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The Book of David

The Book of David

5.0 7
by Anonymous

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His secret is his downfall. A riveting, first-person tale in the tradition of Go Ask Alice and Lucy in the Sky.

The author of this fictional diary began writing for a class assignment, but soon it became much more to him. As the star player of his high school football team, he faces a lot of pressure and expectation. Not to mention the secret that


His secret is his downfall. A riveting, first-person tale in the tradition of Go Ask Alice and Lucy in the Sky.

The author of this fictional diary began writing for a class assignment, but soon it became much more to him. As the star player of his high school football team, he faces a lot of pressure and expectation. Not to mention the secret that he’s harboring inside. The secret that could change everything.

And as David quickly learns, nothing stays secret forever.

His innermost thoughts and feelings are chronicled in the diary he left behind.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Growing up in the Midwest where football is king six days a week and church reigns on the seventh, David has it all as a star quarterback. He has a pretty cheerleader girlfriend and a best friend, Tyler, who also plays football. Life is sweet for David, until he meets the new kid at school, Jon, and Tyler gets seriously injured, putting him out for the season. David's stardom rises with a streak of winning games that attract the attention of college scouts and media. Tyler becomes bitter, and David forms a friendship with Jon. Through his senior English class journal, David struggles with feelings for his new friend that he doesn't know how to interpret. Jon evokes something in him like no one else has before, including his girlfriend. The narrative gives readers realistic insight into the often heartbreaking and confusing world of sexual identity and acceptance. David knows that by accepting that he is in love with Jon, he will seriously damage his relationship with friends, family, and the greater community. A list of resources for LGBTQ youth is included. This compelling story is good for young adults who are quietly struggling with their own sexual identity and need to know they are not alone.—Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UT
VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Ellen Frank
This coming-of-age novel comprises diary entries about sexual identity, alcoholism, bullying, peer pressure, and other concerns in David’s life as a graduating senior in Arkansas. David questions himself and faces hard choices when he meets Jon, a new classmate with whom he is slowly falling in love. David reveals his deepest issues in this fictional diary. The reader follows along as he grapples with life-changing decisions. The novel takes readers through the personal struggles of today’s teens in light of social media, threats to personal privacy, heightened awareness of personal rights, and the struggle to assert these rights. The novel is colored with modern-day slang and mild profanity, expressions like “mind meld,” “fag,” and “douche bag.” There are mildly descriptive sex scenes between both heterosexual and homosexual couples. The novel confronts homophobia, bullying, teen drinking, and teen sex in a straightforward way, without seeming pedantic. The book may appeal to lovers of Glee and high school athletes who are hiding a secret part of themselves. One of the best lines in the book is from Monica, the former girlfriend of David, who accepts David as he is and advises, “Don’t keep that part of yourself for too long . . . You won’t be happy until you give it away.” The title includes a list of resources for teens struggling with suicide, depression, and sexual-identity issues. Reviewer: Ellen Frank; Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
Texas high school senior and quarterback David has a secret no one can discover. Forced by his English teacher to keep a journal in which he writes for 10 minutes, three times a week, David chronicles his innermost secret: his attraction to men. Over the course of a semester, he falls for Jon, the new kid from Chicago, who's a great singer and star of the swim team. He also writes of his relationship with Monica, his cheerleader girlfriend, who has a cool gay uncle who was also a football star. But most painful are his crumbling relationships with his beer-loving, homophobic father and his clingy (though straight) best friend, Tyler, who was up for QB until he was injured. Can David navigate this minefield and hang on to his scholarship offer from USC? Straining the conceit of the journal from the outset, this ill-conceived title "in the tradition of Go Ask Alice" equates being gay with being an alcoholic, a drug addict and an anorexic in its packaging alone. When gay teens need an example of pride, an "Anonymous" byline is a giant leap backward; and with a penultimate paragraph concluding "I feel like I don't have anything to hide," that "Anonymous" is ironic to a fault. Ten years (or more) ago this might have been an important book; but even with its positive close, today it is an embarrassment. (Fiction. 14-17)

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Sold by:
Sales rank:
HL750L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Book of David

  • First day of school, first period. Mrs. Harrison is making us all keep a journal for English Literature. We don’t have to turn it in. We just have to write in it for the first ten minutes of class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—or the last ten minutes, whichever she decides that day. It’s weird to write with a pen in class. Usually I take notes on my laptop. My hand is already cramping up. The good news is that my handwriting is so atrocious, I’ll be the only person who can read it, so I don’t have to worry about anyone else deciphering this.

    When Mrs. Harrison announced the journals, Tyler groaned like Coach was forcing him to run line drills. Mrs. Harrison told Tyler there’s something physiological that happens when you write with a pen or pencil on actual paper. He said, “Yeah, my brain shuts down because it’s so bored.” She just rolled her eyes and told him to “hush.” Tyler said he didn’t have anything to write about, and she told him the point is to not stop, to keep your hand moving across the page even if you think you don’t have anything to say. Then she held up a legal pad and a pen at the front of the class and pretended to write across it while she said the words out loud as an example:

    “I have nothing to write about in my English class, but my crazy-ass teacher is making me keep a journal anyway. I hate her so much, I have smoke coming out of my ears, which I wish was coming out of the bong I can’t tell anyone I own because my name is Tyler Riggs and I’m a starter on the high school football team and if I get caught I will lose my scholarship to one of the forty-seven colleges that send scouts to Hillside High to watch me play. Plus, I will not get to start in the game on Friday night, and my pretty cheerleader girlfriend will think I am a loser.”

    The whole class cracked up—even Tyler. Mrs. Harrison is our favorite teacher. She’s tough, but she says stuff like “crazy-ass” and makes jokes about pot, which she can get away with because she’s such a good teacher and because her husband is the music pastor at the big Baptist church most of us attend. She’s up front every Sunday, singing in the choir.

    Actually, nobody knows who the starting lineup is for sure yet. List will be up this afternoon before we hit the locker room. Coach has been playing both me and Tyler at QB this summer. I’m glad two-a-day practices are over, but I’m nervous as hell about him posting the lineup. Tyler’s my best friend and has been since seventh grade. I know how much this means to him. We’ve been pushing each other since we were in junior high—lifting, running, making sure our grades are decent—and it all comes down to this: Only one of us can be starting QB our senior year.

    Tyler’s got seven pounds on me, but I’ve got two inches on him. He can rush like a locomotive (takes three linemen to drag him down), but I can leap and scramble. Under pressure, he likes to tuck the ball and plow down the field like a tank. I fall back and look for the pass. It’s all up to Coach now.

    Mrs. Harrison is right about the scouts, too. They’ve been hanging around practice all summer. Tyler told me last week that he’s ready to give a verbal commitment to Arkansas. I’ve been holding out for Oklahoma.

    I just heard this new kid sitting next to me flip to his third page. He’s writing like his arm is robotic. His hair is wet and he’s wearing a T-shirt that says THE SMITHS. I wonder if that’s his last name.

    Dang. Mrs. Harrison just told us to wrap it up. Can’t believe it’s been ten minutes already.

  • Meet the Author

    Anonymous could be anyone you know.
    A Simon & Schuster author.

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    The Book of David 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    although this is obviously a work of fiction i thought it was amazing!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    hamm89 More than 1 year ago
    This book was a GREAT read!! I absolutely loved it. It's about a boy named David, trying to come to terms with who he is and who others want him to be. It's definitely moving and the overall internal struggle David is having with himself is something young people struggling with the same issue can relate to. In true "Anonymous" style, this book doesn't have the happiest ending but it wasn't tragic either, which I was happy about because I liked the main character. This book is a MUST!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    There is honestly no way to describe the sheer wonder and awesomeness of this book. It does such a great job of portraying the inner battle within a large part of the world. I know the battle that the main character went through and seeing it put onto paper with such finesse and beauty moved me to tears at multiple times throughout the book. The topics discussed in this novel are topics that need to be discussed more than they are. I strongly strongly strongly reccommend reading this book. It may help you in certain aspects and it may help others realize certain things about certain people. This book has so much worth. If people could only see things from the main characters perspective and feel what he felt. Things might not be the way they are in the world. In a positive way. I give this book six stars because it goes beyond perfection. It is my new favorite book of all time. Read this book amd you will not regret it. -Jacob :3
    Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
    I hate to begin and say that David’s life was perfect because in doing so, none of what I read would have transpired. In reality, David had an ideal life and had it not been for his English Literature class, David’s life might have turned out differently but fate was in the cards and this class opened his eyes. David, a football starter with a cheerleader girlfriend, sitting with great grades and lots of friends needs to journal three days a week for his literature class which seems easy when the topics are so simple but when a new student arrives in class, David finds himself journaling more. David did a wonderful job keeping up on his journal, talking about hanging out with his girlfriend Monica and his best friend Tyler, giving details about the parties, the football games and his family. It was Jon who blew up the pages of his journal. This new student in his literature class had an electrifying effect on him instantly, as he borrows a pen from him. He finds himself staring at him repeatedly; a dude ….he’s checking out a dude, what is happening to him. Jon then becomes David’s tutor in English and David’s best friend starts in on the crude comments. David doesn’t know where his feelings belong, he doesn’t want anyone to know he has a strong attraction for a guy, his dad would kill him and he also needs a football scholarship to go to college so he needs to be a careful but what he feels, feels so right. He’s never had these feelings before with anyone, what if it’s true and he likes guys? Reading his journal, I’m eager to know what’s happening on the days that David’s not journaling as I know I have missed something important, some thought, some events that’s occurred. I’m extremely nervous as he’s writing so honestly and writing down so much information, I’m afraid of the safety of the journal. I wanted to throw it in the fire each time he got done writing as I am afraid someone would see it and life as he knows it would cease to exist. Then I wondered, perhaps that might be the ticket. Maybe this is the way people find out how he feels, is by reading his journal but it’s so personal and so private, oh…I’m so torn. Football, girlfriends, and school continue as David gets to know Jon and the two of them discover things about themselves. I was surprised at the friendships in this book and the family dynamics by the time I finally close the book. By the second half of the book, I couldn’t put the book down and things just escalated. It’s another terrific book by Anonymous.
    FashionGoose More than 1 year ago
    i happened to find this book when I went into a B&N bookstore.  I was just browsing around and notice the cover because I've read "Go Ask Alice" before.  I picked it up and just the book excerpt and I was tempted to get it.  i did not get it that day but purchased it a few days ago.  I got it in the mail yesterday morning and I just finished it THIS MORNING!  I honestly couldn't put it down.  I could've finished it if I decided not to sleep. lol.  But this book was seriously amazing.  The narrative was great and the story was fascinating.  I had total sympathy for the main character during the ending of the book.  I really appreciated the way the book captured the character's feelings towards the other character.  It was a bittersweet story, but it gives hope at the end.  It's definitely worth reading! 
    dontttakemyheadphones More than 1 year ago
    I think it has a great storyline. And overall its a good book.