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David v. God Hardcover – April 1, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-David is in a van full of self-described goof-offs (and one female nerd, Marie) on a field trip that takes a sudden turn to disaster and kills them all. Well, almost kills them all, as he and Marie realize that they aren't ready to die. The cheeky teen, informed during their bus ride to heaven that he cannot talk to God, boldly challenges Him to a debate. As president of the Crestview High Speech and Debate Club, Marie decides to help her classmate prepare his arguments, but they consistently run into dead ends, including a funny bit for librarians about using the heavenly library's computer catalog. Omniscient God offers to help, but is refused. David initially avoids perusing God's journals (Genesis, Romans, Revelation) but finally reads enough to be inspired by the story of Jacob wrestling God. At the debate, the ill-prepared mortal attempts a filibuster, but eventually concedes that he really wants to live because he is not ready to give up on other people or on himself. The book is suffused with a gentle humor, from God showing himself to be a great surfer to the hot band made up of Jimi, Janis, and John that David's pals go to hear, and teens may come away from it with a different attitude about the Big Kahuna. Don't look for well-developed characters or a fully realized setting, but this novella presents a humane and loving take on God. No leap of faith is required to enjoy this easy-to-read, fast-paced contemporary parable.
Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

David is dead, killed in a van accident along with several classmates and a teacher while on a field trip. But on the way to heaven, David realizes that as far as he and nerdy classmate Marie are concerned, there's been a mistake. So he decides to debate God and prove he's in the wrong place. The book's plot is fresh (although perhaps not to kids who've seen the movie Defending Your Life), but the treatment is scattershot. Pearson moves the action along so fast that David and Marie are only stereotypes--the rich, overprivileged clown, and the poor, "good girl" grind. Marie and David do research for the debate and fall for each other, but again it's all so rushed the emotions don't seem real. The book is at its best when Pearson finally slows down and lets David take on God, who is described quite movingly: "He searched God's face. God was an old friend, someone David had always known, but he was also a stranger. One David had passed on the street, averting his eyes, not wanting to become engaged." There's something to think about here. Pair this book with Cynthia Rylant's The Heavenly Village for kids with heaven on their minds. Ilene Cooper
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1st edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152020586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152020583
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,778,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
David is the kind of student who is always clowning around. One day he takes it to far and is forced into joining the Speech and Debate club. After being in the club for a couple of days they go on a trip and get in a car crash and the whole club dies. When they go to heaven everyone sees a real nice scenery, but David and another girl, Marie don't see a thing. Marie is the president of the club and the biggest nerd at the school. They think they don't belong in heaven and should go back to earth. After a long discussion with God's assistant, they decide that David will face God in a debate. He debates to see if he can go back to earth. David knows nothing about debating, so he knows he can't do it without Marie. They try going to the library and reading some books God gave them but David and Marie just couldn't find any mistakes God has made. When the debate finally comes David doesn't have the slightest idea what to say. He has to think of something fast because his life and Marie's depend on this debate. I really liked this book because it was one person's point of view about what heaven would be like when you die. this book also shows that sometimes people aren't what they are made out to be. Marie was the biggest nerd, but when David finally spent time with her, he saw that she waqs the same as everyone else on the inside. These and many other qualities come together to make a very good book for people of all ages.
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By A Customer on May 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Every so often a book comes along that makes you laugh and makes you cry and after the last page has been turned makes you think. David V. God grabs you in the opening scene and doesn't let you go even long after you have finished it. I highly recommend this one for all ages.
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By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
David vs. God is fast-paced and hilariously funny. The author's ability to mix spirituality and surfing, death and the debate team, and God and a goof-off, smart-alec kid named David make this book a must-read. I recommend it!
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By A Customer on April 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved David v God. It's wonderful to find a humorous YA book. David, the narrator, is funny and smart. After getting killed along with his classmates, he decides God made a big mistake and challenges God to a debate. The fast, lively pace of the narration pulled me along and I could hardly wait to see God and discover how David planned to outwit him. (We all know God does not make mistakes!) David v. God is a wonderfully different book!
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By A Customer on April 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"David v. God" is an excellent YA with a stunningly original plot. The book centers on a debate between a teenager who believes his time on Earth is not yet up, and God, who apparently feels it is. Past the boy's anger and denial, he comes to a different understanding of God and of what life means. Brava, Ms. Pearson, for this unique and entertaining novel!
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