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A Child Called "It" (1995)

by Dave Pelzer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dave Pelzer (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,819297936 (3.87)63
[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)
  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 63 mentions

English (290)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (297)
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
Here's what I wrote in 2008 about this read: "Haunting. Raw pain to read. What can go so wrong in a person that she turns on a child with such sadism. And somehow Dave has survived and thrived; that too is a mystery. Online review critique the book for failing to provide perspectives of insights and hope required for young readers to deal with the book. Maybe adult readers need this, too!" ( )
  MGADMJK | Sep 20, 2022 |
I read this as part of a project for a psych class in college. This book was fucking horrifying and I remembering not understanding at -all- why someone would write as their damn memoir. I was so, so disturbed. -Nobody- came to his aid, and his mom stabbed him at the end as his siblings danced around joyfully, singing that he was doing to die. There are never any consequences for the cruelest among society, which is why I don't believe in the Rule of Three or karma or anything. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 28, 2022 |
WOW. I could hardly put this disturbing book down. it doesn't seem possible that this child had to endure so much without any help from others who supposedly loved him. ( )
  KyleneJones | Apr 25, 2022 |
After I found out the whole thing was made up, I immediately just clicked one star. ( )
  MontyAC | Apr 3, 2022 |
This book was completely eye opening and I have thought about that child ever since I read the book... years ago... ( )
  Jynell | Feb 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 290 (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.

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Average: (3.87)
0.5 8
1 79
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