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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Touching Story
Starting this review, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I first read this book when I was in my early teens and have since owned three copies of the book in the 15 years since. This is a book that will always be in my personal collection and one that will be passed onto my children when they reach a similar age.
I Am David is the tale of a young boy who has...
Published on 19 Aug 2005 by AndyBSG

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting plot, but pretty unbelievable.
An interesting concept, and quite unique, but I found the plot very far fetched and this spoiled my enjoyment. Might suit a teen reader as part of an education and did arouse my interest in Bulgaria.
Published on 1 July 2012 by Caroline


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98 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Touching Story, 19 Aug 2005
By 
AndyBSG "A. Graham" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: I am David (World Mammoth) (Paperback)
Starting this review, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I first read this book when I was in my early teens and have since owned three copies of the book in the 15 years since. This is a book that will always be in my personal collection and one that will be passed onto my children when they reach a similar age.
I Am David is the tale of a young boy who has spent all of his known life in a concentration camp and the story begins as he is helped to escape by one of the guards. Why the guard has helped him is unknown and thoughout the early part of the story, David is certain that is some sort of ruse.
As the book moves on, David makes his way across Europe before finally reaching his destination in a touching finale.
Along the way, David learns how his time in the camp has made him different to all those he travels amongst as finds his haunted features and inability to smile mark him apart.
Througout the book, I found myself humbled by the spirit of David and his value of even the smallest item in his possession. This book makes you realise how much you take for granted when a small boy treasures something as simple as a bar of soap.
Overall, this is a well written story that inspires real emotion in it's readers and makes you realise how thankful many of us should be for the lives we lead.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The growth of awareness to faith and hope through adversity., 2 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This book tells of the journey into life of a young boy of 12 who has spent all his years in a communist concentration camp and is mysteriously encouraged to escape by the camp commandant.His journey to Salonika thence to Italy and onwards to Denmark opens him to the world of free people. His education amongst imprisoned intellectuals gives him both the ability to look on the world with a mature brain and an inability to open his heart and trust others. There is much adventure on the journey; much amusement caused by old attitudes in a young body and great sorrow as we begin to realise the deprivations of his childhood.Each chapter draws us further into his psyche and gradually reveals the emotional desert in which he has lived. Hope is awakened by his choosing of a god and we learn of the spiritual though non-religious side of his education. The book ends in hope tinged with sadness. All is left open for the reader to meditate upon.The book was written in Danish and the English translation portrays a mumsy style which may not reflect adequately the original. A review by a Dane would be enlightening.Altogether a most moving book.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest story to come out of Denmark since Hans Christian Andersen, 11 Jun 2007
This review is from: I am David (World Mammoth) (Paperback)
I Am David is one of the most evocative books I have come across to read aloud to a class of children. I say that as a teacher of twenty years experience and having taught in schools in four continents. It is a magical book - not afraid to confront some difficult themes, but always maintaining the unique perspective a child with David's background would have.

Indeed the only gripe I have with this book is nothing at all to do with Anne Holm's creation but the stupidity of the United States' publishing industry in insisting on retitling classic European books (in the US this classic story is titled "North to Freedom"!) As "I Am David" this book successfully explores far more profound questions than freedom. David's journey is a process of self discovery and a self-imposed restructuring of a broken human spirit. Though told in the third person, the narrative invites us into David's young mind and allows us to see the wonder of objects and concepts that we all take for granted but which are new to the young escapee. Music, play, the taste of an orange, the feeling of being clean, language, colour! David's voyage of discovery is a bitter sweet mixture and we learn the awful truth about his past during his trek across Europe at the same pace as he does himself.

I have read this book with classes of children from fourth to seventh grade, as well as with adults. It is a book for all seasons, and I can still turn the pages with pleasure and wonder.

The wonder of realising what it is to say "I Am David" is what the book is all about! "North to Freedom" is a lousy title - meaningless in fact; David's first steps to freedom take him south! But this should not dissuade anyone from reading Anne Holm's book. The greatest children's story to come out of Denmark since Hans Christian Andersen.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A child's story of an incredable journey, 18 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: I am David (World Mammoth) (Paperback)
This book is addictive. From the very second I picked it up I was hooked. David; an uneducated, naive prisoner in a concentration camp, desperately and courageously tramps across Europe in search of a safe home. The book follows him through the amazing and extremly influencial experiences and adventures he encounters. His growing up is beautifully expressed by Anne Holm and every time you read the book you discover something new about David and his surroungings. I could read this book a million times and I would never get bored.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable!, 1 Nov 2002
This review is from: I am David (World Mammoth) (Paperback)
A sensational, stark, profound novel first read to me as a child of no more than 9. For years I have been thinking about David and his struggle from a naive child, traversing Europe, finding an identity and learning what the world is all about. It shocked me, to see things through a child's eyes. Now, as an adult it's still as graphic but with a more subtle tone, (at least is seems that way). Just as emphatic for adults as for children. I can't wait for children of my own to invite them into David's world, beautifully written my Anne Holm.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving story, 21 Feb 2003
This review is from: I am David (World Mammoth) (Paperback)
I was around 10 or 11 when I first read this book- as soon as I finished it I reread it. It is a story that has stayed with me because of the fact that a little boy had spent the first years of his life in a concentration camp - and the fact that he didn't know how to smile. It is a most haunting story of the experiences of a little boy who has run awya from the camp. I'm now 20 and haven't read it in a while but I still rememeber bits of it. This is one book form my childhood that I really want to get my hands on - so I'm gonna buy it. It is a book to treasure and can be read by all ages - it's good for younger kids as it helps them see what being stuck in a concentration camp is like and the sense of freedom when it has been left behind -through the eyes of someone their own age.
If you haven't read it I recommend that you do...it is totally moving.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily elegant and humane, 1 Mar 2012
By 
This review is from: I am David (World Mammoth) (Paperback)
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that I will always own, 3 Jan 2012
By 
Mrs. J. A. Rudkin "Jules" (West Berks) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: I am David (World Mammoth) (Paperback)
I first read 'I am David' when I was a young teenager and the story stayed with me so much so that when I had my own children, I bought another copy of it (the first one having got lost in frequent house moves). I let my older two children read the book themselves as they were of an age to understand it. My next two children were not such avid readers and this book passed them by. However, my youngest son aged 8 who is also called David (and yes, this book did influence me when I named him) is much more of a bookworm so I thought he would enjoy it. As he is so young, I thought I would read the story to him each night before he went to bed as some of it needed explaining to him (POW camps etc).

Its been some years since I last read the book and I have just finished reading it again to my David. I had to leave a review on here because I had forgotten quite how moving this book is. I won't spoil the ending if you haven't read it, but as I was reading the last few lines to my son, I couldn't get the words out as I was in floods of tears. He was crying too and we both agreed that it was a book that would stay with us for life. I can't recommend this book highly enough; a truly humbling book that has made my life all the richer for reading it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am David, 9 Dec 2004
This review is from: I am David (World Mammoth) (Paperback)
I remember my history teacher given me this book. I hated history he knew it I knew it. I was the kid that thought history was a thing of the past ha ha. This booked changed my views on that. It moved me so much, the ending had me in tears. I started a obsession with history especially WW1 and WW2 with this. I hate to say this book changed my life, it didn't but it has shaped my life to a degree. The inhumanity of man is a terrible thing, the kindness of man is something to behold. No matter what age you are read this book it is humanity at it's worst and best.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive protrayal of a young boys' search for himself, 7 Mar 1999
By A Customer
I read this book when I was 12, around the same age as David, lonely and far from home. The story, as it unravelled, and the beautifully crafted character of this boy and his silent strife for survival gave me hope. It had a great impact on me. It's now 12 years since I first read it, but I still remember the wonderful, simple depiction of a young life in a war-torn world. Anne Holm deals with serious issues like life and death, religion and self in an unbiased manner. She presents them from the perspective of a boy whose maturity develops from having lived in a concentration camp, and whose vulnerability all of us who have known loneliness will identify with. I would reccommend this book to people of all ages. In our present day it is important to revisit nature, and David whenever he prays begins by saying "God of the running water..". If you do read the book I hope it brings to you what it brought home to me. A deep belief in the irreplaceable child within, and human survival.
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I am David (World Mammoth)
I am David (World Mammoth) by Anne Holm (Paperback - 1 Jun 2000)
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