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A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to…
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A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Dave Pelzer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,776278864 (3.89)52
Member:nikkiluvsez
Title:A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive
Authors:Dave Pelzer
Info:HCI (1995), Paperback, 195 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Based on True Story

Work details

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer (Author) (1995)

  1. 20
    One Child: The True Story of a Tormented Six-Year-Old and the Brilliant Teacher Who Reached Out 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. 00
    The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Berry's book is fictional while Pelzer's is his true story, but many aspects of the abuse the child suffers is similar. Thanfully, Pelzer's story turns out better than the fictional one does.
  4. 12
    The Little Prisoner by Jane Elliott (mariah2, Kerian)
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» See also 52 mentions

English (270)  German (4)  Swedish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (278)
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)
A Child Called It (Dave Pelzer) FL: HCI: 1995

Autobiography: YA: 184 PG

Summary: Dave's life started out like any other, family vacations and a happy childhood. His mother begins to change and his life takes a change. He is singled out and treated like an outcast up until he is nearly killed. The school figures out what is going on and he is freed from his torturous life.

Critique: Heartbreaking and a difficult story to read. Unfortunately a very real story that kids are living.

Activity (after): *I am not sure this is a book I would read with students in school. It is very difficult to read due to its content*
If you were part of this family, would you let this torture go on for so long?
  RachaelWilley | Apr 3, 2019 |
Young David Pelzer is growing up in a horribly abusive situation. His mother visits many physical, mental and emotional harms upon him and his father seems helpless to intervene. This memoir is raw, emotional and nearly unbelievable, except that as a social worker I met many young people trapped in similar situations. Mr. Pelzer is brave to share his story as one of the first generation of children who were able to be rescued from their home situations instead of having neighbors, teachers, law enforcement, etc. keep their noses out of people's domestic business. He was on the forefront and remains an impressive voice in the movement against domestic violence. ( )
  EmScape | Mar 26, 2019 |
This is a true story book about the author, David, who was severely abused as a child from about age 6 to age 11. It tells the story of a child that spent most days starving, living in a cold basement, working chores until he couldn't stand, and not even being called by his name. This became the 3rd worst case of child abuse in CA history.



I had a hard time with this book. I was so angry reading it. I could not even imagine how this could go on for 5 years and he couldn't get away. He was in public school. He was forced to wear basically the same outfit everyday. He stole food. He was covered with bruises. His mother burned him and stabbed him. And yet, it took 5 years for him to be rescued.



The "happy ending" is - David Pelzer is a full functioning adult with a family and children. He has spoken all over the country about the abuse and promoting reporting child abuse. But this book. I just could not get over how awful it was. I have been extra kind to my own kiddos because I would never want them to feel anything but love from me. He didn't deserve what happened to him. No kid deserves that. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
This book is so sad. The story of how awful this young man was treated is so heart wrenching. His mother should have had all her children taken away from her and not just Dave.
Dave's case of abuse was the worst case in CA history. The sad part is that he isn't the worse case anymore. ( )
  LVStrongPuff | Nov 29, 2018 |
A Child Called “It” provides a first hand account of abuse and the strength it takes to withstand it. Full of power and emotions, the story leaves some questions as to why certain things happened, yet it perfectly describes life in that some things don’t have answers. ( )
  Preston.Kringle | Nov 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)

» 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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