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A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive

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Overview

This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it."

Dave's bed ...

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A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive

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Overview

This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it."

Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
This autobiographical account charts the abuse of a young boy as his alcoholic mother first isolates him from the rest of the family; then torments him; and finally nearly kills him through starvation, poisoning, and one dramatic stabbing. Pelzer's portrayal of domestic tyranny and eventual escape is unforgettable, but falls short of providing understanding of extreme abuse or how he made his journey from 'Victim to Victor.' It takes some work to get past the poor writing and the self-aggrandizing back matter, but the book tries fervently to provide a much-needed perspective. One of the greater obstacles to healing for males is admitting that they have been victims, especially if their perpetrator is a woman.

This author has overcome that obstacle and succeeded in life by such masculine norms as joining the Air Force and receiving awards for his volunteerism. However, while personal accounts of child maltreatment provide crucial information about the realities of childhood, youngsters need insight and hope in order to digest the raw material of abuse. -- Carolyn Polese, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558743663
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 11,123
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Dave Pelzer
Dave Pelzer travels throughout the nation promoting inspiration and resilience. His unique accomplishments have garnered personal commendations from Presidents Reagan and Bush. In 1993 Pelzer was chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA), and in 1994 was the only American to receive The Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) award. He was also a torchbearer for the Centennial Olympic Games

Biography

Dave Pelzer has experienced a truly extraordinary life. As a child, he endured the horrors of child abuse, which included physical torture, mental cruelty, and near starvation. Upon Dave's rescue, he was identified as one of the most severely abused children in California's history. At age 12, Dave's teachers risked their careers to notify the authorities and saved his life. Upon Dave's removal, he was made a ward of the court and placed in foster care until he enlisted in the U. S. Air Force at age 18. As a young adult Dave was determined to better himself—no matter what the odds.

As a member of the armed forces, Dave was handpicked to midair-refuel the highly secretive SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Stealth Fighter, which played a major role in Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm.

Some of Dave's distinctive accomplishments have been recognized through a number of awards, as well as personal commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. In 1990, he was the recipient of the J. C. Penney Golden Rule Award, making him the California Volunteer of the Year. In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. He joins a distinguished group of alumni that include: John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Anne Bancroft, Orson Welles, Walt Disney, and Nelson Rockefeller. In 1994, Dave was the only American to be honored as one of The Outstanding Young Persons of the World. He also carried the coveted Centennial flame for the 1996 Olympics.

Dave's incredible life story was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Montel Williams Show, Sally Jessy, Leeza Gibbons, and Barbara Walters's The View.

Dave is one of the few personalities who pay homage to educators, social services, foster care, law enforcement, and volunteers—those who make a difference in the lives of children. On the road over 250 days of the year, Dave offers programs for corporate groups, human services, and youth-at-risk. Dave's experience includes: Juvenile Hall Counselor, Youth Service Worker, Troy State University (human services studies), National Advisor, Missing Youth Foundation, Board of Directors, Foster Care ILP, and Certified Correctional Custody Program Facilitator.

Dave's unique and intriguing outlook on life, coupled with his Robin Williams-like wit and sense of humor, entertain and encourage men and women to overcome any obstacle while living life to its fullest. Dave is a living testament of resilience, faith in humanity, and personal responsibility. This is what makes him one of the most exceptional and unequaled entities of today. As an author, educator, and consultant, Dave has dedicated his life helping others…to help themselves.

Author biography courtesy of Dave Pelzer's official web site.

Good To Know

Pelzer is one of the only authors to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times bestseller list, and the first author to have three books simultaneously on this list in trade paperback.

He is the only author to date to have four No. 1 international bestsellers to his credit.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David J. Pelzer
    2. Hometown:
      Rancho Mirage, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      1961
    2. Place of Birth:
      Daly City, California
    1. Education:
      High School equivalency certificate
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 6
While Father Is Away

After the knife incident, Father spent less and less time at home and more at work. He made excuses to the family, but I didn't believe him. I often shivered with fear as I sat in the garage, hoping for some reason he might not leave. In spite of all that had happened, I still felt Father was my protector. When he was home, Mother only did about half the things to me that she did when he was gone.

When Father was home, it became his habit to help me with the evening dishes. Father washed and I dried. While we worked, we talked softly so neither Mother nor the other boys could hear us. Sometimes, several minutes would pass without us talking. We wanted to make sure the coast was clear.

Father always broke the ice. "How ya doing, Tiger?" he would say.
Hearing the old name that Father used when I was a little boy always brought a smile to my face. "I'm OK," I would answer. "Did you have anything to eat today?" he often asked. I usually shook my head in a negative gesture.
"Don't worry," he'd say. "Some day you and I will both get out of this madhouse."

I knew father hated living at home and I felt that it was all my fault. I told him that I would be good and that I wouldn't steal food anymore. I told Father I would try harder and do a better job on my chores. When I said these things, he always smiled and assured me that it wasn't my fault.

Sometimes as I dried the dishes, I felt a new ray of hope. I knew Father probably wouldn't do anything against Mother, but when I stood beside him I felt safe.

Like all good things that happened to me, Mother put an end to Father helping me with the dishes. She insisted that The Boy needed no help. She said that Father paid too much attention to me and not enough to others in the family. Without a fight, Father gave up. Mother now had complete control over everybody in the household.

After awhile, Father didn't even stay home on his days off. He would come in for only a few minutes. After seeing my brothers, he would find me wherever I was doing my chores and say a few sentences, then leave. It took Father no more than 10 minutes to get in and out of the house, and be on his way back to his solitude, which he usually found in a bar. When Father talked to me, he'd tell me that he was making plans for the two of us to leave. This always made me smile, but deep inside I knew it was a fantasy.

One day, he knelt down to tell me how sorry he was. I looked into his face. The change in Father frightened me. He had dark black circles around his eyes, and his face and neck were beet-red. Father's once rigid shoulders were now slumped over. Gray had begun to take over his jet-black hair. Before he left that day, I threw my arms around his waist. I didn't know when I would see him again.

After finishing my chores that day, I rushed downstairs. I had been ordered to wash my ragged clothes and another heap of smelly rags. But that day, Father's leaving had left me so sad that I buried myself in the pile of rags and cried. I cried for him to come back and take me away. After a few minutes of self-comfort, I settled down and began scrubbing my "Swiss cheese" clothes. I scrubbed until my knuckles bled. I no longer cared about my existence. Mother's house had become unbearable. I wished I could somehow manage to escape the place I now called the "Madhouse."

During one period of time when Father was away, Mother starved me for about ten consecutive days. No matter how hard I tried to meet her time limits, I couldn't make it. And the consequence was no food. Mother was completely thorough in making sure I was unable to steal any food. She cleared the dinner table herself, putting the food down the garbage disposal. She rummaged through the garbage can every day before I emptied it downstairs. She locked the freezer in the garage with her key and kept it. I was used to going without food for periods up to three days, but this extended time was unbearable. Water was my only means of survival. When I filled the metal ice cube tray from the refrigerator, I would tip the corner of the tray to my mouth. Downstairs I would creep to the wash basin and crack the faucet tap open. Praying that the pipe would not vibrate and alert Mother, I would carefully suck on the cold metal until my stomach was so full I thought it would burst.

By the sixth day I was so weak when I woke up on my army cot, I could hardly get up. I worked on my chores at a snail's pace. I felt so numb. My thought responses became unclear. It seemed to take minutes for me to understand each sentence Mother yelled to me. As I slowly strained my head up to look at Mother, I could tell that to her it was a game -- a game which she thoroughly enjoyed.

"Oh, poor little baby," Mother sarcastically cooed. Then she asked me how I felt, and laughed when I begged for food. At the end of the sixth day, and those that followed, I hoped with all my heart that Mother would feed me something, anything. I was at a point that I didn't care what it was.

One evening, towards the end of her "game," after I had finished my chores, Mother slammed a plate of food in front of me. The cold leftovers were a feast to my eyes. But I was wary; it seemed too good to be true. "Two minutes!" Mother barked. "You have two minutes to eat. That's all." Like lightening I picked up the fork, but the moment before the food touched my mouth, Mother snatched the plate away from me and emptied the food down the garbage disposal. "Too late!" she sneered.
I stood before her dumbstruck. I didn't know what to do or say. All I could think of was "Why?" I couldn't understand why she treated me the way she did. I was so close that I could smell every morsel. I knew she wanted me to cave in, but I stood fast and held back the tears.

Mother had another favorite game for me while Father was away. She sent me to clean the bathroom with her usual time limits. But this time, she put a bucket, filled with a mixture of ammonia and Clorox, in the room with me and closed the door. The first time she did this, Mother informed me she had read about it in a newspaper and wanted to try it. Even though I acted as if I were frightened, I really wasn"t. I was ignorant about what was going to happen. Only when Mother closed the door and ordered me not to open it, did I begin to worry. With the room sealed, the air began to quickly change. In the corner of the bathroom I dropped to my hands and knees and stared at the bucket. A fine gray mist swirled towards the ceiling. As I breathed in the fumes, I collapsed and began spitting up. My throat felt like it was on fire. Within minutes it was raw. The gas from the reaction of the ammonia and Clorox mixture made my eyes water. I was frantic about not being able to meet Mother"s time limits for cleaning the bathroom.

After a few more minutes, I thought I would cough up my insides. I knew that Mother wasn't going to give in and open the door. To survive her new game, I had to use my head. Laying on the tiled floor I stretched my body, and using my foot, I slide the bucket to the door. I did this for two reasons: I wanted the bucket as far away from me as possible, and in case Mother opened the door, I wanted her to get a snoot full of her own medicine. I curled up in the opposite corner of the bathroom, with my cleaning rag over my mouth, nose and eyes. Before covering my face, I wet the rag in the toilet. I didn't dare turn on the water in the sink for fear of Mother hearing it. Breathing through the cloth, I watched the mist inch its way closer and closer to the floor. I felt as if I were locked in a gas chamber. Then I thought about the small heating vent on the floor by my feet. I knew it turned on and off every few minutes. I put my face next to the vent and sucked in all the air my lungs would hold. In about half an hour, Mother opened the door and told me to empty the bucket into the drain in the garage before I smelled up her house. Downstairs I coughed up blood for over an hour. Of all Mother's punishments, I hated the gas chamber game the most.

I wondered what Mother had planned for me next. I prayed it was not another gas chamber session. She yelled from the garage for me to follow her upstairs. She led me to the bathroom. My heart sank. I felt doomed. I began taking huge breaths of fresh air, knowing that soon I would need it.

To my surprise there wasn't any bucket or bottles in the bathroom. "Am I off the hook?" I asked myself. This looked too easy. I timidly watched Mother as she turned the cold water tap in the bathtub fully open. I thought it was odd that she forgot to turn on the hot water as well. As the tub began to fill with cold water, Mother tore off my clothes and ordered me to get into the tub. I got into the tub and laid down. A cold fear raced throughout my body. "Lower!" Mother yelled. "Put your face in the water like this!" She then bent over, grabbed my neck with both hands and shoved my head under the water. Instinctively, I thrashed and kicked, trying desperately to force my head above the water so I could breathe. Her grip was too strong. Under the water I opened my eyes. I could see bubbles escape from my mouth and float to the surface as I tried to shout. I tried to thrust my head from side to side as I saw the bubbles becoming smaller and smaller. I began to feel weak. In a frantic effort I reached up and grabbed her shoulders. My fingers must have dug into her because Mother let go. She looked down on me, trying to get her breath. "Now keep your head below the water, or next time it will be longer!"

I submerged my head, keeping my nostrils barely above the surface of the water. I felt like an alligator in a swamp. When Mother left the bathroom, her plan became more clear to me. As I laid stretched out in the tub, the water became unbearably cold. It was as though I was in a refrigerator. I was too frightened of Mother to move, so I kept my head under the surface as ordered.
Hours passed and my skin began to wrinkle. I didn't dare touch any part of my body to try to warm it. I did raise my head out of the water, far enough to hear better. Whenever I heard somebody walk down the hall outside the bathroom, I quietly slid my head back into the coldness.

With the start of school in the fall, came the hope of a temporary escape from my dreary life. Our fourth-grade homeroom class had a substitute teacher for the first two weeks. They told us that our regular teacher was ill. The substitute teacher was younger than most of the other staff, and she seemed more lenient. At the end of the first week, she passed out ice cream to those students whose behavior had been good. I didn't get any the first week, but I tried harder and received my reward at the end of the second week. The new teacher played "pop hits" on 45-rpm records, and sang to the class. We really liked her. When Friday afternoon came, I didn't want to leave. After all the other students had gone, she bent close to me and told me I would have to go home. She knew I was a problem child. I told her that I wanted to stay with her. She held me for a moment then got up and played the song I liked best. After that I left. Since I was late, I ran to the house as fast as I could and raced through my chores. When I was finished, Mother sent me to the backyard to sit on the cold cement deck.

That Friday, I looked up at the thick blanket of fog covering the sun, and cried inside. The substitute teacher had been so nice to me. She treated me like a real person, not like some piece of filth lying in the gutter. As I sat outside feeling sorry for myself, I wondered where she was and what she was doing. I didn't understand it at the time, but I had a crush on her. I knew that I wasn't going to be fed that night, or the next. Since Father wasn't home, I would have a bad weekend. Sitting in the cool air in the backyard, on the steps, I could hear the sounds of Mother feeding my brothers. I didn't care. Closing my eyes, I could see the smiling face of my new teacher. That night as I sat outside shivering, her beauty and kindness kept me warm...


Reprinted with permission of Health Communications, Inc., from A Child Called "It", Copyright 1995 Dave Pelzer.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3162 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2555)

4 Star

(401)

3 Star

(117)

2 Star

(33)

1 Star

(56)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 3179 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2009

    The bravest of the brave

    A Child Called "It", written by David Pelzer, is a heartbreaking memoir about a young boy looking for love. His violently abusive mother beats him constantly, with the stench of alcohol in her breath, while his so called "hero" of a dad and four brothers refuse to help. After David runs to school every day, because his mother won't give him a ride, the school nurse examines him one day and notices all of his cuts and bruises. Even though the nurse thinks that his mother is abusive, David, out of fear, will not tell the family's secret. One day, David's mother pulls his arm out of his socket. When she takes David to the hospital, she lies and says he fell out of bed but that she was too late to try to catch him. It seems that the more she hurts David, the better liar she gets. But that's not even the half of it. David's nightmare is the worst case of child abuse I have ever heard of.
    Even though the book was sad, it had to be one of the most inspiring memoirs I have ever read. David Pelzer must be the BRAVEST person I will ever hear about! Out of five stars, I would definitely give this book five, even though I want to give it more! I think this book should be for kids 12 + because it is violent and really sad. It could scare little kids and they might not really understand it. For people that are over 12, you will love it! I've only read it once, but I could read it over and over again.

    65 out of 69 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2011

    A child called it

    Its a very sad story it makes u think about life

    53 out of 71 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    One of the best books i ever read

    The descriptions were so real you felt as if you lived thru the pain yourself. Its a definite must read along with the rest of the series. But this book was the best of them all.

    51 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    Great

    This is a wonderful book and a must read. I am kind of dissapointed that he lost his trust in God more than once but in the end im almost positive that dave found God again. This book has details thay you can't even imagine. How she beats him and how she tourtures him is so sad. This is a great book but get ready to experence what he went through. And yes this book is 10 dollars but think of it as if you wanted to buy it in a store it would be about $15 so you would save about $5. Again it is a must read!!!!

    43 out of 52 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Heart breaking

    This book has really touched me. I am a victim of child abuse but i never could dream of the things this man went through. I just wonder how many children are living in homes like this and cant get lucky enough to get out.

    31 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    Truly life changing!

    Do you like scary and on the edge of your seat type of books? Then this is the book for you! This memoir is about a boy named Dave Pelzer, who gets severely abused by his alcoholic mother. He has to find a way to survive from his evil mother's obsession to try and kill him. In the book David says, " Suddenly I began to realize the longer I could keep myself off the top of the stove, the better my chances were for staying alive." This is just one scene of the book where his mother is really close to killing him. His mother has four other children, all boys, but only David is the one she likes to abuse. When David was younger his mother was nice and his family was (to him) the best family one could ever have. Then his mother started getting stressed out and would take it out on him. It became an addiction to her to beat him up and to torture him. Just think what it feels like to be alone in a world were everybody shuns you and your mother beats you and tortures you and you don't even know why.
    I thought this book was many things: suspenseful, very descriptive, scary, sad, and emotional. The author, Dave Pelzer, has had a terrible life and I think this book is a way for him to let go of his past and start over in a new way. Dave Pelzer is a very good author, and if you like this book you might also want to read his sequels, The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave; these books help ease the pain that Dave has shown you in A Child Called "It". A Child Called "it" is a #1 National and International Bestseller, so, if you want to read about a boy who faced death right in the face and survived the worst abuse the world has ever seen, you will want to read this book. If you don't like the sound of that, then you might not want to read it. You probably do not want to read this book if you are under the age of ten maybe older. I wasn't sure about the book, but now that I have read it, I am so glad I did. The book is life changing!

    26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Touching

    Its a great story but sad to know these things actually happen

    25 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2011

    Recommended if you can handle it.

    This book was hard to read. I can't believe this poor child went through so much abuse unnoticed. It broke my heart to imagine his pain, loneliness, and helplessness. This poor child, I want to reach out and save all of them. God bless you David for being strong enough to survive.

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    Great Book for pple with srong stomachs

    Amazing.

    17 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    A Child Called It

    This is a great novel, full of suspense and horror at what one human being is capable of doing.

    14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    It

    This book is very sad but interesting and im only 12 but this book has brought out the best in me

    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    It still proves the point

    For me this book was very intriguing and I found it an easy read. The one thing I did not like was that the book begins with how he was able to escape his mother and from there goes into the beginning of it all. Although this is a good way to structure a book,I would prefer to know the happy part at the end.
    In 'I Know Why A Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou she begins the book at the very beginning of the stream of important events in her life. But, in 'A Child Called It' by David Pelzer he goes almost completely opposite by starting with the ending result. Also, the events are all almost completely separate by the chapters that are each focused on different events. Although it was a little mixed up in structure each event proved a vital point in the story, that his mother was a psychotic woman that abused her child for no reason.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Girly

    I LOVED this book! as soon as i started reading, i couldnt put it down. Next thing i know, its dark outside and i have to go to bed. It was a remarkable but sad story about davids life and i was sooooooooooo happy when i found out there was a 2 book called the lost boy and i finished them both in 3-4 days. I definetally recomend this book!

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

    The Unbelievable

    A Child Called It tells the true story of a young boy, who is abused both physically and mentally by his own mother and family members. Day after day, he endures brutal "games" that "The Mother" has planned for him, never knowing when he will ever eat, set foot in the sun, or see his own father again. His family strips him of his very existence, while treating him like he is lower than a slave, until his heart turns cold and hates everything in sight. However, Dave looks up to his father, who he considers his "hero," only to find that superman doesn't exist. At school, he fears telling the truth, terrified that he will never be free. Dave Pelzer shows me the pain that I will never be able to understand. It makes me appreciate my own family and fortunate life that I have. Some may think that this book is too intense because of the gruesome reality, but others may find it inspiring, showing that good does conquer evil. However, for me, the scenes became very repetitive after a while, describing to me how she starved and beat him. Also, because of its excellent content, I expected a grand conclusion, but I was definitely not satisfied with the ending. On the positive side, I read it after reading Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah, but looking back on the first book now, I do not seem to not find her life as miserable as his was. Overall, I expected more from this book but liked this product and the description of the unbelievably haunting childhood. I recommend this book for others to read.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Never before has a book had such an impact on me and brought for

    Never before has a book had such an impact on me and brought forth such emotions in me that I if I could foster all of the abused and neglected kids in the world I would. Davids story is an important one that everyone should read, for the plight of the small defenseless child is one we should all pay attention to and we should never be afraid to speak out against those who would do them harm.  At first, David Pelzer lived a healthy and normal life with his parents and brothers. His mother, however, unexpectedly transformed into a monster, venting her anger on her helpless child. David was submerged in freezing cold water, forced to eat his own vomit, slept in the basement under the stairs, stabbed, and forced to sit on a burning stove. These are just a few of the torturous games that his mother used to play. She treated him not like her son, but like an "it". David suffered both mental and physical abuse. In order to survive from his mother's sick games, David used willpower. Through all of her torturous games, David's inner strength began to emerge.
    This book is a perfect example of how the human spirit can provide strength in the toughest of situations. David's spirit helped him to survive through his mother's emotional and physical abuse. He refused to let his mother win. He had no one to help him so he learned how to fend for himself. His courage and determination saved him from all of the suffering that he endured at such a young age.
    David is a living testament of resilience. His faith and personal responsibility helped him transform into an emotionally healthy and competent adult. A large percentage of emotionally and physically abused children become abusive in their adult years. The abusiveness could be a cycle, passed down from generation to generation. Their rage and pain of being abused could be turned on themselves or the ones they love. David, at a young age, showed strong signs of being a planner as well as a problem solver. These character traits, along with caring adults (nurses, teachers, social workers, etc.), help him to become resilient. David's inner strength helped him turn shame into pride and rejection into acceptance.
       

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Horribly sad

    My friends read this book for 5th grade book club and it was well written but a cannot believe that a kid was hurt so cruelly by his own parents. I felt so bad for that kid whrlen my friends presented. I was :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( this much. Look on the bright side hes safe and sound.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A life in hell

    A Child Called It was an amazing book that I would read more than once. Just the fact that this little boy gets beat, starved, and neglected by the family he thought loved him, just makes u think about how good your life is compared to what his was like. To think that a mother would do this to her own child makes me sick but this book showed how child abuse victims make it through the fight and survive. David Pelzer gives a detailed text in explaining the vicious so called "games" his mother plays with him. Some of these games involved Dave putting his life a danger just to satisfy his mother. If reading about real situations that happen everyday then you would enjoy this book as much as I did.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Strength

    This boy was soo strong. God bless you david. What he went thru was horrible and i was brought to tears. For all those who are suffering because of child abuse, be strong! Tell someone! Dont be afraid to speak. This is a must read!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Amazing!

    As a 15 year old i know the almost bacis of my life food family friends and school. As i read this book i realized how much i have it is the saddest book i have ever read. it is about a little boy that gets abused by his mother and tourtured. he does not get fed and his mother beats him almost to death it is CRUlE and horrible i feel so bad for the little boy. also it is a true story. if you read this book you will love it i cried through every single page wanting to put it down but my hands wouldnt let go of it. i reccomend reading this book it is amazing also i reccomend reading the second book the lost boy. 333

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I haven't read this book completely yet because it's so hard to read! I love this book so far though. It's so sad!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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