too much, too young. He finds love in strange places, a love for god, a young girl, the world around him and who can forget his faithful hound that sacrificed himself for the child. That really pulled on the heart strings, i was in floods. Does it matter in fairness where or when it is set. By not disclosing this information Anne Holm is making the book a timeless classic and is not confusing us with needless politics. All in all i would recommend this book for anyone 10/10. Queen and Thin Lizzy 4evr! [Anonymous], girl, age 12, from New York, United States, on 4th May 2005. I think "I Am David" is a wonderful book. In the end, I shed a few tears. Bill, boy, age 56, from Perth, Australia, on 3rd May 2005. I first read this book to my daughter and I have reread it at least 3 times since. It is my favourite book next to the Bible. The politics are simple. "THEY" are the communists. If it were about the holocaust, the hero would have been Jewish and David's time in Germany would have been a much more important part of the story. David encounters "THEM" in Germany when he strays across the Iron Curtain. That is clear. "THEY" are not associated with any single country, which makes sense in the context of the Cold War. Although Communist Europe was dominated by Russia, Communism was an international movement with an internationalist ideology, unlike Fascism and Nazism, which were based more on nationalism. Some people dislike David because he is too righteous and morally critical but they fail to see beyond that to David's struggle for freedom and identity. David's moral outrage is directed against those who violate other people's freedom, safety and individual dignity. The author's values, presented through David, are clearly the highest ideals of pre-Fascist, pre-Communist European Christendom. David not has faith in the God of the Christians and Jews but he also values classical music and the refined education, customs and language of the privileged classes of the France, Italy and England. In fact, Ann Holm and David believe passionately in all the things that the Soviet system set out to undermine, including the absolute right of a person to be free to think and make choices as a unique individual. This book is obscure and difficult to some people today only because the old world values it upholds have been undermined not only by Fascism and Communism but also by unrestrained post modern commercialism, and by the rebellion of the youth culture against good manners, morality, tradition and Christian faith. People today who have little understanding of political, cultural and religious history could find it difficult to understand this book. David's thinking is guided by the traditional culture of premodern Christian Europe and his mentors were highly educated French and Italian adults. It might be difficult for people who grew up in the modern youth culture to understand this thinking. On the other hand, David is struggling to find freedom and to discover his personal identity. If modern young people focus on these themes, they are more likely to enjoy it, since these are timeless issues that are especially important to young people. The search for freedom and identity are central themes of our time. This book challenges the modern belief that we can find freedom and discover our individuality by throwing aside traditional culture faith in the God of the Bible. David seeks freedom and identity by swimming against the tide of modern fashion. He does not want to distance himself from his parents. He goes in search for his mother. He does not cast religion aside. He embraces faith in God. He does not seek to belong with his own age group. He passionately tries to learn all he can from wise adults. He does not reject traditional culture. He values monarchies, classical music, old buildings and paintings, good manners and old books. He does not want to speak like a modern teenager. He tries to speak like a traditional French, Italian or English gentleman. It is not surpising if some modern teenagers cannot understand all these things. Christina, girl, age 13, from Canada, on 1st May 2005. For our April book report we are doing this book I am David. Everyone thought it was weird or just didn't understand it, but I however enjoyed it very much and cried when the poor doggy dies! We are anxiously awaiting for Monday May 2nd where we will begin to watch the movie. Some say they dont understand the movie let alone the book but i think if you truly understand the book then will the movie!! Peace my Canadian friends!! xoxoxox Christina Melanie, girl, age 14, from Adel, Iowa, United States, on 22nd April 2005. I think this was a great book but i have to do a report and im not sure about the setting. I think Anne did a great job but she wasnt very clear about the setting ive read through some of your comments and it has helped me alot I really wish she would have written a sequle though. Nora, girl, age 14, from London/Sutton, United Kingdom, on 19th April 2005. i think your comments about this book are really interesting! I have read it and i think that this book is the most incredible book i've ever read in my life! I was surprised when read your comments one of them was saying that David was in Bulgaria.I am bulgarian. The book is full of so much hope. Thank you for writting this information.It's great! Crystal, girl, age 31, from alberta, Canada, on 17th April 2005. I have been eagerly anticipating the DVD release of this movie having read the book when I was 10 years old and remember simply loving it. I did not truly understand the book at the time but remember feeling very englightened reading it even way back then. We are all David. "They" are the oppressive forces in this world that keep us back from our dreams and from reaching our full potential. David strangely reminds me of myself, a young girl from an abusive home where I lived in fear and was always running figuratively. David represents the child in us all who needs to get home. Home can be wherever you feel safe. Maybe home is with God, maybe home is just somewhere you feel you belong. There is no right answer. This is a story for all times. Trying to dissect it too much ruins the true joy of the story. David is a champion and hero. He is a young boy who faces fears some adults would not even dare as Johannes would not in this movie. David carries the load for everyone. I believe it is God who protects him and gets him back home to his mother at the end of the movie. There are no "coincidences" although the movie does seem to suggest that this journey presents such things. The "coincidences" are God's way of lighting David's difficult journey. I also have had a difficult journey and identify with David in that I often am unsure who I should trust and question whether the world is truly evil at times. I believe it is difficult to look at events such as Rwanda, the Holocaust and the current state of the continent of Africa and NOT question your faith. David finds the true meaning of beauty because in very subtle ways God shows him that there is truly good in this world and hope for mankind if we are open to seeing the little things that are good. People who pull you up when you are down, flowers, warm bread, a smile. This is a powerful and unforgettable story. ISH, boy, age 45, from Fernandina Beach, United States, on 10th April 2005. It was a heart felt story, when you reflect on the struggles David went through. You can easliy see how went take our freedoms for granted. I saw the movie a few moments ago and now I must read the book. malia, girl, age 14, from london, United Kingdom, on 30th March 2005. maybe the background of 'i am david' is so vague so that it is open for the reader to draw their own conclusions about it?. when, aged 10, i first read it i assumed it was world war one, as we read it when studying ww1. obviously this isn't possible, but anne holm might have wanted us to think, which is what it makes us do. gibgib, boy, age 341, from my house, Australia, on 7th March 2005. i just read this for the second time and noticed the christian metaphor. the dog is like jesus, sacrificing its life for david. speedy, boy, age 14, from koorainghat, Australia, on 26th February 2005. I think that I Am David is a criticly acclaimed thumbs down. this book offers no real sense of fealing and and gives you a skinking feeling that we are evil because we have all done something evil, and take every thing for granted and never spare a thought for those who have suffered and are suffering to this day, i wish that i never read this book as it will leave a diturbing scar in the back of my mind that i will not forget for years from crude and non needed events such as a dog dieing and shooting people and also brings back memories of mans worse decade. yours sincerly speedy P.S AC/DC ROCKS Michele, girl, age 49, from New Orleans, United States, on 24th February 2005. I read this book when I was about 11 or 12, and the re read it over and over. Like Therese above, the book was called "North to Freedom", and I too found the cover illustration haunting. It is one of the best books I have ever read. I endlessly tried to plot David's journey. I tried to imitate his politeness, his love of learning, and his morality. I was forever changed in terms of my haviing a real understanding of the personal side of the consequences of totalitarian evil. I read it again this week, before seeing the movie, and was even more impressed as an adult with the book. It is fascinating to see the world through Davis's eyes. Additionally, it was great as a kid to see David use his education and cleverness to outwit his enemies. I think every child should read this book. Nick T, boy, age 29, from Rome, Italy, on 24th February 2005. Sorry, but details presented here about things in the book are wrong. In the book, David specifically asks to see a book that was published before 1917. I have just checked this detail in my book beside me so I am sure on this. Maybe the answer to this problem is that the dates have been changed in various printings of the book? Anyway, as you rightly say "they" can be anyone in any time and any place. This book has touched me again as an adult like no other, and as an adult, after experiencing the inevitable challenges to personal morality and other journeys one makes through life, this book provides jaded older readers a renewed burst of hope for the future, both in the world at large and themselves. Mari le Roux, girl, age 47, from Limpopo, South Africa, on 5th February 2005. I also read I am David because it was listed as a good children's book. Like most of the other commentators I was enriched and enthralled by this book. I started using it as the Gr 7 's (these are English 2nd language pupils) literature study book even though it is normally prescribed for older children. Living in a country where in apartheid has stumped the growth and self worth of many,I believe in reading this book young people learn valuable lessons and gain insight into what makes you you. The concepts of freedom, education, belonging, evil, etc. can only be valued if they read and hear about them in a non patronizing way. My learners (all races)always ask me if it is a true story and they love plotting David's journey from somewhere north of Thessalonic. It also gives the opportunity of talking about the iron curtain, 2nd world war etc which are not part of a primary school's curriculum. The children enjoy it so much that their parents often beg to borrow a book to read at home. And I gladly give .... in that also getting 'non reading adults" to read, Farah, girl, age 36, from United Kingdom, on 1st February 2005. I think you are correct about the location of the book in Bulgaria, and I don't think this is simply a geographical choice on the part of Ann Holm. There are an awful lot of myths floating around about the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the most enduring that the refugees from the war were welcomed around the world. In fact, America, Britain, Canada (just to name the ones I know about) all blocked Jewish emigration. The US was actually more welcoming to German migrants in that period. Until the mid-1950s a lot of Jewish refugees remained trapped in refugee camps in countries that had persecuted them. When they did get out, it was because of an improved reception for anti-Communist refugees. Alongside this, the allies made some very unpleasant deals at the end of the war. In return for the Soviet Union ignoring how many Nazi scientists we helped to escape, we turned a blind eye to what the Soviets were doing. As the Stalinist regime became more psychotic, one of the things they did was to intern their own soldiers who had fought for the Soviet Union in other countries--veterans of the Spanish Civil War for example--and those who had fought in their own armies on the side of the allies (Bulgarian and Polish partisans are good examples). One of the effects of this was to create--on the Soviet side--an entire system of imprisonment where no-one really knew why anyone was there, and although conditions were appalling, punishment per se was often desultory. And on the ex-allies side a conspiracy of silence. The result--which Ann Holm depicts brilliantly--is a child who cannot exist in any political sense. dalia alattar, girl, age 12, from pembroke pines, United States, on 13th January 2005. it was the best book i ever read!! i told all of my friends and family to read it.I dont like to read but when i had to read this book for my language arts book report, it changed my mind about books. This book really changed me, i began being polite and i started to have good manners. This book i cant really explain but it should be recommened to everybody, i think everybody should read this book. Thats how great it was. Anthony, boy, age 30, from Brisbane, Australia, on 10th December 2004. I first read this book so many years ago, I think when I was around 12 years old and it was one of the most memorable books. It was completely moving and as a child at the time it was vivid, intense and beautiful. I have also recommended this book to many people, non that seem to have read it. I have re-read the book a few times now which is a rare occurence for me. I have just bought the book for my little brother for Xmas and hope he gains from it a historical and spiritual perspective that underlies the book. David , boy, age 14, from London, United Kingdom, on 9th December 2004. I thoroughly enjoyed this book firstly because it is a tremendous book of passion and free will, it is also a good book of love and trust. David encounters a wide range of good and bad people, people who he trusts and people who he doesn't, you just can't say enough about this book. Caitlin, girl, age 13, from alberta, Canada, on 7th December 2004. HI! I just finished reading your book!! i loved it!!I had to read it for A literachure circle porject me and anohter 5 freinds of mine read it but i knew what was gion to happen because my freind had already read the story i was getting pretty mad at him but i still really enjoyed the book!! Thank you Anne Holm Elyzabeth, girl, age 13, from London, Canada, on 20th November 2004. I read the book and i thought it was really boaring. It was too easy to read. It jumped from one place to another and it had no point that i could get. So this book was just plain dumb by my judgement. I hated reading it but i HAD to. It was tourture and i am never reading it again! rachael, girl, age 12, from United Kingdom, on 19th November 2004. I thought this book was deepley moving and i couldent put it down. Tom Green, boy, age 12, from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom, on 19th November 2004. I am David is an enthralling book, taking you through the mature life of a boy only my age. I think tnat david is very mature and sesible being able to rasion for a very long time. The story itself is AMAZING but the ending is even better!!!!! Lia, girl, age 13, from North York, Canada, on 16th November 2004. I read this book for literature class. I really like this book. It shows great detail in everything. And the things in this book are very realistic, like it really happened. I encourage everyone to read this book. Andrew, boy, age 12, from San Francisco, United States, on 16th November 2004. I highly enjoyed this wondeful Historical Fiction story. I enjoyed the plots and Wow ! The characters showed such strong emotion. And only 12 years old, I have read many Books like these about The War. But I would have to say that this would have to be one of my favorites along with The Book, Milkweed by Jerry Spinelle. I highly reccomend this book (I am David) for any kids my age or even adults who enjoy reading children books. What do you think of the book ? Renee, girl, age 14, from western australia, Australia, on 15th November 2004. i strongly dislike it Catherine, girl, age 11, from Wellington, New Zealand, on 13th November 2004. I Am David was a really interesting book. I feel that I learnt alot from it about the power of hope and faith. It had a really strong message about what it is like to get away from the bad things in your life and to go forward to the good things. It told me to always trust people if they are your friends but not to trust strangers as these can be the most dangerous friends of all. Isa, girl, age 26, from United Kingdom, on 9th November 2004. I first picked up this book and read it when I was about 15; I always wished that I'd been younger. As I grew older I have read it a total of about 5 times, I am now about to teach it to my first class so I will no longer be able to count the number of times! The story is so beautiful and has so many layers that I feel almost as though I should be teaching it to a year 12 class, not Year 7! I too want to find out what happened in David's later life - did he meet Maria again? What job did he do? Was he ever able to fit in with "normal" people? I sometimes find myself wondering 'I wonder what David's up too now, he'd be about 70 or 80 - wonder if he's got grandchildren...' The character is so brilliantly portrayed Pen, girl, age 12, from Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom, on 6th November 2004. i really enjoyed this book and the article was very gd. Sheila, girl, age 46, from Baltimore, United States, on 5th November 2004. I found a paperback edition of this book in a used book store and left it on the shelf for many months before I chose it to read to my eight year old. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty and detail of the language. Through reading, we got to feel as David felt - the despair, the joy, the pain and the discovery he experienced as he traveled along his pilgrimage. We had read Pilgrim's Progress just before North to Freedom and it seemed to provide a neat seguey into the book. It matters not to me who "they" are. I believe "they" are present in everyone's life -forces that are determined to thwart one's growth as an individual , oppose one's freedom and to ensnare us in traps to keep from fulfilling our God-given potential. God's grace (what we oftentimes see as co-incidence) is what has always made this life tolerable. Kor, boy, age 8, from Baltimore, United States, on 5th November 2004. My mother read this book to me and I especially like the partwhere he talks to the God of the green pastures and the still waters. It reminded me of Psalms in the Bible. Graham, boy, age 60, from derbyshire, United Kingdom, on 3rd November 2004. ''I am David'' was on radio 4 last week in two 45 minute parts with an 11 year old boy Rory Copus playing the part of ''David''. It was brilliantly portrayed and i am not ashamed to say had me in tears and left an impression on my mind. I have since , read the book and listened to the full 5 hour audio tape read by an older man and yes , still good. There is a difference between good and brilliant and Rory Copus made that difference for me. Kaz, girl, age 13, from perth, Australia, on 24th October 2004. I was 11 when i read this book, and i still recomend it to my friends. how can you not understand this book? i don't understand. it's about a boy in war time that escapes, runs around the country, finds a dog and the dog saves him ( i was really upset by the dog). why worry about all the techinical stuff? jon, boy, age 13, from enlish, United Kingdom, on 19th October 2004. Ithink this bookis good but is that its too hard to understand Annie, girl, age 12, from New South Wales, Australia, on 17th October 2004. This article is by far a job well done and I would have to say 10/10... I enjoyed reading the book and as a very keen reader(known by nearly everyone I know due to staying up till 2:00 sometimes reading)! I could see that he was on a journey to find his true Identity and a place where he would be accepted as who he was and also away from 'They'. In the end I really understood after a thorough reading and would recomend it to anyone who loves reading and anyone who doesn't really as a starter. RJJ, boy, age 13, from Sydney, Australia, on 17th October 2004. This book is an insight to the life of the people who have suffered in wars,comunism, and concentration camps. David has grown up with the only view of th e evil in the world. His only friend is sleep and his home is hell. He needs to get out like all prisoners that have sufferd. In his face the chance arises. A man gives him a chance to be free with a cost the cost is David must run. Run from everyone for he is a crim to the world and the cops are after him so he must RUN! In the book people fear this 12 year lod boy for his knowledge of evil is greater than most adults. The book is touching as David gets and losses loved people and new items and friends. But finnaly through out the book he finds his Heart and home at last. Harley, boy, age 13, from Sydney, Australia, on 17th October 2004. i think that "i am David" i s a good and an exciting book to read but it can drag on a bit at times but is always moving and just about never stalls on one thing during the whole book! i loved "i am David" Michael, boy, age 13, from new south wales, Australia, on 17th October 2004. i think i am david is a very good book it has many real life scenes and some scense that are very unreal but fit in with the story well. the book is very interesting and touches you inside in many chapters i think the book is good but the ending just happens there is no real up coming to the ending though it just happens. cookie, girl, age 13, from winnipeg, Canada, on 17th October 2004. hi!i just finished reading your book.... i didn't think it was going to be the best book when i picked it up but then i saw who published it and i said oh i think it will be a great book because of the author so i took a chane and wow, it is one of the most best book i have ever read. the next time i read it will be the third time, and i just finished reading it in school. Anne Holm, do u think you could come in to Saint John Brebeuf school and tell the grade eight class about your book? that would be great! bye for now mini-me, girl, age 12, from winnipeg, Canada, on 17th October 2004. i think this article is very touching cause it is sad to here that David is stuck in this concentration camp not knowing who his parents are and not having a normal lfe (John Doe), boy, age 14, from Singapore, on 12th October 2004. I am David is quite a boring book judging from the cover, but it has the most touching scenes in the world. Some days, i would want to view over some scenarios, like... Maria being saved by David? Therese, girl, age 45, from Minneapolis, United States, on 6th October 2004. A quick P.S. to my previous note. In your article, you state "Because of his background David has an unusually intense character, and lends himself well to philosophical theory. The story itself is a strange collection of unlikely coincidences, and so not very satisfying as an adventure." I personally found the book "North to Freedom" an extremely satisfying book specifically because it really was not just an adventure story -- rather, it seems to me that it is really a timeless story of the journey of a soul... Therese, girl, age 45, from Minneapolis, United States, on 6th October 2004. Hi, I just read your article on the book "I am David" and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I owned a copy of the book (entitled "North toFreedom", which I prefer) as a child, and I have never forgotten either the story or the haunting picture of David running away from the prison camp on the front cover of my book. The story was very powerful, and I recall reading it over and over, although I never really understood it. I had assumed it was a story about a child imprisoned during the Holocaust, but it seemed to me that Anne Holm purposefully keep the details vague in order for the reader to fill in the gaps with one's own imagination. I have often recommended this book to others throughout my life, but I have never met anyone else who has actually read it. I often wondered why the book had not been made into a movie, and was delighted to learn that this was finally accomplished. Jim Caviezel seems a perfect choice for Johannes, and I am curious to see whether Ben Tibber lives up to the David of my imagination. I am hoping that the forthcoming film will be a faithful adaptation of the book, and that it will inspire a new generation of readers to check out this wonderful story. Thank you again for your most interesting article! Mirra, girl, age 45, from United States, on 3rd September 2004. I thought it was a wonderful book with good moral lessons. David had a sense of himself and his values and he wouldn't compromise it. I cried in several places and am debating teaching it to my 5th grade class this spring. LiT.freAK..., girl, age 14, from Singapore, on 20th August 2004. i think that i am david is a very well written book...its very good for literature studies in secondary level...i am currently doing the book for literature...
Patrick Drumm, boy, age 12, from Tyrone, United Kingdom, on 26th April 2006.
I think I am David is the worse book I have ever read! It is so boring. It also dragged on soooo much. One minute he was in a camp and he was sad then all of a sudden he is saving Maria from a fire and 'living it up' in a big house. If i knew I was that crap I would have told my teacher I didn't want to read it. I can not stess how boring it is. I hated the book. I AM DAVID is the worset book ever. In hope that the authour never writes another book like that again. If it wasn't for my english teacher Mrs K I would have never have read it. i would not have read it if i did not have to do homework on that book. SO PLEASE DO NOT READ THE STUPUID 'I AM DAVID'...................................................... P.S Remeber Never Read It Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever Ever EverEver Ever Ever EverEver Ever Ever EverEver Ever Ever Ever!!!