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

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

by Dave Pelzer
4.8 1663

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A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1663 reviews.
AthenaR7a More than 1 year ago
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.
AliceK7E More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.    
ChanelleH More than 1 year ago
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.
chapstick69 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Child abuse is one of the most common ways a child is taken away from their parents. Dave Pelzer in A Child Called “It”, fights being abused and finds himself stuck in a very tricky situation. A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer  is a great read but also an emotional one. In the beginning of the book Dave starts off as an abused child.  He was not treated right by his mother. His mother thought of horrible things to do to him, such as starve him  for ten days straight, stab him with a knife, and hold his head under his own dirty, scummy bath water for longer than one should stay under water. It was hard enough on Dave that his mother did not like him and did not treat him well, but his own brothers didn't even give him respect. They were told not to have anything to do with him.  His dad believed that one day he could get himself and Dave out of that crazy house. I enjoyed this book  because even though Dave got abused, this book is still very intriguing. I never wanted to put it down. This book  made me realize how good I have life. Teenage girls/boys would enjoy this book because they will need the tissues. Even though it is a very emotional book, it still is a great read. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
glory272 More than 1 year ago
I must say this book is hard to read because of the horrific details given about the abuse of this young boy, but I makes you open your eyes and realize that even today there are people in this world that could do what his mother did. As a teenager I read this book and after was so appreciative of my mother for not being anything like his mom.
paris_kuroski More than 1 year ago
A Child called "It", is a very inspirational story and it quickly leads you to your heart. It's about a young boy named David, who constantly receives beatings and starvation from his alcoholic mother. He has four brothers and his father, who he believed was his "hero", until the end, he realized that they were never going to really help him. David is afraid of what his mother might do to him if he lets the family secret out. His mother would lock him in the bathroom with a bucket of Clorox and ammonia and he would have no choice but to inhale it. She would make him completely strip his clothes to the point where he was bare naked and force him to lie on top of the stove with firing flames. When David when to school, he would steal food from other kids and his mother soon found out from his principal. His mother tried to think of a very harsh punishment. She decided that when he got home from school, she was going to stick her finger down his throat to make him puke. That's when David's parents starting to fight, and it became a regular routine. Pretty soon, David's father became sick and tired of being held hostage, along with the rest of his family by his wife. After a short period of time, David's father left, and now David had completely lost all the faith he had. He was now scared because since his father would never be around, his mother would beat him ten times worse than the usual. This is the one thing that David could never forget, and his life would be forever scarred no matter what kind of life he lived.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Check out 'Dysfunction For Dollars' written July 28, 2002 for the NYT Magazine. The author, Pat Jordan, notes that '...In Pelzer's case, how much he is healing or how much he is swindling is unclear...'Peter Vegso, from his former publisher, Health Communications Inc, is quoted in the article. He says 'David's always complaining we don't appreciate him, David's a professional victim. I haven't a clue if his abuse stories are true, but we kept his book in stock when it wasn't selling. Then Dave got on Montel Williams, and there was an instant demand.' The author also notes that 'Pelzer frequently purchases his own books for his signings at a discount and then sells them at list price.' His brother, Stephen, was interviewed. He denies the abuse and says 'David had to be the center of attention. He was a hyper, spoiled brat.' If this isn't enough to convince you, check out 'Dave Pelzer, The child-abuse entrepreneur' by David Plotz posted Friday, Sept. 29, 2000 on Slate. He writes 'Pelzer, whose most insistent piece of advice is 'don't dwell on the past,' dwells on it very profitably.' Describing Pelfrey's depiction of his mother Plotz says she 'becomes more cartoonish, more Cruella De Vil. In the first book, she's horrible but erratic. By the third she is the incarnation of pure, calculating evil, saying things like, 'You gave me no pleasure, so you were disposed of.'' Plotz continues 'his 'Pelfrey's' dialogue, which is full of such over-the-top lines, is sometimes suspicious. Though it's reconstructed 20 or 30 years after the fact, it is eerily precise.' Memoirs like this James Frey's novel, 'A Million Little Pieces', 'another Oprah interviewee' and Kathy O'Beirne's 'Don't Ever Tell' should never have made it as far as they did. It's a sad commentary that they have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dave Pelzer wrote an autobiography about his life as a child; the book is called A Child Called “It”. It’s about him when he was a child and how he got abused by his mother. He was beaten and starved but somehow he survived. He eventually gets the courage to survive and not lose any of the “games” he has to play with his mom. He believes in God but after a little bit he loses faith, but then he believes again. The book is really good and he is good at explaining what he had to go through. It had a sad theme and it was also kind of suspenseful. The book at some points did get slow but he was explaining what was happening. This book should be read, and I recommend everyone to read this book because it is really inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down the entire read. I can't believe that something like this could ever happen to this extent. And why was he singled out the way he was?
fuzzmom More than 1 year ago
Wow...this is one tough book to read. The first person account of a boy's descent into a hell you can't even imagine. Not in your worst nightmares could you ever conceive of the horrific abuses that rained down on this child for years, and years. Until he had nothing left but a will to survive. The fact that he did, and went on to become a loving father himself, is beyond miraculous. So many people who likely knew something was wrong, and did nothing, and even those who did something unwittingly made things worse. This is a book every teacher, daycare worker, clergy person, coach, anyone who has contact with children, should read!
GrahamCDowns More than 1 year ago
A pretty graphic story. I can't decide whether its true or not, though. I've read that some people swear it is, and others think it's pure fiction. I think that there are enough inconsistencies In it that it might be fabricated, and accounts of people doing things that seem out of character. On the other hand, I can imagine enough human depravity that it just might be true! True or not, this story is a testament to not only how sick and draved people can be, but also how strong and resilient the human spirit can be. True or not, I think it needed to e written, and I hope people take it to heart and decide to never ever allow themselves to sink to these levels, and to stand up and say something if they know someone who has!
jperry9775 More than 1 year ago
This book is very inspirational. I truly cried while reading it. His mother never treated him like a child she treated him live he was her slave. And throughout the story the father just watches it happen. I know that he¿s most likely hurt about it but is just too scared to do anything about it. Just because his mother was an emotionally ruined alcoholic, doesn¿t mean that she can starve, beat and poison her son. She even locks him up in the bathroom with cleaning chemicals which could potentially kill him if he was in there long enough. This is a touching story and I cannot believe that he made it out alive to tell it.
KellyH6 More than 1 year ago
People always say they've got it bad. They got a bad grade in school, the car broke down, the bus was late. However, after reading this memoir I feel that the little things that usually annoy me, aren't that bad compared to what happened to Dave Pelzer in his childhood. I have never been associated with child abuse; however I still feel I can relate to Pelzer's unwillingness to give up. He almost gives up on God, but prays that He will hear his pleas, no matter how angry or weak Pelzer might feel. Pelzer believes he can keep himself alive, and it takes every last bit of his little body's willpower to do so. One of things that astonished me, puzzled me, and made me a little angry was peoples' willingness and almost wanting to look the other way while this was going on. Pelzer must have looked severely malnourished and abused, but his teachers and fellow students ignored him for the most part. Pelzer states in his memoir, "At school I was a total outcast. No other kid would have anything to do with me" (58).This makes me more aware of what's happening to children in places like Haiti and Darfur. It's not really abuse, but the starvation and homelessness could make someone pretty determined to keep themselves alive no matter what.
AshMisMiz More than 1 year ago
*SPOILER ALERT Most of us have a loving family. A family who will take care of you feed you when you're hungry, take care of you when you're sick, and give you fresh water when you are thirsty. Coming from a family like this, I take many of these things for granted; especially their love. In the book A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer a young Dave is forced to play deadly games with his mother. His mother enjoys torturing him, physically, and mentally. (SPOILER) She is very abusive and at one point ends up stabbing him (Dave.) This haunting novel shows how Dave deals with not being loved, and how strong the human mind can be. This book was very interesting, though it was very sad at times. It made me cry. You can really sympathize with Dave, and you want to try to help him. I would recommend this book, but is pretty graphic and intense, so I don't think anyone younger than thirteen-years-old should read this. A Child Called It makes you realize how lucky you are to have a family.
tchrreader More than 1 year ago
I can not believe this man grew up to become a responsible, intact human being after the life he had. Being a school counselor, this story really touched me. This is the autobiography of the authors childhood. The unspeakable abuse that his mother puts him through is inexcusable. So many people want children, why do people continue to treat children this way. She treats him worse than the dog and has other children that she doesn't treat this way. It is very sad and made me sick! It is hard to read but it opens your eyes to a serious situation that we can not ignore!
Wiicho- More than 1 year ago
In the heart breaking story "A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer" a young boy tries to survive child abuse. I for one believe that this story is trying to tell you to be grateful for what you have. I believe this because trough out the story the protagonist (Dave) was experiencing abuse by his own mom. The story starts out by telling you about the boy's live before child abuse. It all seems like if the boy's live will be perfect, but it isn't. As the story goes on the marriage between the mom and the dad start's to get rough. The mother believed that it was Dave's fault so she start's punishing him. The mom start's off punishing him by making him do chores and stuff like that, but then it gets serious when the mom starts taking food away from the boy forcing him to steal. The mother tries many killing attempts but none of them work. The mother tried burning, choking, and starving the boy. In the story the dad tries to help the kid but he can't do much. His brothers also turned to the mom's side and started mistreating Dave. The story end's when child abuse police came in and taken away the boy from the mom's hand's. This heart breaking book I recommend to anyone who will like to learn a sad story about a little boy. Trough his entire problem's somehow he managed to survive his harsh live with his mom.
Momme2 More than 1 year ago
This book made me look at life differently when dealing with children. I am a school bus driver and I take donuts and treats to my kids sometimes. Every now and then you always have a child or two that wants seconds. I use to tell them not to be greedy and be thankful for what they have received, but now I will allow the seconds and be more aware so I know if it is something to report.
emmyy More than 1 year ago
I have read this book a couple of times. It made me cry a little bit when the mother decides to trun on the stove and put Davids are in the fire.Its a really sad story.But I love the book.It is an amazing book and I recommend you read it.If you haven't already read this book you should and you will see what I mean. I feel really bad for David the little boy! Oh and the fact this story is true makes everything even worse.I can go on and on about this book.So i'm going to stop rambling and go.By the way my name is Emma and I am 14 years old. I live in San diego,California.
ssh4MC More than 1 year ago
The child called it is an mazing book, its shocking intense and impacting. The book is about a small kid who lives with his abusive mother and can not escape the torture his mother puts him through its a very sad , but intersesting book.It makes the readrers accept or realize that there are cases like this in the world and usually the kids cant do anyhing about it. Its realistic and it gives many details about this kids life witch could be like many others in the world. This kid suffers through a lot because of his crazy insane mother and it can be disturbing for readers too have to visualize the words david pelzer puts in this book but it makes you understand and maybe after reading his book try to help this cause.
514mxer More than 1 year ago
This book really made me realize how bad child abuse really is. how could somebody do all these things to an innocent child and not feel any remorse what so ever. this book is ver hard to read and not be so angyr at the parents. there was never a moment i wanted to put it down though. I recommend that everybody read this book because it is truly a story that you hate to read but loved that you read it.
MarysaA7E More than 1 year ago
A Child Called It is a heart-wrenching memoir of survival written by David Pelzer. David is seven years old when his journey begins in California. This story is about a boy that struggles because of the relentless abuse from his alcoholic mother. He fights to find a way to survive without food, and his mothers cruel "games". "Gripping my arm, mother held it in the orange blue flame. My skin seemed to explode from the heat. I could smell the scorched hairs from my burnt arm." With no help from his drunken father, or his four brain washed brothers. David had to be brave to find a way to stay alive; he refuses to give up and let his mother win. I love his persistence, with little food and no friends. He is one of the bravest people I have ever heard of. For example, he wore the same cloths for years at a time and never washed them. Humiliated, he still survived. I do not recommend this book for any young reader, or someone with a light stomach. This is very good for older readers and people who can handle violence and abuse.
EricaP7E More than 1 year ago
The book I read was A Child Called "It", and is about a young boy named David Pelzer. He is a child with 4 other brothers but is the only one who gets abused by his alcoholic mother. He used to think his father was his hero, but once he gave up on the fights with his mother, he became less heroic. All David wants is to live a normal life and be a part of the family again like when he was a little boy but his mother plays terrible "games" to play with him that could easily kill him. He is a brave boy because he never gives in to his mother and let her win. If you don't mind reading about a terrible and cruel past of a child who is trying to survive, then you could read this book. My opinion about this book was that it's sad and painful. Here is a devastating quote from the book that comes to mind when I think about my opinion. "By October my clothes became weathered, torn, and smelly. She hardly bothered to cover my bruises on my face and arms." Pg 47. After you read A Child Called "It" I recommend reading the Sequels The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave. I recommend these books because they will lighten up the mood.