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

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Introduction - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapters 3-4 - Chapters 7-8



lather - gracious - evil - deception - stab - vitamins - absurd - slatted - shutters - object - rebuffed - contempt - seed-pearls - wretched - sorrow


1. Why does Chapter 5 start with an analysis of the word beautiful?

2. Why was the bathroom lovely rather than beautiful and good?

3. As the days pass by, David finds he quite enjoys living in a house. List the new and exciting discoveries he makes. How do the children respond to the things David finds so interesting? Why are their responses different in some cases. Explain and give examples.

4. Why did the book have to be published before 1917, so that they couldn't have made it up? Check what famous historical event - "that shook the world" - took place in that year.

5. What characteristics do David and Maria share? How is she different from David? In your opinion how would their relationship have developed if David had stayed?

6. David's hatred for Carlo is described as pure. What does that mean? Are David's actions toward Carlo "normal" for a twelve-year old boy? Explain.

7. Why are Andrea's questions more threatening to David than Maria's questions?

8. Do you think the children are aware that David is different? Explain, using examples from the chapters.

9. The mother of the children explains to her husband why David has to go. What are her arguments? Are they valid? What are the husband's arguments? Are they valid? Why does he give in?

10. All through his travels, David has talked to his God. When he finally enters a church, he meets a priest.

(a) Explain how this meeting affects David's choice of his God.
(b) How does this choice affects David's own identity?
(c) He arrives at some kind of conclusion on pages 143-145. Do you agree with his conclusions? Explain.

11. In what ways are Signora Bang's treatment and understanding of David different from those of the rich Italian couple?

12. Why does chapter 6 end with a discussion on the meaning of sorrow. What is the meaning of sorrow according to Signora Bang?


Throughout I Am David, David tries to explain his behaviour by using arguments. But as he hears others refute the logic of these arguments, he begins to doubt.

Clauses linked by cause-and-effect relationships are important building blocks in persuasive writing.

Take the following statement: "She couldn't read the letter."

What could be the possible reason or explanation for the event?

Example: "She forgot her classes."

Now ask your partner to refute all the arguments you bring up.

For example: "She was wearing contact lenses."

Do the same with the following statement: "It wouldn't open."

Now take a topic you feel very strongly about, e.g.: curfew, locker inspection, censorship, etc., and write a 100 word essay giving logical arguments defending your stand. Then give your essay to your partner, and he/she will have to refute your arguments in a logical manner.

A World of Differences

I Am David  shows us the world mainly through the eyes of David. But his experiences and conversations with others give the reader different views on the same subject.

The inclusion of these different views serves two important purposes. First, it allows the reader to get a clearer picture of other characters and perspectives. Second, the views serve as a force of change. Being exposed to new thoughts and circumstances help David grow from an intelligent but naive boy into a mature young man.


Determine what the characters listed feel about each of the following topics. You may use quotes, paraphrases, or inferences (logical conclusions) in your responses.

1. Escape from the Camp

a. David

b. the Man

2. Understanding

a. the priest and the villagers (pp.48-49)

b. David

3. Helping out

a. the English couple

b. David

4. Trust

a. the American couple

b. David

5. Aggression

a. Carlo

b. David

6. Gratitude

a. the di Levana del 'Varchi parents

b. David

7. Understanding David

a. the di Levana del 'Varchi parents

b. Signora Bang

Pick two of the previous topics. Decide what you feel is the most sensible view of each topic. This view may be held by one of the characters or it may be your own, different view.

Then for each topic, write a persuasive paragraph defending your viewpoint.


Think BIG

Think big. Think of two or three sentences at a time, instead of one. Let them ignite each other. Let them glow!

David was sick. Every time he thought about the stranger. The stranger was young. He felt sick again. People were so much better off in Italy. They had so much food to eat. They were surrounded by so much beauty. They could still love violence. He found it difficult to understand.

There was a sound. It was the sound of children. The children were playing. He decided to watch them. He usually hurried away when he saw children. He was afraid of them. He never spoke to children. He did not know how to begin. The first day he had made up his mind. The first day he had made his home. The home was among the rocks. The first day he made up his mind to avoid children.

She shut the door. She leaned against it. She felt the wood. The wood was hard against her shoulder blades. Her head was throbbing from too much noise. Her mouth was dry. All she planned was to get between the sheets of her bed. The sheets were flannel.

Your legs contain some of the most powerful muscles in your body. As a result, kicking is one of a females best weapons against a variety of attacks. The weapons are defensive. Your legs are longer than your arms. A kick keeps more distance between you and an attacker than a punch or chop.

She awoke. It seemed as if many hours had passed. The room was still pitch-black. Her body was on fire. The sweat poured off her body. Her head throbbed horribly. She had a pain under her right ribs. The pain was excruciating.

Introduction - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapters 3-4 - Chapters 7-8