Originally published under the title “North to Freedom” this novel tells the story of twelve year old David who has spent nearly all of his life in a concentration camp. His Danish parents immigrated to a country in Eastern Europe, and during a period of civil unrest his family was imprisoned. David believes both his parents are dead and remembers nothing about them. For reasons he does not know, the commander of the camp helps David escape, giving him instructions about where to go to find freedom.
As David travels physically from Italy to Denmark, his soul undergoes its own journey of healing. David’s determination to survive in spite of physical hardship and even moments of despair inspire the reader. He has no knowledge of life outside the camp and discovers the meaning of beauty through colors he has never seen, foods he has never tasted and emotions he has never felt. David returns his first encounters with kindness with suspicion, but slowly begins to trust others. When he saves a little girl’s life, he learns what it means to love. David’s mature sense of justice leads him to examine his own motives as his heart searches for the capacity to forgive. Young readers will learn to appreciate their own blessings as they see the world through this young protagonist’s eyes.
Jennifer Minicus is a former teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.