North to Freedom

Book cover: 'North to Freedom'
Anne Holm
Harcourt Brace - Odyssey Classic
Number of pages: 
239 pages
Grade / Age level: 

Also known as I Am David (now a major motion picture as well)
Translated from the Danish by L.W. Kingsland

This unusual, but engaging narrative tracks the journey of a young boy as he escapes from a Communist prison camp in Easter Europe, travels by boat to Italy, and gradually makes his way north to Denmark. The story shows the development of the boy's understanding as he begins to grasp the idea of freedom and what makes life worth living. The writing is very good and very thoughtful. The story explores the differences in culture and character of the various countries he visits and invites fruitful discussion about the themes of freedom and good and evil. Readers will find it interesting to follow David's journeys on a map and do further research about Communism. There is one odd statement about the Blessed Mother that might seem somewhat offensive (it is one of the misconceptions non-Catholics sometimes have about Catholic belief) but is certainly not dangerous - it may even be helpful in providing a tangential discussion on misunderstandings about the Church. In following the geography of the story, it will be helpful to know that the city of Salonika is also known as Thessalonika.

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