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

by Dave Pelzer

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6,531270583 (3.9)52
Member:artistlibrarian
Title:A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive
Authors:Dave Pelzer
Info:HCI (1995), Edition: ZZZ, Paperback, 195 pages
Collections:non-fiction, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:memoir, psychology

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. 12
    The Little Prisoner by Jane Elliott (mariah2, Kerian)
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» See also 52 mentions

English (262)  German (4)  Swedish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Spanish (1)  All (270)
Showing 1-5 of 262 (next | show all)
YIKES. This is a man's account of the severe abuse he suffered as a young child through the hands of his mother. Apparently, there is some doubt on whether the story is actually true, or whether the author merely made the whole thing up. I don't know enough about the controversy to speculate, so I will just give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume this is indeed a factual memoir of his childhood. If that is the case, then he most certainly deserves major admiration for having overcome such incredible adversities and for sharing his story.

That being said, this book is very poorly written. It is essentially just one description of one abusive incident after another, and nothing more. There's no real introspection, and no explanation as to how he later found forgiveness, or why the mother was once a kind, loving parent and suddenly one day just went completely mad. A book that describes overcoming any kind of extreme hardship, ending with a message about hope and the ability of the human spirit to triumph, can be both moving and inspiring. However, a book that merely describes abuse in vivid detail one scene after another and does little else? Just plain depressing. ( )
  Brightraven | Apr 26, 2018 |
Hauntingly disturbing.

I refuse to read any more of David Pelzer books. As they are too disturbing. ( )
  KarinaKantas | Apr 20, 2018 |
I had a patron recommend this to me; once I brought it home, both my daughters said they'd had friends who'd read it in high school. It's an easy read, for a non-fiction book.... It was definitely interesting. I just felt, at times, that it wasn't the BEST writing out there.... (I'm snobby that way.) Also, I kind of wondered, was it all really true--did this kid really go through all that? Or was it embellished to a certain degree? I mean, it's not cataloged as Biography, so I didn't know if it was supposed to be read as a "self-help" book or a "what not to do in parenting" book????
There's a sequel to this one (maybe it's part of a trilogy, even?), but I'm not going to read on..... ( )
  trayceetee | Apr 9, 2018 |
This book was well-written, and horrifying. I really wonder what in god's name was wrong with his mother, that some switch flipped in her and suddenly she turned into a monstrously abusive beast, towards just one of her sons. Don't read if you're easily disturbed. A couple incidents nearly had me heaving, and the entire thing is just, boggling. It's...not pretty. But it does paint a terrifying picture of what a child of abuse may live through.

Minus one star for the fact that he split the story up into three novels (and I doubt if the other two are much longer). This was only 169 pages (plus excerpts from the other two), and with wide margins and spacing, and it stops the moment the school gets the cop there who takes him away. It doesn't even continue with the temp. foster care while he awaits the trial (or even the hospital visit they stop to make first, which is in the excerpt from book 2), or anything. The second book really ought to have been part of this one. ( )
  .Monkey. | Feb 23, 2018 |
As a former abused and terrified child myself with a mother who got herself pregnant while unmarried at a time where it was not ' the done thing ' and being illegitimate herself, plus my time as a social worker in foster care and adoption, I am no stranger to child abuse, neglect and even parents who kill their children ( I had one case on my caseload where the child was beaten to death).

I find it hard to believe that nobody at all got involved, no neighbor, teacher, relative, etc, nobody. In my own case much of the abuse was hidden behind closed doors, and I always went to school clean, with my lunchbox and did my homework neatly ( or else ), so I did not look 'like' a battered and molested kid.

This story just does not ring true for me, I just can't swallow it. ( )
  REINADECOPIAYPEGA | Jan 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 262 (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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