A level 5 Oxford Bookworms Library graded reader. Retold for Learners of English by Clare West.
'Please, Mr Murdstone! Don't beat me! I've tried to learn my lessons, really I have, sir!' sobs David.
Although he is only eight years old, Mr Murdstone does beat him, and David is so frightened that he bites his cruel stepfather's hand. For that, he is kept locked in his room for five days and nights, and nobody is allowed to speak to him.
As David grows up, he learns that life is full of trouble and misery and cruelty. But he also finds laughter and kindness, trust and friendship . . . and love.
I loved her, and went on loving her. But I went on working hard too, and worrying about earning money. Some evenings, as I sat opposite my aunt in my little sitting-room at the end of another exhausting day, I was quite frightened, when I thought of the problems I was going to have to solve alone.