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I Am David by Anne Holm



Book Summary Novel Activities Vocabulary Words Writing Activities Discussion Topics Online Test




Book Summary


David's entire life has been spent in a concentration camp. When he is given the opportunity to escape, he takes it. The road to freedom is very difficult. David experiences many tragedies along the way. However, he is lucky that he does meet some people who are actually kind and try to help him. His goal is to make it to Denmark where he can be free. Little does he know, once he gets to Denmark he may find something as valuable as freedom; his family.


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Novel Activities


1. For most of his childhood, David has only seen grays and muddy colors inside the walls of the concentration camp. Draw the prison as it looks to David. Then, draw what David saw when he laid eyes on Italy for the first time with all its color and beauty. Contrast the two.

2. Discuss the symbolism of David's cleansing of himself and scrubbing compulsively. He does this after he escapes from the camp and again after he gets into the fight with Maria's brother.

3. Research to find out which countries were "free" at the time of the concentration camps. This was important to David so he could seek a safe place to live.


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Vocabulary Words


catastrophe variegated oppressive treachery


reticent obscurity
precipice barracks commandant kiosk


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Writing Activities


Sensory/Descriptive: Maria's parents took out an ad in the paper to try and find David and let him know that he would be safe in their home. Write a letter to Maria and her parents from David explaining why he does not want to return. Describe what he is feeling and going through.


Imaginative/Narrative: Write a biography of Johannes, the person who guides David's thoughts and actions. There is little information about Johannes in the book, so you will have to create a history for him. Make it realistic.


Analytical/Persuasive: David states in the book that he would never disregard his principles. It is important to be true to yourself. What does this statement mean? Use personal examples in your essay.


Practical/Informative: Write a thank you letter from Maria to David. Be sure to write this letter from a child's point of view.



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Discussion/Journal Topics


Chapter Two: “In the camp, thinking would have made life unbearable, but when you are free, it was necessary, though something of a strain when you were not used to it.”

Chapter Four: “If I hit you back, I'd be no better than you are. I'd be just as rotten and worthless, and I'd have no right to be free!”

Chapter Five: “No person has any right over other people: a man must be his own master.”

Chapter Six: “All suffering has an end, David, if only you wait long enough.”

Chapter Seven: “You can't change others, but you can do something about a fault in yourself.”


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Online Test


Your students can take an online test with immediate results at:

Book Online Test


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