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A Child Called "It"

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Health Communications Inc. (1996)
  • ASIN: B0024MRV36
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,089,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Overcoming a life threatening childhood, Dave Pelzer is the epitome of a self-made man. For over twenty years, Dave has been a catalyst for dramatic social change by promoting resilience. Dave's prestigious accomplishments include personal commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush. In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. A year later Dave was the only American to be honored as The Outstanding Young Persons of the World! In 2005, Dave was presented with the National Jefferson Award, which is considered to be the Pulitzer Prize for public service. Dave is also the author of seven life changing books, beginning with A Child Called "It" that started a world-wide phenomenon. His newest book, Too Close To Me is being released September 1, 2014.

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Customer Reviews

Once you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down until finished.
Once again i think this book is a really great book to read it can make people cry but it makes you realize that there is parents that treat their kids like slaves.
Dave Pelzer shares with the world his remarkable story of a child's will to survive a severely mentally and physically abusive alcoholic mother.
Diane N. Selino (pselino@snet.net)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

360 of 397 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
A Child Called "It" is a real life story about a boy who was brutally beaten and starved by his mentally disturbed and alcoholic mother. At first, David Pelzer lived a healthy and normal life with his parents and brothers. His mother, however, unexpectedly transformed into a monster, venting her anger on her helpless child. David was submerged in freezing cold water, forced to eat his own vomit, slept in the basement under the stairs, stabbed, and forced to sit on a burning stove. These are just a few of the torturous games that his mother used to play. She treated him not like her son, but like an "it". David suffered both mental and physical abuse. In order to survive from his mother's sick games, David used willpower. Through all of her torturous games, David's inner strength began to emerge.
This book is a perfect example of how the human spirit can provide strength in the toughest of situations. David's spirit helped him to survive through his mother's emotional and physical abuse. He refused to let his mother win. He had no one to help him so he learned how to fend for himself. His courage and determination saved him from all of the suffering that he endured at such a young age.
David is a living testament of resilience. His faith and personal responsibility helped him transform into an emotionally healthy and competent adult. A large percentage of emotionally and physically abused children become abusive in their adult years. The abusiveness could be a cycle, passed down from generation to generation. Their rage and pain of being abused could be turned on themselves or the ones they love. David, at a young age, showed strong signs of being a planner as well as a problem solver.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Steve Sigmon on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a YA media specialist, I know what teens love: an I-can't-believe-this-crap-happened child abuse memoir. (The I-can't-believe-it-est out there? Straightling: A Memoir (Hey Kid Series). It's a true story you wish wasn't true.) Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It is the biggie in this category. I can't keep it in the media center, because it always "goes missing." If teens are stealing a book, you know it's a good one!

Here are the reasons they love it:
1: Spoiler alert: In this true story, Pelzer's mother does unbelievable things to him. She makes him eat a bar of soap, a tablespoon of bleach, and the contents of his brother's diaper.
2: Grody alert: The scenes are explicit and visual. After his mother forces him to drink dish detergent, Pelzer says, "...diarrhea took hold...clumps of watery matter fell through my underwear and down my pants legs, to the floor."
3: It's fast and easy to read. Pelzer doesn't use big vocabulary words, and the type on the page is large and well-spaced.
4: In between the shocking abuse scenes, there are events all kids can relate to, such as bullies at school and made-up games in the backyard.
5: Pelzer's father's reactions to the abuse are fascinating and horrifying: "Jesus H. Christ! Does your mother know that you're in here talking to me? Damn it, boy, we don't need to do anything that might make her more upset! I don't need to go through that tonight...."
6: There is a thread of childish hope running through the book. Maybe his father will help him this time. Once in a while a caring adult at school notices his bruises.
7: The clincher: Pelzer's story took a "worst of" award.
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79 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Heather Gibb on April 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is the story of David Peltzer, who at a very young age was systematically abused and tortured by his own mother while his own father and siblings stood by and watched, sometimes even inflicting there own torture on the very young lad. As a mother of two, my daughter being the same age as David was when his abuse began, I found this a truly distressing story. I had tears in my eyes as David described how his mother would gleefully play "games" with him. On one occassion attempting to burn him on a lit gas stove, on another stabbing him and then not making an attempt to seek medical help for the lad. David was forced to shut down emotionally in order to survive the horrific surroundings in which he was forced to live. From sleeping in a cold garage on an old army cot to the severe beatings which could have killed him. His story is told from the heart of a child yet we can still only begin to imagine what it must have been like to receive this sort of treatment from the one person meant to love and protect him - his mother. In The Lost boy we are taken on the journey of Davids battle to be accepted into a society which does not understand the full extent of his misery. His many foster homes and schools and his ongoing battle with his mother who even after losing her son to the state, was still determined to hurt him from a distance by attempting to have him committed. David grows from a confused frustrated young child into a struggling young adult with the foster child stigma of the times firmly attached to him. Yet he overcomes all of this to join the forces and carve a career for himself. I am now begining to read the 3rd installment of Davids life - A Man Called David and look forward to following his story further into adulthood.Read more ›
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