A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer
One Child's Courage to Survive

79%

16 Critic Reviews

This is very short, but ample for its dreadful litany of banal cruelty...We are used to upbeat American accounts of comfy, secure middle-class childhoods. Hearing the similar voice here underscores the enormity of the crimes he suffered.
-Guardian

Synopsis

This 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."

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.

 

About Dave Pelzer

See more books from this Author
Dave Pelzer is recognised as one of America's most effective and respected communicators addressing corporations, conventions and health/psychology/primary care workers. His unique accomplishments have garnered personal commendations from Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He was selected as torch bearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch relay. He has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves.
 
Published January 1, 2010 by HCI. 206 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Children's Books, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for A Child Called "It"
All: 16 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Peter Kingston on Feb 23 2001

This is very short, but ample for its dreadful litany of banal cruelty...We are used to upbeat American accounts of comfy, secure middle-class childhoods. Hearing the similar voice here underscores the enormity of the crimes he suffered.

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PopMatters

Good
Reviewed by MICHAEL ABERNETHY on Jan 04 2016

...Dave Pelzer is an admirable man, not only for surviving a horrific childhood and growing up to be a man of many accomplishments, but also for taking us on a journey in A Child Called “It” that forces us to reevaluate our own lives and the world around us.

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PopMatters

Above average
Reviewed by MICHAEL ABERNETHY on Sep 28 2014

What makes the book so compelling is the tale itself, as Pelzer describes incident after incident of cruel torture at his mother’s hands and the ineffective and lame efforts of his father to protect him.

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Greenwood Public Library

Good
Reviewed by Lauryn on Jul 16 2012

In David Pelzer’s book A Child Called It, he tells of his childhood which involved very disturbing, yet sympathetic stories of child abuse...If you enjoyed Bruiser, Rules of Survival, or any other related book, I recommend this one to you.

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Greenwood Public Library

Good
Reviewed by Skye on Jun 26 2012

His two other brothers would also abuse him. This was one of the best books I have ever read! This book is a true story; the author is the little boy in the book.

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Digital Journal.

Good
Reviewed by CKLOECKNER on Mar 25 2007

I have read this book and I honestly believe that it is one of the best books ever written. And it is only the beginning of a three book story.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by JuliaVolpacchio on Jan 22 2016

I liked this book but it was also a very difficult story to read without breaking down into tears. This also made me change my perspective on my parents.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Rachael M. on Jan 22 2016

The book was so interesting that it was hard to put it down, it was such a sad story but it taught so much and was a very good read.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by monahk15 on Jan 22 2016

In conclusion, A Child Called “It” is a very good book and there are many reasons why I would recommend it. For example, it explained how children can be abused.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jan 22 2016

Once you have picked up this book and started reading, you won't be able to put it down. The pain and heart-aches this little boy is put through will make you cry.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jan 10 2016

Pelzer is a strong man to write about his childhood when he was almost beaten to death. This book really makes you wonder how many other children suffer such abuse...This book is extremely well written...This book is for mature readers only.

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Teen Ink

Good
on Jan 22 2014

This book was amazing and it is going to be amazing to you. If you love abuse stories about children check out “A Child Called ‘It”. Your life will change after you read this book.

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Reading for Sanity

Good
Reviewed by Kari on Sep 25 2013

It raised my awareness for the true motives my students might have for some of their actions (pushing the limits constantly, acting out, lying, stealing, sneaking around, having no friends, etc.), actions I couldn't understand from my own experience.

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Darlene's Book Nook

Good
Reviewed by Darlene on Mar 19 2011

This book is not for the faint-hearted. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, it is extremely disturbing and describes child abuse in graphic detail.

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Mrs. Jensen's Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Mrs. Nezbit on May 30 2011

A Child Called "It" is an emotional, inspiring book. It is hard to read, but once you are through, you can't help but feel for all the children who need help.

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Turning The Pages

Good
Reviewed by Kimberly on Jan 09 2012

I'm glad I read this book and I recommend it to others because it's something that should be read. This book has a message that if something seems off than it's not a bad idea to try to see if anything is happening especially when it comes to children.

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90%

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JENNA AUBREY

JENNA AUBREY 5 Sep 2013

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