Chapter 1

Chapter 2

3 & 4

5 & 6

7 & 8

Edition used:
Methuen Children's Books Ltd. 1984

Translated from the Danish by L.W. Kingsland.

The Movie

Please do NOT contact me for answers to Chapter or Test questions. Your request will not be answered.



current  -   repulsive  -   thicket  -   possessed  -   coarse  -   grating  -   cloak  -   catastrophe  -   to edge  -  occasionally  -   penetrate  -   merely  -   tuft  -   veil  -   to dwell upon  -   dazzlingly  -   dwell  -   to urge  -   footing mind  -   (noun)  -   to mutter  -   dozed  -   identity  -   clenched


1. As in most novels, the first chapter introduces the character and sets the scene for what is to follow. But what you are told in the first chapter of I Am David  is some- what mysterious, even outright confusing. A snippet of information here, a tantali- zing bit there.
Why does the author do that? Why doesn't he tell you outright who David is and where he is?

2. Why does David hate the man?  Does this hatred seem justified, considering what the man is doing for him? Explain.

3. Look up the word paranoid. Would you call David paranoid? Explain by giving exam- ples that might explain David's odd behaviour.

4. Throughout life, you will judge your environment by certain reference points, which you have acquired over the years as a result of what you have seen, heard, experien- ced, and learned. What are David's reference points? How do you know? In what ways will that handicap him in judging what is to come during his trek across Europe?

5. What indications do you have that David is above average intelligence? How would the average twelve year old have reacted under the circumstances?

6. In the truck, on his way to Salonica, David experiences a moment of intense fear. How does this sudden fear come about? How does David conquer it? Who is Johannes? What does he symbolize? Why does Johannes "stay behind in Salonica"?

7. Why doesn't the sailor report David to the captain of the ship, but instead helps him jump ship just before it reaches Italy?

8. In a short paragraph describe what David feels when he wakes up from his first night on Italian soil?

9. Geographically, David has moved from wherever the camp is, to Italy. From where has he moved emotionally?

10. Make a short list, in point form, of the bits of information you have thus far received about David.

11. Now that you have the list, you can start making inferences. What are inferences? Let's say that you ask your brother how he did on his History test and he replies by slamming his books on the table and shouts, "that's none of your business!" What do you guess has happened? You infer it from his behaviour. When you make a guess like that, based on certain clues or evidence, you are making an inference. As with all guesses, sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong. But the more inform- ation you have, the better the chance of making a correct inference. In I Am David, information is given bit by bit and you slowly begin to build evidence. At this stage what inferences can you make?

Persuasive Writing

On the ship to Italy, David persuades the sailor to help him. Check your answer to Question #7 to see how David did that. Being able to be persuasive is very important and to be able to do it in writing can be extremely helpful.

Here are some ways of persuading people to do things, or buy things:

You'll really enjoy seeing this film.

You must see this film - it's very good.

Don't you think you should buy a new car?

Perhaps you should buy a new car.

Another way is to exaggerate the qualities of the thing your are describing, using words like:

amazing  -   fantastic  -   incredible  -   excellent  -   wonderful  -   terrific  -   unbelievable

Now practice persuading people by making sentences about these things.

a. going to camp

b. going on a diet

c. buying a new tape

d. learning how to play the piano

e. buying a CD player

In order to persuade people, you often need to stress how good something is:

It's really good.

It's very reliable.

It's made of the highest quality materials.

Tennis is excellent exercise and great fun.

Use some of these words to persuade people to:

a. go mountain climbing

b. buy a motorcycle

Another way to persuade people is to suggest that by doing what you ask them:

a. it will make them happy.

b. it will save them money.

c. it is the best thing they can do.

d. they will avoid something bad happening to them.

e. they will be popular with others.

Make sure that you always give reasons!

For example:

This bicycle is better because it has twelve gears.

This tape deck is better because it has Dolby noise reduction.

The reason for the increase in prices is higher wages.

Writing Task

You have been invited to a party on Friday night, and you must convince your mother to let you go. Jot down what you would have to say to her to get her permission.

Sentence Combining

No one writes just one sentence at the time. To express an idea we have to write clusters of sentences that work together because of their meaning and structure. For example: By itself, the following sentences doesn't really grab our attention.

Then the starter's gun went off.

But when a sentence precedes it, we're suddenly more interested:

She stretched the lean muscles in her legs, paced around

swinging her arms, and gave herself a pep talk before taking

her place in the starting blocks. Then the starter's gun went off.

And when a sentence follows it, we really begin to get the picture.

She stretched the lean muscles in her legs, paced around

swinging her arms, and gave herself a pep talk before taking

her place in the starting blocks. Then the starter's gun went off.

Almost like a shot herself, she exploded down the track.

Are all three sentences the same in length? In rhythm? In structure?

No - and that's one reason why this chunk has life and impact. Yet each sentence by itself is not especially interesting or effective to read.

Below is the chunk you just read. This time though, it's broken down into the small sentences that built it.

Follow the signals and see how the sentences weave together.

She stretched the lean muscles in her legs.

The muscles were lean.

She paced around. (,)

She swung her arms. (+ ing)

She gave herself a pep talk. (,and)

She took her place in the starting blocks. (before + ing)

Then the starter's gun went off.

She was almost like a shot herself.

She exploded down the track. (,)

When you put the sentences together, they form the chunk shown above.

Here are some more sentences to combine into chunks.

David took his bundle out of the cupboard.

He took his bottle out of the cupboard.

He took his knife out of the cupboard.

He took his small scrap of soap out of the cupboard.

They were not evil people.

They had been kind to him.

They were ready to give him up now.

They were acting out of ignorance

They had no idea what would happen to him.

They didn't know that they would caught him again.

One driver introduced David to railway stations.

David had often seen trains.

It had never occurred to him that trains had definite stopping places.

It had never occurred to him that there were such things as stations.

She was not a young woman.

She was not an old woman.

She was thin

David didn't know whether he liked the look of her.

She was not Italian.

She did not speak the language properly.

She could say anything she wanted to.

She did not always know what was masculin in Italian.

She did not always know what was feminine in Italian.

Her hair was quite fair.

Her eyes were grey.

She was not pretty.

She was not good looking.

There was nothing about her face that was unpleasant.

She was intelligent.

Introduction - Chapter 2 - Chapters 3-4 - Chapters 5-6 - Chapters 7-8