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Just David

Just David by Eleanor H. Porter
By: (1868-1920)

A delightful story supporting the notion of finding beauty in all aspects of life, Just David follows a young boy, who slowly transforms the lives of those around him, as he teaches them to embrace the smaller things in life. The classic presents an encouraging tale to look beyond the horizon and not allow the world to dictate one’s action.

The story begins with the introduction of a charismatic ten-year old boy David, who together with his father lives in the serene and secluded mountains. Raised to find peace and joy in his natural surroundings, David is ignorant to life outside his idyllic home. Furthermore, he has his beloved violin to keep him company, which he plays in accordance to the tune of nature, while keeping to the modest teachings of his father, which includes appreciation for music. However, when David’s father is beset by illness and later dies as a result, the courageous young boy is thrust into a world quite different from his own, as he is taken into the care of Simeon Holly and his wife. The couple is surprised to learn that the young boy does not know his last name, his father’s name or whether he has any relatives. He introduces himself as “just David”. Initially, the couple is hesitant about taking the boy in, but they finally agree because he reminds them of their estranged son. Witnessing the reality of life far from the cultivated teachings of his father, including cynicism, cruelty, and suffering, David still remains true to his sensible ways. His only solace in life is his violin, which he plays as a means of expression. A truly admirable young boy, David is able to see the best in everyone and everything and leaves a trail of optimism wherever he goes. In addition, he inspires others to follow his footsteps and make the most out of life, as it is too short to squander on superfluous details which in turn bring misery.

Nevertheless, an emotionally resonant piece that has withstood the hands of time, Just David will surely inspire both young and old readers to rethink their attitude towards life, while also discovering the true source of happiness. Needless to say, Porter successfully creates an epitome of goodness and innocence, as her classic novel leaves much to ponder over long after its conclusion.


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