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North to Freedom [Paperback]

Anne Holm
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 15 1990
Having escaped from the 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. “[North to Freedom] is, to my mind, the single finest novel ever written for children of about ages 9 to 13.”--School Library Journal

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About the Author

ANNE HOLM (1922-1998) was born in Denmark, and she began her writing career as a journalist. I Am David was originally published--under the title David--in Denmark, where it became a million-copy bestseller and received numerous awards.

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David lay quite still in the darkness, listening to the men's low muttering. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars David's Journey North To Freedom March 25 2002
By A Customer
North To Freedom is a wonderful book. It tells about a twelve year old boy, David, and his escape from a concentration camp where he has been since before he can remember. He is on a dangerous journey, and he can trust nobody. He meets many people, learns new words, discovers how to smile, and finds his mother. On the way he makes good friends with Maria, and young girl whom he saved from a fire, he calls her "the little girl who looks so like a flower". David also makes friends with the dog, King. David is not used to dogs because he only knew of the mean one's in the concentration camp, but King is different, kind and gentle, and wants to protect David. King is greatly involved in the end of the story, read the book to find out more. This book is also good for class liturature. My class has used it in sixth grade, but I would suggest it in fourth grade because now it was really easy to read. This is a very touching story about a boy struggling for life, proving his strength, making friends, and proving his is smart and clever in ways unimaginable. I suggest it for anyone, even if it is a quick read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lousy title, wonderful book Sept. 19 1999
By Rgh1066
Why oh why do U.S. publishers insist on retitling classic European books? As "I Am David" this book successfully explores far more profound questions than freedom. David's journey is a process of self discovery and a self-imposed restructuring of a broken human spirit. Though told in the third person, the narrative invites us into David's young mind and allows us to see the wonder of objects and concepts that we all take for granted but which are new to the young escapee. Music, play, the taste of an orange, the feeling of being clean, language, colour! David's voyage of discovery is a bitter sweet mixture and we learn the awful truth about his past during his trek across Europe at the same pace as he does himself.
I have read this book with classes of children from fourth to seventh grade, as well as with adults. It is a book for all seasons, and I can still turn the pages with pleasure and wonder.
The wonder of realising what it is to say "I Am David" is what the book is all about! "North to Freedom" is a lousy title - meaningless in fact, David's first steps to freedom take him south! But this should not dissuade anyone from reading Anne Holm's book. The greatest children's story to come out of Denmark since Hans Christian Andersen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars North to Freedom....30 years Later Jan. 4 1999
I must have been about 10 years old when I first read North to Freedom, and perhaps 12 years old the 20th time I read it. I am 41 now, and the profound impression this book has left on me has caused me to seek it once again, this time as a gift to my son. What is it about this book that has gripped my imagination for 30 years? There were many facets of this book which were intriguing to me. One of these was the ambiguity of who "they", the bad guys, were. Chalk it up to my young age, but I at times thought the book was an indictment of Nazi Germany, and later thought perhaps it was about life behind the Iron Curtain. The ambiguity told the lesson that evil was evil, regardless the political justification. The book also was attractive as a great adventure. Most preadolescent boys, perhaps, fantasize of having to make it on their own, facing enormous odds, relying on cunning and stealth and courage to protect oneself from the evil "grownups". There was also a romantic interlude in this book, and the prepubescent boy who isn't at least thinking about girls is rare indeed. The interlude climaxed in a brief kiss, which to preadolescent like myself was, at that time, sheer exhiliration. While we boys could not, of course, read a romance novel, an adventure novel such as this was quite acceptable. Then, there was the intensely happy ending, most of which was left to the reader's imagination because it was so abrupt. Young boys still need a happy ending, and this one was spectacularly anticlimactic. I hope my son shares the joy and ponders the triumph over evil so eloquently presented in this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars North to Freedom Sept. 19 2002
David, a 12 year old, raised in a prison camp, is allowed to escape with instructions to go north to freedom. From the drab, depressing surroundings of the prison camp to the wide world of freedoms, colors, smells, scenery, being clean, and being honest, David cautiously learns about the world around him. This book is a learning adventure at becoming true to one's self. At an early age, this book had a profound effect on my life, David made me stop and appreciate the little things that are such common conveniences in life. At one point in the book, a boy beats up David, but David doesn't fight back. Angrily, the boy asked why he didn't fight back and David said, "Because 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!" It's a lesson all of us can incorporate in our lives. This is always the first book I recommend to anyone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in Freedom Oct. 24 2000
This book nails the formula for exciting fiction: change throughconflict. And there's plenty of conflict. Young David is trying tomake his way north to freedom after escaping from a concentrationcamp. He must do this alone and at the risk of his life. Recapture,starvation, loneliness, and a 1000-mile expanse of war-torn Europe arethe obstacles in his way.
We trek with David, feeling his pain,fear, sorrow, and disillusionment. But there, too, on the journey welearn about life, love, courage, and the value of freedom astwelve-year-old David comes of age well before his time, and Europecomes of age a little too late.
This book is an excellent choice forspoiled, middle class American children who've been spoon-fed freedomtheir whole life and think that the only freedom worth fighting for isan extra hour of video games before bed. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites
I have a copy of this book from the UK that is called I Am David. It starts with a man telling David, "You must get away tonight. Read more
Published on Dec 15 2003 by Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust
Do you know what it is like to be hunted? Or to feel the palpable hate from men who destroy everything except what is inside of you? Read more
Published on July 23 2003 by David Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Exciting Book
North to Freedom is about a boy named David who escapes from a prison camp somewhere in southern Europe during WWII and travels all the way to Denmark. Read more
Published on April 8 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely did NOT like this book!!!!
...I did not like it all!...the book is so predictable! By the 3rd to last chapter, I already knew what was going to happen. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2002 by An 11 year old girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading every year, each year.
Though I have read this book countless times through the years, with each reading I discover more of the story and more of myself. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2001 by "avidrereader"
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book!!!!
This was a very good book. it was about a boy escaping from a concentration camp in Greece and WALKING to Denmark! It has very discriptive writing. Read more
Published on Sept. 28 2001 by A Florida Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
"North to Freedom" is one of the best books I've ever read! It's totally awesome! The main character, David, escapes from a prison camp and makes his way to Denmark. Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all to read...
After I read this wonderful book, I finally realized the price of freedom, and how I took this gift that my forefathers gave to me all for granted. Read more
Published on May 2 2000 by paul yang
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all to read...
After I read this wonderful book, I finally realized the price of freedom, and how I took this gift that my forefathers gave to me all for granted. Read more
Published on May 2 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted Summer
CiCi has gone to camp for 11 years faithfully and missed one summer for hawaii. So when she returns to find a innocent murder victoms freedom. Read more
Published on April 12 2000
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