Unimaginable account of a child abused. I received this book in the early afternoon and finished it in record time. I could not put it down. This book makes me thankful for the things that I have. It also makes me want to hold my children a little tighter. I recommend this book to everyone.
We as a nation should want to do more to stand up against child abuse. Don't look the other way or close the blinds. STOP turning the other way on the future of our Country. These children are our future lets nurture them and show them the unconditional love that each child deserves.
Have the tissue box ready. This is a very sad one.
Cant wait to read the next.
Heartbreaking and moving, this book tells the story of one child's abuse he suffers at the hands of his parents. This true story is NOT an easy read; you will be horrified, angry, and outraged at the hell this child was put through.
This book is a sad tale that is very typical of children in foster care today. Most will read this story and be shocked at the malicious treatment Dave received as a child. However, I, as a child abuse attorney based in Los Angeles, CA, who has represented perhaps thousands of children found myself thinking, "I've seen worse." as I read of Dave's horiffic plight.
Unfortunately, such abuse as Dave's is none too common in today's world. Quite often, I've been asked by the unsympathetic fool, "What is the worst case of child abuse you've seen?" My common response is, "Do you mean where the child lived, or where the child died?"
Most of this abuse goes on right under our noses, unnoticed, and that, is the true tragedy of this story. Kudos to Dave for his ability to survive and his strength to share his story.
I was completely horrified while reading about what this poor boy endured. Why was David singled out? This book is very sad, heartbreaking! David must have had a powerful spirit to have overcome all of the abuse he suffered through. I wonder what sort of men his brothers grew up to be. Are they psychologically damaged from witnessing all of that abuse? I can't imagine! I highly recommend this book, but it is very difficult to read, many tears were shed. Once I started, I couldn't put it down.
Wow. There are some "monster moms" in this world and this guy had a doozer of one. I had to put this book aside several times because it was so intense what this poor boy endured and it is so heartbreaking.
This book really broke my heart... it tells the story of a beautiful little boy who is abused and tortured by his own mother. Anyone who loves children and wants to better understand what abuse of any kind, but especially of this magnitude, can do to the heart and mind of a child should read this book. It's amazing how this little boy lived though the early years of his life, and even more amazing that he was able to grow into a healthy, talented man who wrote one incredible book.
Wow what a story! The author, who was this child, tells the reader a very detailed, yet very painful story about a childhood of heartbreak and pain, abuse, ridicule, but don't get me wrong, this is painful, but worth the read. He takes the reader through tears and joy, hunger a turmoil, an emotional rollercoaster, you find your heart fighting for this boy. A must read!
This is one of the most heartbreaking stories you'll ever read. That being said, it's also very hard to actually read it. The level of abuse that Dave Pelzer suffered at the hands of his mother is truly indescribable, and I truly admire the man he's become. I don't honestly know if I could be as well-adjusted, not to mention humble, forgiving, and anger-free, as this man is.
Okay, I know this book has been reviewed to no end, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway.
I began reading this unbelieveably horror filled and incredibly sad TRUE story of this little boy named Dave at 11pm and finished it at 3am. I just COULD NOT put this book down. I had tears roll down my face several times and I had that all too familiar lump in my throat pretty much from page one. I tried and tried to swallow it away, but it stayed ... even for several hours AFTER the book was over. I don't recommend you read this book right before you go to bed, because you won't be able to sleep afterward.
It's difficult for me to say that this book was GREAT or AWESOME or A MUST READ (even though it sorta is) because you know that this story was REAL and Dave Pelzer lived through it all, although I do not know how. I was left with A LOT of questions though (Like WHY!?!?!? and HOW!?!?!?), the book seemed to just end (although I am not sure I could stomach mentally anymore of it, to be honest ... ).
This book chronicles his life from ages 4 to 12 and the sequel, The Lost Boy, is form his ages 12 to 18 and promises to answer a lot of the questions that obviously he knew we'd all be asking ourselves once the reading of this book was finished.
This is not a book that I would ever personally want to reread, but one that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It also makes you stop and be thankful for what you have, and that the system we have in place today to protect children is SOOOOO much better (even though there are still flaws) than it was back in the late 60's, early 70's.
I first read this book in my high school Home economics class, and it hit home because it was a lot of what I went through as a child. So when I got older as I am now, lol I had to read it again and now that I have my own kids it has a whole different meaning for me. What this poor child went through I cant even imagine putting my children through. This books grips you and pulls at your heart making you want to jump into the book and save this poor boy. Must read but readers beware it is graphic and it will make you cry.
Debbie V. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Helpful Score: 2
It is hard to rate a book "Love it" when the story is so sad...but I would have to say that I do love It...David Pelzer is a very loveable boy in this book told from his perspective about the terrible abuse he suffered as a child. I read this book and then ordered copies of his other books which I am now reading.
What deep loneliness and suffering this little boy went through and came away with such love for his own child and wisdom about the world. He appears to have his faith intact as well.
It is amazing how people have the ability to survive such trauma and it is a blessing to others to be able to see into the mind of the child who suffers. It makes me love my children even more, if that is possible. It is always possible to hug them more, tell them more how special they are, how much they are loved...this book reminds me to do just that. I wish Dave Pelzer had grown up with more love...
This is a book that's very hard to rate and review. It depicts horrible abuse of a young boy at the hands of his mother, and reveals the dynamics of child abuse from within the family, which is seldom shown so honestly. An inspirational book that will break your heart. It's well worth reading.
This was a very heart wrenching book. Just the fact that there are humans in this world that could treat any child this way is almost unbelievable. Dave turned out to be a very brave man by telling the world his story.
This was one of the best books I have ever read. Astounding! This is the first book in a trilogy by Dave Pelzer who has gone on to wright even more books. Fantastic writer, unbelievable story. I give this book 5 stars absolutely!
Dave Pelzers A Child Called It is a very incredible story about negligence and abuse that a mother gives to her son. This novel is easy to read, but hard to understand how a mother would treat a child this way. Yet, there is so much to admire about Dave Pelzer since there were conditions that he was unfortunately going through. What is so amazing is that the novel is told in the perspective of a child, it uses metaphors, dialect, has good sentence structure, and it has many themes that we can all relate to.
Dave Pelzer is telling his own story as if he were a child. He talks about how amazingly bad he was treated by his alcoholic mother. This really amazes me since he was only four years old when this sudden abuse started. Pelzer uses good description in his novel by using descriptive words which got some sort of mental picture in my head. Like when he says that I snatched another rag, rolled it up and stuffed it in my mouth. I focused all my attention on the thumb and first finger of my left hand, as I pinched the skin around my slit. With my other hand, I wiped away the pus: The pain from the pinching was more than I could stand. I believe he is a true genius in writing novels since this is also somewhat of an autobiography.
Pelzer uses metaphors in his writing. For example when he says that his mother used to compare him/refer him to an it rather than calling him her child, son, or Dave. Also, when saying that he was an object and that he did not mean anything to his mother and even so Pelzer still loved her.
Dialect was, for me, an important feature in this novel. Like when Pelzer calls her The Bit** for the maltreating that he had gotten since his mother called him The boy. This is also slang in a way. The words take me in and this is not just like any novel with its amazing uses of words.
His variety of usage of sentence structure gives it a meaning and it makes the novel more comprehendible. For example this sentence: Before I sat on my hands, I checked my shirt; only small drops of blood escaped from the wound to the rag bandage. This has a compound structure and it uses a semicolon.
There are many themes in this incredible novel. One for example, is life is too short to give up. This theme goes along well with the novel. Even though that he was going through many obstacles he kept on going and he had hope and faith that he was going to keep on living. Also, another theme is that love goes on. Even though Pelzer made it seem like he hated his mother he said that he still loved her and that after all she was the woman who gave him birth.
This novel is incredible and I would call this good literature since it made me give out an emotional response. I am sure that this story would touch anyone out there who decides to pick up this book and read it. It does use literary devices and he kept his writing simple and not to complicated so anyone could read it. This story has touched everyone who has read it and it has a message for all to understand."
Sara - reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Helpful Score: 2
I loved and hated this book. I couldn't put it down and when I did it was to cry or compose myself.Everyone should read this book from young to old, it's heart wrenching,yet touching, I wanted to hug my son and tell him if I've ever said anything to hurt him or make him feel sad I'm sorry and love him.This is a must read but do it somewhere loud outbursts of sobbing and yelling will be tolerated.
I think this has to be one of the saddest cases of child abuse. I cant imagine a mother doing this to her child.The things she puts this little boy through is unimaginable.It was a shame the father didnt step up and do more.Im surprised his brothers didnt receive abuse.The mother was truly sick and needed help.This book will truly tug at your heart strings and make you grateful you have a loving family,I read this book a few years back and it still sticks with me today.This is one book you should read.
This book will make you hug your children just a little tighter. Dave Pelzer endured horrible treatment from both of his alcoholic parents yet he emerged on the other side and now dedicates his life to helping educate others and saving fragile little lives. There are more books in this series so I will definitely be ordering the others since this first book leaves many questions unanswered. Images of what he endured are still swirling through my mind.
This book was nothing like I expected. I knew it was going to be a difficult book to read but I didn't expect it to be so short. I didn't like the way it ended, then I realized it's the first book in a series so I guess I'll have to read the next book. This book opened up lots of questions for me. I don't understand why Mother was so bad to David but she treated the other 4 boys so well. It really makes you wonder why people abuse their children. I will warn anyone one who is thinking about reading this book, it does get a little hard to handle once in a while.
This book is the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history, told first-hand by the man who somehow survived on his dreams-- dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him, and calling him their son. True to the back cover of the book, through each heart-breaking struggle I found myself enduring his pain, comforting his loneliness, and fighting for his will to survive. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse-- and the ability we all have to make a difference.
OMG..How can you say you loved a bok when that book breaks your heart.A true story of a young boy who endures so much pain in his life and has a strong will to live, as well as a forgiving heart. LOVED IT
Wendy G. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Helpful Score: 2
This book was very compelling. It is a sad tale of a boy named "Dave" whom his mother referred to as "it". It is horrifying to think this abuse was going on right under the noses of neighbors, school administration, etc. You will feel Dave's pain from the first page to the end. Note: you will want to read the sequel(s) to this book to see what has happened to the rest of his life.
This book has left a heavy knot in the pit of my stomach. I cannot fathom the things that this "mother" did to this child. The subtitle of this book says "An Inspirational Story" - I guess that's true because Dave really did survive by his own mentality. But it didn't leave me feeling very inspired, just very sad for him, angry at his mother and murderous towards his Father. HOW could this man just leave when he knew what was going on? How? It sounds as though the author is a well adjusted adult now, I cannot imagine going through what he did. I.Just.Can't.
Debbie W. (dwise) reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Helpful Score: 2
Good book. It's hard to believe a parent could actually treat their child the way this mother treated her son. I couldn't lay it down once I started it. Sometimes I felt like crying for this boy. No child should ever have to live the way he did.
Kyla B. (kae) reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Helpful Score: 2
I can't really say that I "liked" this story, as it is incredibly sad, horrifying, and made me feel homicidal at times! However, it will always be one of my favorites for the way it touched my heart and soul. This book will break your heart, wholly and completely, but it is riveting and inspirational. The abuse that this child lived with is incredible and tragic. I read this book many years ago, when my (now almost 9 years old) son was still a baby. Not a day goes by that I don't think about this (true!) story, or reflect upon the emotions it brought up. I would urge anyone with children, or that works with children, to read this. It really demonstrates the effect that our actions have on children, and will leave you with a deep appreciation of the strength and individuality that every child possesses. I don't think anyone would regret reading this book, or be able to resist hugging a child afterwards.
My mother gave me this to read (along with the other two), saying it was a "must-read for anyone who works with children." As someone who taught school for 38 years, including during the time that Pelzer was in the school system, it was interesting to hear her perspective on being a teacher in the 1970's, where you were encouraged to mind your own business rather than speak up about suspected abuse on one of your students. As a result, it took years before Pelzer was rescued from his home. It makes you wonder if the process would have been a lot faster today (one hopes!)
The book makes you so angry at his mother for the horrific abuse, but even angrier at the people who stood by and allowed it to occur - certainly his father, but to a lesser extent his teachers and brothers. Even if you don't work with children, it is a wonderful story of the triumph of the human spirit. I'll be reading both follow-ups.
A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer is a fantastic book that is deeply touching, revealing, one of the saddest stories you'll ever read, yet also one of the most inspiring. This story written by the man that was once the child called "It", is the deeply moving story of a boy who is being abused by his alcoholic mother. With no where to turn and no way to explain to anyone what is happening to him due to his intense fear of his tormentor, the boy called "It" is forced into one horrible situation after another, both physically and emotionally. This is such an intense story you'll find yourself crying for the young child, relating to him, and cheering him on despite it all. The story of a courageous, strong individual, this book will keep you turning the pages late into the night. Not only that, but it will have you wanting to read the sequels to it as well.
Review by Lesley P. aka MagickAbounds on PBS, Reno, NV. Chapter Leader, 03-09-09
Shawna I. (shawnai) reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book about 2 1/2 years ago. After this book my reading took off.This is one of the best books I have read.This book does have some sad things happening to a child .Aftr You read this you will realize how thankful we should be.This book is not all sad.Read a couple of books and see how he is doind today.Better then me.
Wow, the stuff this kid survives...and ultimately manages to thrive in spite of...it's amazing. I have the whole series and think it is absolutely worthwhile. It definitely gives most of us a perspective that we could NEVER have it as bad as this poor kid, and if HE can survive, so can we! I know that the school I teach at requires it for reading in English class. It is a VERY GRAPHIC book, full of violence and situations that will make your stomach turn. But ultimately, it is a book everyone should read.
I had to read this book for a class, but I did enjoy it. The book is written nicely and everything, it is just that the book is very sad and can be disturbing to some. I wouldn't recommend it to the light-hearted person. But otherwise the book is good.
Part of the title of this book is "An Inspirational Story." I wasn't inspired; I was white hot mad. Please someone tell me that monster mother got her just desserts. Is she in prison, a mental hospital, dead? It certainly makes me a bit disgusted when I hear children whine because they have to clear the dinner table. Very disturbing book.
One thing we all seem to agree on is that this true story evokes intense emotions due to the horrific child abuse Dave Pelzer suffered at the hand of his mother. I never read anything this tragic, and how morally disgusting and spiritually sinful that these things really happened!
I barely got through this book, I cried, I was angry, I had to phone a friend and rant about what I was reading, but in the end I was shown this beautiful man, who rose like a Phoenix from the flames and used his sad childhood as motivation to help others who are abused, instead of using it as a crutch to give up. He turned tragedy into triumph, and he found love and healing against the odds. It should be inspiration for us all to work on healing our past and to rise above our current problems, helping one another. It is not about what we went through per se, but what we learn and choose to do with it.
I am working towards becoming a social worker. In part because of my love for children, but in part because of Dave Pelzers tragic story. I picked up this book and intended to read it while my kids played at the park one summer. I read a few pages on our way home and could not put it down. I then went back the next day and got the next two books in this series. I cried just about the whole time that I read this book. It is a very touching book that is also motivating.
Tara T. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is the most sadest book that I have ever read. I do not no how any mother could do this to her own child but there's nut job's out there in the world. The thing is that this child doesn't grow up to be a bad guy he takes his experiance and helps other that are in the same place he wants was. Yoou read this you better be ready to read the other TWO BOOKS too...
This book is heart breaking. I usually read horror books but this was so emotionally tragic that I also had to keep putting it down. (So I could stop the tears..) My husband doesn't read books at all, just magazines but after I started telling him about the story, he had to read it. I have also heard that there is a sequel to this book and that is about the court room happenings.
When I first read this book I cried and cried. How can anyone be so cruel to a little child. When I read it a second time I began to understand that He was writing the story for his own sanity and to help others. There are 2 more books that follow this story.To have the kind of forgivness he has toward his mother is super-courage. It is sure worth the time to read this book, but when you are finished you want more, and there is another one by him and then one written by his brother.
What an awesome story about a courageous kid who fought for his life from abuse.It brought me to tears and made my mouth drop when i read the horrific things his mother did.The other books in the series(The Lost Boy and A man named Dave)Showed the continuous courage of this person.I have all 3 if anyone wants them.
This is one of those books that you will either like or be sickened by. It's about a kid who was severely abused as a child. Unfortunately, it doesn't answer any of the questions I had reading through the book. What happened to the parents in the end and such. Apparently the other 2 books in this trilogy answer these questions. I however, will not be reading them. It droned on about the abuse without any real "story" to it. I was disappointed in that it just recites one incident after another. While this may have been cathartic for the author (who is also the Child in the book), it left me feeling sick having to read all the details. I understand child abuse happens, but it's not the light bedtime reading I was expecting from the book.
This is without a doubt the saddest book I have ever read. I read it in college while I was attending the teacher education program. Our professors suggested that we read it so that we might understand what some of our children may go through. It left an indelible impression on me for sure. It is not light reading and I would not let a child read this story. But, it is an amazing story of how one child survived unspeakable hardships and horrors.
What a tragic story. I don't know how anyone could do the things described in this book. As an adopted mother, its a wonder there is so many children in foster homes and adopting homes, with people like this out there. If you are a fostre or adopting parent you have to read this to find out what these children are dealing with..
I really enjoyed this book. Dave pelzer goes through his abuse life with his mother. The only part I hated was how the father just sat back and let his wife treat their son with such abuse. Good reading!!!
This is one of the most griping books I have ever read. The range of emotions I felt while reading spanned the spectrum of all emotions. The child's courage and perseverance was remarkable. I just wanted to grab the child up and give him all the love he deserved. If you have a weak stomach I'd pass then again if you love children no matter who they are it's a must read.
This was one of the most disturbing books I've read about child abuse. I can think of only two books that upset me more, Sybil and When Rabbit Howls. After all the awful things this poor boy went through, it's a miracle that he is not seriously disturbed. Well...maybe he is and we just don't know it! This book is the first in a series of three. As I was reading it I kept wondering, what kind of mother does this to her own child? Obviously the mother had to be seriously disturbed herself. Pelzer describes a loving mom early in his life. She seemed to be affected by alcoholism and possibly some kind of mood disorder. She had two more babies while she was doing all this drinking and I wondered if they were damaged in any way from fetal alcohol syndrome. What shocked me as much as the mother's abuse was the father's inability or unwillingness to help his son. I practically cheered when the boy was finally "rescued" and placed into the foster care system...how ironic is that? I had so many questions that possibly will be answered if and when I can bring myself to read the next in the series. It's a very difficult book to read but a very valuable one.
bookaddict reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Helpful Score: 1
Apparently, this book is all a bunch of malarkey--the NYT did an article trying to corroborate ANY of the details of this book...couldn't be done. And apparently Pelzer buys huge batches of his own book to boost himself onto the Bestseller list and then sells the books at his speeches.
Wow, I sound pretty spiteful, don't I? But it bothers me when there is so much real abuse in the world and this guy is making a buck off a bunch of lies. If he had classified it as fiction--well, then it would just be a very poorly written book.
This is my first John Connolly book and it surely won't be my last. What a gripping read! It starts off with a boy named David who is very happy and content with his life. He especially loves his mom. His mom gets ill and he tries hard, in his own way, to keep her alive. Unfortunately she doesn't make it. Eventually his dad remarries and he and his new wife have a son. David is very jealous of his brother. This is just the beginning. David ends up in a different world. A kind of "fairy tale" type world where things can be quite dark and scary. He goes through many trials and meets new people and in the end learns a big lesson. I highly recommend this book. May be a little dark and scary for younger readers.
I didn't really care for this book. It was a terrible thing that happened of course, but the writing itself didn't draw me in and make me care about the child. I guess that sounds cold because its a true story, but even so, I read other books on abuse that were written much better.
I just received this book the other day -- it took me less than 24 hours to read. The book is written like a memoir, so it makes for an odd reading experience... the story is a sad one... it is completely appauling that someone can treat their child like this... but inspirational that the child survived and never gave up hope.
This is a very sad but true story of a child's path into foster care. Overall, it was a great insight, but I question some of the 'memories' and how accurate they are. As well as some of the adult reactions to certain events. Was it really their reactions or the author's childish view on their reactions? Some of the memories and events I took with a grain of salt.
An auto-biography of a man learning to come to terms with his childhood of abuse. The book if very well written and while it is not morbid or sensational, it is sad and fairly detailed. Excellent read, as are the sequels.
Such a sad story, but thankfully, Dave is now grown up and touring around the country speaking and sharing his story to help others. A quick read if you can handle getting through the rough parts of his description of abuse from his mother.
Never have I imagined such horrors of child abuse than this story tells about - it's beyond words what one human being did to another. It boggles my mind that this child survived at the hands of his mother and has gone on to become a motivational speaker - God sure took care of him, what an amazing person Dave Pelzer is. Very disturbing and sad book, but well written.
A very sad, but compelling, book about Dave Pelzer's struggle as a severely abused child in the 1970s. I read it in two nights and wanted to scream at so many of the peripheral characters for not stepping in and doing something sooner (especially his dad who didn't do anything about what Dave's mother was doing to him).
A chilling book, difficult to believe that any "mother" could be so vicious and disgusting to any child, much less her own. But the book is so well-written it's nearly impossible to put down. It would easily get 5 stars or more if the subject matter not so very gruesome. You cannot help but pull for the boy and silently cheer him on. It's absolutely amazing he survived through such viciousness and brutality. This book should be mandatory reading for any bleeding heart liberal optimist who thinks there is no evil in the world. There's PLENTY of evil, as this book well demonstrates. Terrific book. Hard to put down, impossible to forget.
Interesting autobography. Written in the child's voice/thoughts. Critics call it inspirational . . . I found I was wondering what was wrong with the mother, father, and school officials. Not a happy story in itself. Uplifting in that this child survives and becomes the man that he is.
Facinating, sad, frightening, almost unbelievable. Why, why,why? How and why could parents single out one child for this kind of treatment? Fortunately, there are 2 sequels, and David overcomes his early childhood.
Even though the book details all the abuse David took as a child, it left more questions than anwers in the reader's mind.
1. How could a mother change so drastically from a loving/caring mother to such a monster?
2. Why did she choose only David to abuse when she had two other sons at the time (and two more eventually)? What exactly had he done to deserve the abuse according to his mother .... in the book the only explanation was that he was stealing food at school because his mother was starving him.
3. Where were the relatives, neighbors, friends, school teachers, counsellors, principals etc while all this was occurring when David's wounds were clearly visible, he was being starved and his clothes were in tatters all those years when his brothers were well cared for and everyone could see that?
4. The book should have shown more of how much of a wimp his father was .... I couldn't stand by and watch a dog being treated in such a manner, much less a child .... much less a child of mine.
5. How come his brothers didn't intervene? Seems all the males in the household were wimps like the father.
6. Did David press charges against his parents and were they ever held responsible in a court of law for the extreme abuse of David .... was David's mother ever given a psychological evaluation .... it's obvious she was (or became) mentally ill.
7. Does David have anything to do with his brothers in adulthood.
So many questions .... so few answers. I would like to see a follow-up book from David, and those who knew him during the time of his abuse, with answers to the many questions readers have.
Had these questions been answered in the book I would have rated it higher.
I got this book for my daughter and she love it she said that kids should read it and they will learn that all kids are not treaded equal in their own family and that child abuse is something very serios in our society.
This book is truely one of the saddest stories I have ever read. But the author showed incredible strength when most would have given up. I won't lie, it was a hard thing to read, but I had to know how it ended and I cried my way through.
Rachel J. (rd374) reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
This book will make you cry, but it is a very good book. The events, the way it is written, and the fact it is true makes it hard to put down. You're drawn into his story of what he experienced. It's outrageous and painful and you find yourself dumbfounded as to how and why this could have happened.
It has been years since I read this book, but I'm glad that I did. It opened my eyes to things happening to kids around the world that I couldn't even imagine. Though it is sad, good eventually came out of it. I highly recommend reading the next two books that continue the rest of the story.
At the time I heard about his story and read this book was around the same time my two oldest children were in the early teen years - you know, the time they start to complain about everything and become unthankful and feel that everything is 'unfair' (because they have to do a chore or can't have something they want). If you have teenagers, you know that you can't reason with them to make them understand or see rationally. As I was starting to hit that exasperated point of what to do to help them see that they really did have a good life, I had the idea to have them read this book. They are loving and compassionate and I knew that reading the true story of the hardships David went through would help them see the good life they had. It also helped them to see and understand what some other kids go through that they may never know about: thus teaching them compassion and not to be judgemental towards those who may stand out in a negative way.
Both of my kids were very moved (and cried much) by the book, and it did indeed help them be thankful and have a heart of compassion with opened eyes of what could be happening in the lives of their peers that they'd never know about.
I highly recommend this book - but warn that you'll probably need a box of tissues when you do.
I've read all of Dave Pelzer's books, and could not put them down. The story of his upbringing brought tears to my eyes, the story of his survival was extraordinary, and his phenomenal ability to change all of it into a positive outcome of helping others is commendable. I recommend his books to anyone!
This book is truly heartwrenching. The way this mother treats this boy is beyond words and obviously because of a mental disturbance. I haven't got to read the second book but highly recommend this one if you are interested in the subject of child abuse.
I read this book from cover to cover in one night. I couldn't put it down. It is such a sad story and it makes you want to run right out and help in any way you can other abused and negleted children.
The only thing about this book is that it is written from the child's point of view which is great but it makes the reader wonder how his mother could turn on him the way she did and why. Of course the child doesn't know so since the author was the child in this story, there is no way that could be answered in this book.
Mary G. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
Anyone who reads this book, will kiss their mother and thank them for being the loving nurturing mother that should come natural, and thank their father for stepping in when it isn't so easy to be that way. It is griping, but hard to read, so sad, that this probably still happens, but not because of the times, because of all the so called "cut backs" on our family services dept.
This was sad and horrible and I am glad the child managed to become a stable adult but the writing style really prevented me from becoming involved with the child's nightmare. It read as if the author made a list of every horrible thing his mother ever did to him and wrote them down one by one. There was usually no lead in to the punishments. He just went right into them with no rhyme or reason. It was painful to read but also tedious. I don't think I'll search out the other books in the series unless I hear that the writing has improved.
Such an amazing story, inspirational and heartbreaking at the same time. David Pelzer shows an amount of courage that will amaze all who read this story. A must read if you're trying to heal from abuse of any kind. Hard to put down, very hard to forget.
Monthly book pick for my book club. This book was absolutely heart-breaking to read. I couldn't believe many of the things this child had to go through. I wish there would have been more details about what came of the abusers, but maybe that info was saved for the additional books. Overall, an ok read. Very descriptive and hard to get through some of the abuse.
It's incredible that a child could live through what he experienced. David's strong spirit and his continued "hope" helped him survive. He just would not let his mother win.
The only problem I had with the book was that the ending was awful. It jumps from him still at home and under mothers control then all of a sudden, he's an adult remembering and visiting his old home. What happened? How did he get out of that situation? So many questions left to the imagination.
After reading, I changed my mental question from "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?" when I encounter people, young or old, who have eyes that reveal more life than their chronological age. Helping children and families of children who have lived similar stories is an increasing part of my life.
I found this book to be a very difficult one to read, because of the subject matter. That being said, I think it would be a good book for anyone to read if they want to get an idea about this grave social problem from the perspective of someone who actually lived this extremely sad experience.
Dave Pelzer is a very eloquent writer, considering the painful subject matter. I cried throughout this book. I still find it hard to believe that this man not only physically survived the abuse, but emotionally survived as well. This book is not for those who can't handle very graphic accounts of child abuse. Pelzer is certainly very frank with his descriptions of the terrible acts his mother committed against him.
Great book. The ending just kind of hit me though. But I read it from start to finish and did not once put it down. "Perspectives on child abuse" at the end was amazing. This book reallly hit home for me. And if you were never abused, you'll understand why some people in this world are so "off" because of it.
This man's story had my mouth anchored to the floor the entire time I read his book! What he went through as a child was so horrible, and yet so amazing what he does to live to tell his tale... I will never forget the name Dave Pelzer for as long as I live! Never have I read a book like this; seeing abuse through the eyes of this child ... reading what went through his mind ... and trying to force yourself the entire time to somehow understand or make sense of the un-beliviable events that really happened ... it just moved me. It's hard to put into words how this book made me feel, because there is nothing I can say that would accuratly describe it's value; it's something you must read and experence it for yourself. I think everyone should read this book...EVERYONE!! We could learn so much from this man's story ....
As you read this book you will be mortified at the abuse this child suffers. You'll find yourself scared along with him but determined not to give up. A story about one of the most horrific stories of child abuse that's been documented. It will make you hug your children and thank God that they are among the blessed.
Krista S. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
This was a very sad book about the truth of the dangers that are children are enduring today at the hands of people that should be there heros. Instead they are being abused and learning the insecurities of the mean society they are about to be unleasehed into. The book was a tear tearjerker that even inspired my daughter (12yrs old) to want read it. From the sick facts, the truth in this book it made you go back to get the rest of the series.
This is a VERY QUICK read. I only have time to read a little bit each night before I go to bed and I read this in two nights.
Unbelieveable what happens to Dave Pelzer. It is hard to understand why people abuse their children. What he endured goes beyond anything that I could have imagined.
I think that child abuse happens way more often than we think or know. I'm left wondering how in the world can you stop it? How can you really protect children? How can you change it so that abusers stop? How can the cycle be ended? Can we do more than each of us be aware and get our of our comfort box when we can?
as long as you can stomach everything he went through this is an awesome book and is an awesome read.. it will make you cry but i think everyone should read it and learn what a lot of foster kids go through. its a hard world out there and im glad that he(dave) is doing so well now as an adult. :)
This book is so well written. You feel as though it really is coming from a child's perspective as he recounts the horrors of his life to you. I must say though it is a grapchic novel. I found it hard to relate to it because it's tough to imagine that a mother would do that to her child!
This book is hard to read. It's tough to imagine that a mother could be so cruel. Many people looked the other way while this child was being abused. It's a miracle he lived. Well worth the read if you can stomach it.
The true story of a child who was abuse to depths noone should ever come to terms with. the story is compelling and painful and a way that won't let you stop until you have read what has happened to David Pelzer
Ashley T. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
A really good book. Makes you realize that your life can always be worst.
The only reason I didn't like the book was how the Mother went from Brady Bunch Mom to "The Bitch". I didn't understand how she could've done such an extreme 360 of her personaity. Maybe she had some kind of mental disorder.
Anyway, its a great read. A little short, but makes you think.
I couldn't put this book down, i wish ihad his mothers neck in my hands. am waiting for the next book to hopefully find out shes behind bars. I am glad to know he grew up to be a great guy. God Bless you Dave Pelzer:)
Lance S. (Lance99) reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
This book really made me think of a young boy that was in a similar situation in ohio. This boy was mentally handicapped and the parents left him in a closet to die while they went to a reunion. I cannot imagine any child having to go through that.
his book chronicles the unforgettable 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 tortuous, 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."
this book is undescribable. i cried front to back, it only took me two hours to read. The life this child leads make even me grateful for my own childhood. to be alive. the only comfort this book gives is to be able to look at the back and see what a wonderful man this david has become, that he survived, and that he has stopped at least one cycle of abuse in this world. David Peltzer is a man i would like to meet and thank for this book.
It was so heartwrenching to think that a child had to go through that kind of abuse. I couldn't put it down. And it was so inspiring to know that despite all the abuse, he turned out to be a remarkable person!
an account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in california. He was beatenand starved by his mentally ill, alcoholic mother who played tortuous games with him. he had to learn how to play those games in order to survive. Not for the weak hearted. Very sad and painful read IMHO.
An extremly touching book that was hard to put dowm. It is hard to believe there is that kind of abuse in this country. I originally read the book at my daughter's suggestion-then went on to read the next two books.
This book is so well written, an I read it in one day. I couldn't put it down, it will make you want to nourish your own children and thank God every day for your childrens presence. I couldn't stop hugging my grandson and couldnt help but to just watch him in his peaceful slumber. This book is a must read! I have already ordered the sequel. I just want to know what happened to the rest of the family. And I can only hope that David's mother got her just rewards for her horrible part in the torture of an innocent child. Nobody is an IT!
I read this book in a few short hours waiting to go on an appointment. It was incredibly eye-opening and inspirational. No one should ever have to go through what Dave went through, and I'm glad he wrote this book as a reminder to society that it never should!
What most amazes me is that his spirit and energy are seemingly unaffected by the horrors of his past. He is a role model to all of mankind (even though I'm womankind LOL).
Being a child who survived physical abuse myself from a step-father,I was able to relate with the abuse that the author endured. His abuse was more severe than mine but it helped me realize that I had to be strong for my own children and break the chain so to speak. Every mother and father should read this book to recognize "symptoms" of abuse so they can recognize when a child is in danger....
While the subject matter of this book was very difficult, I couldn't put it down. Having grown up and attended the same schools he did, I felt a connection to him. (My friend lived two houses away from the house he lived in.)
Melissa C. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
I started reading this book the day that I recieved it. I didn't put it down until I was through, 2 hours later. Very painful to read, but touching and hopeful at the same time. Would recommend everyone to read this book.
A Child Called "It" is the unforgettable 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."
Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing and no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.
Through each struggle you'll find yourself enduring his pain, comforting his loneliness and fighting for his will to survive. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse--and the ability we all have to make a difference.
Your heart will be torn as you read this true life story of one child's dramatic struggle to survive severe abuse. Dave Pelzer tells this heart-wrenching story of his early childhood. This book is not for everyone. It could be too difficult for some to read.
This is a riveting book about a boy who endured one of the worse cases of child abuse ever in the state of California. I couldn't put it down. This story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse, and the ability we all have to make a difference.
I read it in about an hour. It was quite possibly one of the most horrible stories of abuse I have ever heard. It made me want to go pick my boys up from school and hug and kiss them for the rest of the day.
This is a harrowing tale of a young boy who survived the third worst case of child abuse every recorded by the California authorities. The book is intense. It is supposed to carry a message of hope but can be difficulty to read at times because of the extent of the abuse and the psychological detachment this mother displays towards her son.
An unforgettable acount 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 tortuous, 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."
Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.
Through each struggle you'll find yourself enduring his pain, comforting his loneliness and fighting for his will to survive. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse and the ability we all have to make a difference.
I read this book on one day, half on the treadmill at the gym and half at home that evening. It is a quick and easy read. The writing style didn't strike me as particularly interesting but simply raw and real. I've been told that it is a must read for child care workers and it was pretty much exactly what I had expected.
This is the unforgettable 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. Dave overcame all of the torture. He was honored as one of he Ten Outstanding Young Americans and as one of the Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 1993 and 1994, respectively.
This book though incredibly sad, is well written. It will open your eyes to child abuse.
A Child Called It is an unforgettable account of one of the most severe 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 her nearly dead. He had to learn to play his mothers games in order to survive because she no longer considered him her son, but a slave;and no longer a boy but an "it." Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing and no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive-dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son. Through each struggle, you'll find yourself enduring his pain, comforting his loneliness and fighting for his will to survive. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse-and the ability we all have to make a difference.
In this amazing TRUE story of survival and hope in the worst possible conditions, Pelzer paints a detailed image of an unthinkable case of child abuse. Without being preachy, this book is inspiring, and I can't wait to read the two sequels.
This is a very intense book and a quick read because you can't put it down. The only way I could bare to read about the severe abuse was to know in advance that Dave Pelzer did survive and thrive despite these harsh years in his life.
A Child Called It"is the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse-an the ability we all have to make a difference.
Of everything I've read, this book will be the most memorable. My sister recommended it, I didn't think much of it, but I picked it up and read from start to finish one afternoon. I soon purchased - and read just as quickly - the rest of the trilogy.
From the back cover:
A Child Called "It" is teh unforgettable 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".
A Child Called "It" is the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was burtally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played torurous, unpredictable games--games taht 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 and "it".
My notes: When reading this book, please keep in mind that Dave was not the only child in this family...there are two brothers. When you're living in hell, you do anything you can to survive. And maybe that's why his brothers, nor his father came to his rescue. This is a gut wrenching book from which we can all learn. It's made me look differently at children who seem obnoxious, hateful, spiteful,and just plain mean. You can bet something bad is going on at home for a child to act out like that.
Never have I read a book, finished it, and had so many unanswered questions. I know in the back of the book the author states that many answers will be revealed in the following books, but I wonder if my questions will be answered. It's not that I think he's lying, but many statements in the book don't sit right with me. For a memoir, I don't see much emotion throughout the book. It's very flat language that reads like stereo instructions. The word usage also seems flat like he is talking about someone from another country. Mother, Father, Grandmother...who talks like that? I've read some of the controversy about this book and I'm not ready to dismiss what happened to this man as a falsehood like so many have done. I was not going to read the other books in the series, but with so many unanswered questions I think I will.
This is an excellent book! Dave led a horrific life but managed to become strong because of it. All social workers should read this book. It shows people can overcome almost impossible odds. Some people should not become parents? Dave's mom is one of them!
Rebekah M. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
I thought reading this book would offer perspective for me in making peace with my own family history. As someone who has lived it firsthand, I am not saying that all child abuse stories are bunk. I really wish they were. This story started to not add up in so many ways very early on and it prompted me to do more research. Dave Pelzer's stories started to sound just like one of my siblings made up fantasies. While we suffered horrible things at the hands of our father, we were not abused by our mom. My sibling tells awful stories about our mom while never mentioning the real horrors.My sibling sounds just like Pelzer. The more people listen, the more fantastic the stories grow. Pelzer was interviewed with his brother who told the real scenarios behind the stories. Dave Pelzer became so agitated with the confrontation that he literally screamed at his brother "she stabbed me in the heart!" which is a jump from being stabbed in the stomach and an outright leap from the brother's scenario wherein Dave was bouncing around in the kitchen where he accidentally bumped into his mother who was cutting up some food on the counter resulting in a superficial cut that sent him violently hysterical, so she shut him in the pantry for a short time until he calmed down. You don't get "stabbed" anywhere and just heal up with no medically care, infection, or scars. No other children were "abused" in the house and there are no family members or friends who can corroborate his tales. Pure fiction.
This book is the most horrifying case I have ever read in the realms of child abuse. It made me realize that a child can bend and recover from ill fate, and that there is a nerve for forgiveness in us.
I got this at the request of a 5th grader to give it to her, but I probably won't. It's a pretty painful story, I'm surprised more people here in their comments aren't asking whether it is true or not (NY Times tried to do some digging, but were unsuccessful - I'd say denial by some brothers and an absent grandmother is not really good evidence, mom died in 1992 and dad in 1980, so I'm inclined to take Dave Pelzer at his word). My indirect experience with child abuse as a child support attorney and a school teacher is that it does sometimes take an effort to care for some of these children. I don't think Dave was as adorable as the front cover shows - maybe the editors should have put a smelly, emaciated kid with chipped teeth on the cover and see what people's gut reaction would be.
This is a very sad story but one worth taking note of. I had this book sitting around my house for years refusing to read it because I didn't want to be burdened with the details of another person's sad life. My own are bad enough. I finally read it and it broke my heart and made me pull my boys close to me and tell them both how much I love them each and every day. Every child deserves love and affection from someone, especially their mother. I could just see his sad eyes right through the ink on these pages. This book doesn't keep you down too long though. It is a fast read and leaves you with a story of a man who lived through this nightmare to be a stronger human being with an amazing will to survive. He chose to use his past as a stepping stone to a higher plane. He's not an "it" but a real american "super hero".
Gabrielle F. reviewed A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive on
you WILL cry. this is a true story and it outlines the horror of what is and always has been child abuse. The devil takes human form in Dave's mother and the sweet innocent boy will capture your heart.
A very sad story about the physical and emotional abuse one little boy had to suffer at the hands of his unfeeling mother. It is very hard to believe that a mother could subject a child to this kind of torment.
This book is the unforgettable accounty 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 mother. This book is a testament to human courage and the indominable will to survive.