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103 of 106 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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2 of 6 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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103 of 106 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
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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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29 of 31 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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35 of 38 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
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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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving story, 21 Feb. 2003
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable!, 1 Nov. 2002
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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4.0 out of 5 stars I am David, 23 May 2015
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David was 12yrs old and lay still in the darkness, tonight he must escape, he hated this man yet he was helping him, the electric fence was to be turned off for thirty seconds, outside were the supplies he would need, he was to head for Italy and then to Denmark, so began what was left of David's life
He managed to hide away on a ship bound for Italy, a sailor felt sorry for him and although David could not swim he lowered him over the side in a lifebelt where he could step ashore in Salerno, the first thing he did was to find water where he could wash himself and his clothes to get the smell of the camp from him, to help him he had learnt many languages in the camp, he could speak French, German, Italian, English, Spanish and a little Hebrew, but for himself David had no idea who he was or where he had come from
During his long journey he meets many people who turn out to be friends but he meets enemies as well, he meets other children but is afraid of them, he had never learnt how to play, he recues a young girl from a fire and spends some time with her family but he feels he must travel on, he enters a church and a priest shows him the way to Switzerland
The Swiss frontier was close, whilst staying with a woman for a few days he sees a picture in an album and just knows it is his mother and she is in Denmark, his struggles continue, he is captured by a farmer who is very cruel to him, he befriends a dog, escapes along with the dog, meets some soldiers, he knows he will be shot they will be just like the guards at the camp
You must read the book to find the conclusion to this story, does he escape the soldiers, does he ever get to Denmark, does he ever find is mother or is he destined to be alone forever
A nice well written story and well worth a read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Story, 18 Mar. 2013
By 
Susman "Sussman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
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I remember reading this book in my childhood, and I have re-read this as an adult, its a great story with powerful themes and metaphors that are as relevant today as they were when the book was originally published. In some respects the story may seem unbelievable as David seems to cross frontiers with ease, that said a lot of children's books could be given the same label and I feel that this book has no real flaws. It tells a riveting narrative that is packed with sadness, tenderness and innocence. This book is well worthy five star rating.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily elegant and humane, 1 Mar. 2012
By 
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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13 of 16 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 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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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am David, 9 Dec. 2004
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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