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Book Review: I am David by Anne Holm

Before he had come to the town he had known about nothing but death: here he had learnt to live, to decide things for himself; he had learnt what it felt like to wash in clean water in the sunshine until he was clean himself, and what it felt like to satisfy his hunger with food that tasted good; he had learnt the sound of laughter that was free from cruelty; he had learnt the meaning of beauty” Anne Holm ‘I am David’

‘I am David’ is a story for adolescents written in 1963 David, a twelve year old, escapes with help from a Nazi concentration camp and makes his way across Europe to a new home in Denmark. The story tells of his struggles to survive and retain his sense of individuality, but also explores ideas relating to the nature and value of freedom and the power of faith and hope through the people he meets on the way.

The sun glistened on a drop of water as it fell from his hand to his knee. David wiped it off, but it left no tidemark: there was no more dirt to rub away. He took a deep breath and shivered. He was David. Everything else was washed away, the camp, its smell, its touch--and now he was David, his own master, free--free as long as he could remain so.”

Anne Holm ‘I am David’

This idea of freedom permeates David's journey, from beginning to end, He seeks to be free from anything that keeps him from being everything he is, everything he can be, and everything he wants to be.

There are lots of important messages in this book which are relevant today regardless of age.

And it was most important to do what one knew was right, for otherwise the day might come when one could no longer tell the difference between right and wrong.”

Anne Holm ‘I am David’

'I am David' was made into a film in 2003

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