Dorothy edited the summary of I Am David Monday, July 11, 2011.
This book starts with David talking to a guard in a concentration camp in Bulgaria. David receives instructions from this man for his escape, including instructions to travel to <<Salonica>, and then to Denmark. Believing the man. is using him to escape, himself, David resolves to just run until his eventual capture. He searches for a bundle the man has hidden, and finds a bottle of water, a loaf of bread, a pocketknife, and a compass.
As he travels through the countryside, he adapts the mindset of a hunted animal, sleeping by day and traveling at night. He eventually, during the first stage of his escape, hitches a ride to Salonica on a truck. After he arrives in Salonica (Thessaloniki), he sneaks onboard a ship bound for Italy. He hides in a cargo hold, and eats some bread and drinks some 'water' he finds in a bottle. The water turns out to be wine, and David falls asleep in a drunken stupor.
When he wakes up, a sailor is standing above him, angry because the wine was his. Through his knowledge of languages picked up at the camp, David communicates with the sailor. Eventually, the sailor secretly lowers David over the side in a life belt, because of the boy's eyes. With the help of the sailor David gets ashore. The beauty of Italy encourages him to want to live and complete his journey. Then he sets out for Denmark and meets many helpful people along the way.
He saves a girl named Maria from a fire in a shed, where she was trapped. In the end, he spends a month or two in Maria's family's house, where he learns many new words that he had not known the meaning of. He would have spent more time there, but the mother and father were starting to get a wierd feeling about David.
While in Switzerland, a woman, Sophie Bang, asks to paint him, and he accepts. He stays overnight at Sophie's house and sees a picture of his mother who lives in Denmark.
During the winter, David is in the Alps and almost dies. He gets "saved" by a farmer, but is blackmailed into working for the farmer the whole winter. He sleeps in the barn where he meets a sheepdog named King. They escape the farm and continue on their journey.
When David is almost in Denmark, he is careless and stumbles across a barrack of soldiers. He believes he will be caught. But King jumps out and sacrifices himself, causing a disturbance for David to slip away.
When he gets to Denmark, he looks in the phone book to find his mother and the two are reunited.
Material taken word for word from the plot listed in Wikipedia