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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
5,698232747 (3.91)49
  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 49 mentions

English (226)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (232)
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
Horrifying account of David's childhood. A sad sad story. ( )
  Nataliec7 | Apr 12, 2015 |
A child called it is a book about Dave Pelzer. Dave was abused throughout his life. Dave's mom was a sweet and kind mother until Dave entered kindergarten. Dave's mom was an alcoholic and was very abusive. Dave's mother stabbed, burned, and beat him. His father did nothing about this. Dave realized that he could beat his mothers cruel games. Dave stole food and did his chores well so he could have dinner. this case was the third worst abuse case in California. He finally escaped after the fifth grade.
This book written by Dave himself was an amazing book. The courage Dave had kept him alive. he knew he could be his mothers awful games. I gave this book 5 stars because it had a good message. it also told you about how bad child abuse can be. This book was very touching and was super good. it was so interesting. I learned how bad some of the things people do. I couldn't put it down. This book is now one of my favorites. ( )
  HaleyC.B4 | Mar 22, 2015 |
This book is super sad. I would recommend this book. It is terrible what the author had to go through as a child. Dave Pelzer is a great author. ( )
  amro14 | Feb 18, 2015 |
I'm kind of conflicted on this story. Aside from some telling me it's true, and others telling me it isn't, the manner in which the mother treats Dave is a bit off. Being a survivor of child abuse myself, I know all about the random beatings, the "games", and the starvation methods. While my mother didn't do any of them (except the beating part, child services was a common visitor at my house from 1st-5th grade), I at least knew why my mother hated me. Dave seems to never actually be told the reasons for his mother hatred toward ONLY him and not his other four or five brothers who seemed to never punished let alone beaten. Normally if a child's singled out from a group of siblings it's because that child reminds the parent either of the other parent or themselves, but there seemed to be absolutely no reason that she started to abuse Dave who at the time was the youngest. Normally in abuse cases, it's the oldest or middle child. Now by the end of the book, Dave is the middle child I think, but he was the youngest in the beginning.

Another inconstancy I found in this work was the father. The man was a firefighter and yet cowed and allowed his wife to not only beat and starve his son, but watched her pour ammonia down his throat? I don't know about the rest of you, but that doesn't sit right with me. Firefighters are not cowards, it's not in the job description, yet this man was portrayed as anything but a man. I don't know a single man in a job like that that would allow that behavior to go on.

Despite my feeling that this story is less than accurately told, it's still one that will tug at the heart strings. Any story where a child suffers like the one in this story is. And while it IS inconsistent in a lot of things, the message is still there. I believe this book should be mandatory reading for parents who have had their children taken by child services. I believe the greatest punishment they parents can ever receive is reading what their brands of torture do the child they could have easily given up for adoption rather than torture than torment or in some cases either kill.

For the messages this book hold and ONLY for those, I give this book 3 of 5 paws. ( )
  S.CuAnam_Policar | Feb 8, 2015 |
The reason for only three stars (something that I am sure will shock and horrify avid readers of this text)...is that there wasn't much to the story.

170 pages (shorter pages than a typical book) of large print text telling us how horrible it was for this child.

It's not that I didn't have emotions reading this book. The horrors this child survived are real and made an impact. But what happened to his mom? His dad? To him after he was taken away?


There is so much more this book could have done. But it seemed more like a sensational way to sell a book, rather than help us learn. ( )
  csweder | Jan 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dave Pelzerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gyllenhak, UlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
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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Book description
This is a tragic story about a boy named Dave and all of the abuse that he went through as a child.
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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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