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David, c'est moi (1963)

par Anne Holm

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2,274277,027 (4.05)53
After escaping from an Eastern European concentration camp where he has spent most of his life, a twelve-year-old boy struggles to cope with an entirely strange world as he flees northward to freedom in Denmark.
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Affichage de 1-5 de 27 (suivant | tout afficher)
Reissued as "I am David" in 2004.
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
TRIGGER WARNINGS: References cruelty, violence, and neglect. Holocaust: references concentration camps. Animal death. Grief. Suicidal thoughts.

I Am David tells the story of a young boy named David who escapes from a concentration camp during World War II. He is assisted in his escape by one of the guards and the story follows his journey as he strives to follow the guard’s instruction to make his way to Denmark. We are never told where the concentration camp is located, and the identity of David’s captors is never mentioned. By backtracking his journey, we can guess that it is somewhere in Eastern Europe, possibly Bulgaria, or Yugoslavia but it is never explicitly stated. I felt this was a positive move. It emphasises the human aspects of the story over historical details and serves as a symbolic representation of the dehumanising and anonymous nature of the camps during the Holocaust. The anonymity reinforces the idea that the experiences of those in concentration camps were tragically common and not limited to a single geographical location.

Don’t let the subject matter put you off, though. For such a depressing topic, the book is engaging in every other aspect. I was captivated by the beautiful painted image that adorns the cover of my edition, setting the stage for what turned out to be a profoundly moving literary experience. The prose is simple and straightforward yet possesses a unique beauty which enhances the emotional depth of the novel, instilling a sense of haunting sadness that lingers throughout the narrative. From the outset, I found myself immersed in the poignant and thought-provoking story that unfolded. One aspect that resonated deeply with me was David's personal name for God, a small but impactful detail that adds a layer of individuality to his character.

The believability of the narrative is striking; never once did I feel jarred out of the story. The author skilfully portrays the emotional struggles and growth of the protagonist, David. His thought processes are presented with a compelling authenticity, which broke my heart on more than one occasion.
The author skilfully weaves universal themes of freedom, self-discovery, and the importance of individuality into David's personal journey, making the story relatable to a broad audience. Some reviewers said that they found the pacing of the novel slow at times. I personally did not encounter this issue. Some parts of the story are predictable, but this does not detract from the overall impact of the narrative.

I Am David is marketed as children’s literature (middle grade), but it’s a book which will appeal to all ages. Themes of resilience, hope, and the search for identity prevail, leaving me with a lasting impression of a beautifully written and emotionally resonant story, as appealing to adults as to the tweens for which it was written. Indeed, the narrative is likely to resonate more profoundly with adults, given their broader understanding of the historical and psychological nuances woven into the story.

I am not ashamed to say that this book hurt my soul. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you read just one book this year, make it this one. ( )
  DelDevours | Nov 24, 2023 |
TRIGGER WARNINGS: References cruelty, violence, and neglect. Holocaust: references concentration camps. Animal death. Grief. Suicidal thoughts.

I Am David tells the story of a young boy named David who escapes from a concentration camp during World War II. He is assisted in his escape by one of the guards and the story follows his journey as he strives to follow the guard’s instruction to make his way to Denmark. We are never told where the concentration camp is located, and the identity of David’s captors is never mentioned. By backtracking his journey, we can guess that it is somewhere in Eastern Europe, possibly Bulgaria, or Yugoslavia but it is never explicitly stated. I felt this was a positive move. It emphasises the human aspects of the story over historical details and serves as a symbolic representation of the dehumanising and anonymous nature of the camps during the Holocaust. The anonymity reinforces the idea that the experiences of those in concentration camps were tragically common and not limited to a single geographical location.

Don’t let the subject matter put you off, though. For such a depressing topic, the book is engaging in every other aspect. I was captivated by the beautiful painted image that adorns the cover of my edition, setting the stage for what turned out to be a profoundly moving literary experience. The prose is simple and straightforward yet possesses a unique beauty which enhances the emotional depth of the novel, instilling a sense of haunting sadness that lingers throughout the narrative. From the outset, I found myself immersed in the poignant and thought-provoking story that unfolded. One aspect that resonated deeply with me was David's personal name for God, a small but impactful detail that adds a layer of individuality to his character.

The believability of the narrative is striking; never once did I feel jarred out of the story. The author skilfully portrays the emotional struggles and growth of the protagonist, David. His thought processes are presented with a compelling authenticity, which broke my heart on more than one occasion.
The author skilfully weaves universal themes of freedom, self-discovery, and the importance of individuality into David's personal journey, making the story relatable to a broad audience. Some reviewers said that they found the pacing of the novel slow at times. I personally did not encounter this issue. Some parts of the story are predictable, but this does not detract from the overall impact of the narrative.

I Am David is marketed as children’s literature (middle grade), but it’s a book which will appeal to all ages. Themes of resilience, hope, and the search for identity prevail, leaving me with a lasting impression of a beautifully written and emotionally resonant story, as appealing to adults as to the tweens for which it was written. Indeed, the narrative is likely to resonate more profoundly with adults, given their broader understanding of the historical and psychological nuances woven into the story.

I am not ashamed to say that this book hurt my soul. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you read just one book this year, make it this one. ( )
  DelDevours | Nov 24, 2023 |
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. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Match found in the German National Library.
  glsottawa | Apr 4, 2018 |
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» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (15 possibles)

Nom de l'auteurRôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Anne Holmauteur principaltoutes les éditionscalculé
Kingsland, L.W.Traducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Mikolaycak, CharlesArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé

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David lay quite still in the darkness, listening to the men's low muttering.
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He was David. Everything else was washed away, the camp, its smell, its touch – and now he was David, his own master, free…
From now on he would think for himself and make his own decisions, and his feet and hands and body would be his servants to do his bidding.
Freedom was precious, and he had nothing to defend it with.
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.
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After escaping from an Eastern European concentration camp where he has spent most of his life, a twelve-year-old boy struggles to cope with an entirely strange world as he flees northward to freedom in Denmark.

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