Beacon Book of the Summer

Summer 2004

Just David
by Eleanor H. Porter

Reviewed by Katrina Lybbert

(Recommended as a family read aloud.)


Just David by Eleanor H. Porter is a book you don't want to miss.  David is a young boy of 10 years.  He has spent most of his life up to this point living with his father on a mountain.  His life has been sheltered but he has learned much of good character from his father.  David's father is sick and decides he must take the boy to live with relatives.  On the way he dies and David is orphaned.  No one can figure out who he is or where he belongs.  The town, that David begins his new life in, is changed for the better by his being there.  If you have read Pollyanna, by the same author, you will see similarities.  The ending is full of surprise as we find out who David really is.

My thoughts:

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I am so glad she did!  It was exciting for us to find a story about a boy who plays the violin, especially since we have two sons who play.  I highly recommend that this book be read aloud in your family.  It could be read individually by ages 9 and up, but I really feel this book is best experienced together with your children.  There is something special in experiencing the world through David's eyes, and then seeing the glow in your children's eyes as they listen anxiously for you to read more.  David has such a great love for music and nature and all that is good.  He not only changes the lives of those around him but the lives of the readers as well.  We were inspired to become more like him.

There are so many quotes in the book that I love.  Here is one of my favourites:

"Oh, I wasn't idle, sir.  Father said I must never be that.  He said every instrument was needed in the great Orchestra of Life; and that I was one, you know, even if I was only a little boy.  And he said if I kept still and didn't do my part, the harmony wouldn't be complete, and--"

It was so refreshing to read about David's excitement of nature and new things, and how they inspired him to create new songs on his violin.  Here is an example:

"... David came upon Mrs. Holly's pansy-bed....'Why, you're just like little people,' he cried softly.  'You've got faces; and some of you are happy, and some of you are sad.  And you--you big spotted yellow one--your're laughing at me.  Oh, I'm going to play you--all of you.  You'll make such a pretty song, you're so different from each other!'  And David leaped lightly to his feet and ran around to the side porch for his violin."

Just David was republished by Whole Heart Ministries.
Visit to see all the books in the WholeHearted Family Classics Collection.


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