A Child Called It

A Child Called It

4.08 (316,920 ratings by Goodreads)
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A harrowing, yet inspiring true story of a young boy's abusive childhood, from internationally bestselling author Dave Pelzer. Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother, a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games - games that left one of her three sons nearly dead. She no longer considered Dave a son, but a slave; no longer a boy, but an 'it'. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and smelly, and when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dog's bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors. But throughout Dave kept alive dreams of finding a family to love him. This book covers the early years of his life and is an affecting and inspirational book of the horrors of child abuse and the steadfast determination of one child to survive.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 110 x 176 x 18mm | 120g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Impr.
  • 0752837508
  • 9780752837505
  • 12,218

Review Text

The media continue to report shocking and almost unbelievable stories of child abuse. Invariably the same questions are asked. Why is this still happening? Why did no one notice what was going on? There are never any satisfactory answers, often because the child is dead. Pelzer courageously allows us to be a fly on the wall throughout his terror-soaked childhood. We are with him every day, through every incident and every minute of toture. This is the story of a tiny soldier battling to keep alive in the face of horrific treatment by his alcoholic mother. Like all real wars, it's wholly encompassing for both participants and observers, engaging every nerve and sinew, every ounce of suffering. From primary school onwards, Dave is continually denied food, denied even the contents of the trash can, forced to eat faeces, burned over the gas stove, stabbed in the stomach, asphyxiated with ammonia and sent to sleep in the unheated basement like a dog or an 'It'. Why didn't he tell someone? With Dave's help we realize that the power of an aggressive parent is absolute and the fear instilled is paralysing. Dave explains how difficult it was for outsiders to connect the well-dressed, public spirited neighbour with the alter ego who succumbed to drunken rages and sadistic acts within the security of their own home. Dave's survival rests entirely on his will to live which he keeps alive with small acts of defiance. There is something in suffering and surviving that builds an inner strength and the suvivor may well, as Pelzer has done, go on to enjoy a successful and worthwhile career in the world. This is the first of a trilogy; the second and third books will be eagerly awaited, especially if they flesh out more of the background and circumstances of his mother Catherine Roerva and his ineffectual father. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Dave Pelzer

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 torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch relay. He has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves.show more

Rating details

316,920 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 44% (138,837)
4 31% (97,443)
3 18% (56,655)
2 5% (16,254)
1 2% (7,731)

Our customer reviews

this was such a good book in such a sad way. I could not put it down, it was gripping. HIGHLY recommend as I dont read much and it was brilliant!show more
by Chervonne
"I really think this a most read. This book got me back in to reading. I really think if your thinking about getting this book you should. It is really sad and some of it you just cant belive it really happened, This book will make you want to know more. I hope you enjoy this is a must read."show more
by a Book Depository customer
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