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A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer
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A Child Called "It"

by Dave Pelzer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dave Pelzer (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,290265633 (3.9)51
  1. 20
    One Child by Torey L. Hayden (Moniica)
  2. 21
    Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (PortiaLong)
    PortiaLong: Disturbing memoirs - I disliked them both for the same reasons (so someone else may LIKE them for those same reasons).
  3. 12
    The Little Prisoner by Jane Elliott (mariah2, Kerian)
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» See also 51 mentions

English (257)  German (4)  Swedish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Spanish (1)  All (265)
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
I read this years ago and saw it in the library yesterday and decided to revisit it. The author tells about his life of extreme child abuse at home while a young boy from the age of 4 to 12 years old before being rescued by a school teacher and put into foster care.

His mother in his very early years was a nurturing and loving mother, but turned into an abusive alcoholic who forced him to wear worn out clothes, beat him severely, starved him and forced him to eat feces from his brother's diaper, his own vomit after stealing frozen hot dogs from school and puts him in the bathroom with a ghastly mixture of clorox and ammonia.

It is gut-wrenching, riveting, but also inspirational as he is determined not to let his mother take control of him and turns is label of "bad boy" and is motivated to overcome whatever trials he is faced with and rise above it. ( )
  berthacummins | Jul 14, 2017 |
This is the most dreadful book I’ve ever read.

It is the true story of Dave Pelzer, who was terribly maltreated by his mother and was lucky to survive. Dave was starved and tortured almost to the point of death. He had two brothers who were fed and treated normally. They learnt to be mean to him too.

Dave’s father was basically kind but was too weak and scared of the mother to protect the boy, so he was equally culpable, Of course, he should have moved out with Dave and reported his wife to the police. I’ve heard of a man like this before in another real-life case, years ago.

Dave remembers his life in the early years as being idyllic - no ill treatment, wonderful food and enjoyable picnics in the park.

Suddenly, Mom changed and the starvation and torture began. Mom spent her days lying on the couch watching TV. “--- her voice changed from the nurturing mother to the wicked witch”.

What I lack is some kind of attempt at an explanation for why this transformation occurred. When the woman behaved so horrifically and murderously, there must have been some big reason for it. Perhaps some explanation is given in the two sequels to this book, but there is no inkling here, that I could see. The woman should have gone to jail for many years (and also received treatment).

I also fail to comprehend that teachers and others who knew the family did not pick up on the problem much sooner. (I didn’t find it clear at what age the ill-treatment began and at what age Dave was removed from the home.) The boy was thin, covered in bruises and clothed in rags, and constantly stole food when he got the chance, which unfortunately was seldom.

I won’t recommend that anyone read the book. It is too horrific and painful to read. ( )
  IonaS | Jun 26, 2017 |
powerful
  BarbaraBarrett | May 28, 2017 |
I thought the book "A Child Called It" was a very sad story. The story of child abuse that Dave had to be a victim of was very scary to read about. This book really opened my eyes about other children's lives and made me realize how lucky I am to have the life that I live. ( )
  TarynNicole | May 10, 2017 |
This memoir describes one of the worst documented cases of child abuse in California history. Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother. She would play tortuous games with him that left him almost dead, games that he would learn to play in order to survive.

It's disgusting how someone can treat another human being like this, especially their own child. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
This memoir describes one of the worst documented cases of child abuse in California history. Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother. She would play tortuous games with him that left him almost dead, games that he would learn to play in order to survive.

It's disgusting how someone can treat another human being like this, especially their own child.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pelzer, DaveAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gyllenhak, UlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to my son Stephen, who, by the grace of God, has taught me the gift of love and joy through the eyes of a child. This book is also dedicated to the teachers and staff members of Thomas Edison Elementary School to include: Stephen E. Ziegler, Athena Konstan, Peter Hansen, Joyce Woodworth, Janice Woods, Betty Howell, and the School Nurse. To all of you, for your courage and for putting your careers on the line that fateful day, March 5, 1973. You saved my life.
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March 5, 1973, Daly City, California - I'm late.
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[This book] is [an] 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 torturous, 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." -Back cover.… (more)

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