David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
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09:26:54 Mon
Mar 8 2004
David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Has anybody ever read the Triology chronicalling the life of David Pelzer? It's very sad.

A Child Called It

David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care but not to David, her son, whom she referred to as "an It". This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school--but mostly it was pure sadism. Inexplicably, his father didn't protect him; only an alert schoolteacher saved David. One wants to learn more about his ordeal and its aftermath, and now he's written a sequel,The Lost Boy, detailing his life in the foster-care system.

So sad. :sad:

09:49:22 Mon
Mar 8 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
I haven't read that book, but I've heard about it. It's awful that his mother was so cruel to him. :sad:

~ Sarah Jane

07:30:21 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
I have started reading that book after Renee told me about it. :jump2: Not enough words can even began to describe this pathetic excuse for a "mother" who is not even worthy to be considered a mother!! :mad: Even if I was to call her every name in the book!! :mad: I would not wish this on my worst enemy!! :mad: I really cannot understand how somebody can take such pleasure in inflicting such cruelty to another human being, let alone a mother doing that to her own flesh-and-blood!! :ugone2far: And as if that wasn't bad enough, why was she still so loving and kind towards her other children? :no: David's evil monster of a "mother" could give even Angelus from Buffy the Vampire Slayer a run for his money. :mad: Anyhow, it's amazing how David has turned out so well, in spite of everything. :whip: It certainly makes me appreciate my own parents better. :loveya:


08:09:52 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: kristinafh

Although I completed reading this book some time ago, it's extremely difficult to decide just what to write about it. I came into it thinking that I was going to read a story of inspiration. I thought that although the topic was not a happy one, that the unveiling of this individual's life over time would prove to be something that would give me hope. "It" failed me.

You probably know enough about this book to understand that it details eight years of some of the most gruesome and horrific abuse that any child has gone through. If you're interested in reading the book and do not want any details revealed, it might be best to stop reading right here.

The story is about and told from the point of view of David J. Pelzer. David, who was the middle child of five boys, was his mother's designated slave and punching bag. Why? We never find out what mental issues she had that would make her go to the extremes which David details in his book. We never understand why she decides that David is the one and only victim. All we know is that he was severely abused by her in the late 60's and early 70's.

The book is broken down into different chapters.

The Rescue details the last days that David was with his mother and his eventual rescue from his home of abuse.

David uses the chapter on Good Times to talk about some of the nice moments he had with his entire family before his mother went into her rages of abuse.

In Bad Boy, we start to see David's mother's attitude towards him change from loving to irrational and abusive.

The Fight For Food is one of the most disturbing chapters as it deals with his mother's irrational need to withhold food from him.

The stabbing of David by his mother is referred to as The Accident.

While Father Is Away shows how David's mother's treatment of him becomes more gruesome as if there is no one around to hold her responsible for her actions.

Like most abuse victims, David struggles throughout his childhood with the concept of God. In The Lord's Prayer, there are times that David thinks that his mother's actions are the final chapter in his life.

I had a difficult time understanding what audience this book was written for. Was it written for people who like me who had experienced abuse? Was it written for others to understand what it was like to grow up in an abusive household? Was it written for social workers, teachers, and neighbors?

Throughout the book, you really don't know.

Mr. Pelzer, adds a section on Perspectives of Child Abuse and Resources on Child Abuse that are both very clinical and sterile.

In the Perspectives of Child Abuse, there are a couple of pages included from school personnel on their observations of David's abuse. Reading over the couple of pages, I found no new insight. I found nothing to being worthy of even including this section in the book.

The Resources on Child Abuse cover a lot of the same resources we already know about. Sure, it doesn't hurt to repeat them over and over again. What would have been nice though is that if Mr. Pelzer would have written his book with a specific audience in mind, he could have tailored the resources to that audience instead of just giving us the usual, generic stuff.

Now that I've given you the negative, there are some positives. First, David's account of the abuse and the actions of his psychotic mother are on the money based upon my own experience. Although my mother didn't feed me my brother's feces, some of her own actions were right up there. Second, he's written the book in a manner which is very easy to follow. He doesn't interject terms that are confusing and during the entire story, you have no doubt who all of the players are.

One of the reasons I am not recommending this book is because of the graphic nature of the content. It kept me up many a night and brought back some of my own memories that I wasn't in the mood for having replayed. Others who fall into this boat would most likely find this an unpleasant read (except for The Rescue part).

The second reason I am not recommending this has to do with the "reason" I read the book. Many people have lauded this book as inspirational. I find that this couldn't be farther from the truth. Inspirational to me means a complete story…a complete understanding of how a person was able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and overcome life-altering obstacles. Perhaps Mr. Pelzer does but in this book, he never reveals that to you. Yes, he is abused. Yes, he is rescued. Yes, he goes back to his childhood home with his son and embraces how lucky he is (for what - 3 whole pages). How is this inspiration? I call this false advertising. I understand that Mr. Pelzer has gone on to publish additional books and maybe in those he gives us what we were looking for in the "It" book.

08:13:24 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: agklocke

In just a few short hours, I started and completed A Child Called "IT". And when I was finished, I sat in deep thought. Unlike many others, though, my thoughts were a bit different. Am I cold-hearted and unfeeling? And why would I ask such of myself? Dave Pelzer's story is terrible; what a horrible way to grow up. But the presentation of it just didn't grab me like I feel it should have.

Let me explain:

In general terms of writing a book, the sequence of it all was terribly disjointed. One of the main running thoughts in the back of my mind was how I would have had "this" here, or "that" there. Its total set-up just left me headscratch.

But deeper than that, Pelzer tells his horrid tale in such a detached manner, I have a hard time making the connection I need to feel. I'm left the whole time cursing the mother and father in his life for being such terrible people, yet I don't feel his pain. Perhaps this is because the book itself is full of telling and not showing.

Now wait, you say, it isn't fiction and it shouldn't be enjoyable reading. This is true. However, to get the full affect of something, the whole picture, I need to be shown. I need to understand, even if not until the end. No, I don't need to be told how graphically painful some of the physical abuse was, nor do I have to get a lesson out of everything I read, but I want to be left with something. And unfortunately, the only thing A Child Called "IT" left me with was questions.

This is the true account of Dave Pelzer's life of abuse at the hands of his horrid mother. He shares accounts of his abuse, such as his mother's gassing game (locking him in the bathroom with a bucket mixture of bleach and ammonia), being starved, and even being stabbed with a knife. What's worse is, in this day and age of Susan Smiths and Andrea Yates', it isn't all that hard to believe this all happened. What IS hard to believe is that a supposedly loving mother suddenly turned evil, yet to only one of her children. In fact, according to this book, Dave's mother went on to have two more children after she began her terrible abuse. This is not to say that a parent can't and won't be abusive to one child while still being loving to another. I happen to know first-hand that this can happen. But…WHY? This book never explains what caused his mother to abuse him, why his father just stood by, and what ever happened to either of them.

Now, I hear there are sequels that answer many questions, but I am also told that they still leave questions unanswered. In fiction, I am fine with a few sequels - it builds up the suspense. But this isn't fiction, and I don't want to have to read 2 more books to get my answers. I find it unfair to the reader to drag us along like this.

I am in no way discounting Pelzer's experience. It is a horrible way to grow up and no child should ever be subjected to such cruelty. However, this book only does one thing - it shares some accounts of terrible abuse. Does it open my eyes to anything new? No. Does it make an abuser stop in their tracks? No. It certainly doesn't inspire me, as so often quoted as being. Yes, Pelzer is obviously a survivor, and he should be commended for that. He has apparently gone on to have a productive and successful life at a terrible cost. He says he broke the cycle of abuse with his own child. That's wonderful, except I wonder if Pelzer's own mother was abused… Did she have mental problems? As you can see, I have many questions still. And this disjointed account doesn't answer them.

I suppose the inspiring part that so many speak of is the person Dave Pelzer is today. I can admire him for being strong, indeed. But this book wouldn't be what I would feel inspired by. It's too much of a quick read for the price ($9.95 - glad I bought my copy at Half.com), it's too much tell, no show (anyone who writes knows exactly what I mean), and the sequence leaves a lot to be desired. I am torn in my thoughts, overall. I know many recommend it to others because it's a true and sad story, but I can't recommend it on that alone. I personally feel that all the sequels should have been combined into one book - yet a part of me is left feeling as though Pelzer is capitalizing on his childhood pain by writing and selling three different books.

Or perhaps it just wasn't my cup of tea.

This book does contain some graphic scenes, a small amount of cursing, and overall bad tale. I wouldn't recommend it for children or anyone too sensitive to the plights of children.

08:17:01 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: heidifromoz

The back cover describes A Child Called It as “one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history”, so I knew I was in for a rough read. It took me about one and a half hours to finish the book, and I was so overawed by the author’s spiritual and psychological triumph that the horrendous account of his early years was somewhat mitigated. He has emerged from his ordeal: not (as one would have expected) broken and dysfunctional, but rather as a symbol of hope and triumph for the thousands who are still trapped in such horror.

To give a brief overview, Dave Pelzer recounts the years of suffering and indignity he endured at his mother’s hands between the ages of 4 and 12, his determination to survive and his emergence as a surprisingly balanced and serene individual in his adult years. He is a loving father, has a profound appreciation of life and the things most of us take for granted, and his religious belief has remained intact.

The language used throughout the book is that of a child, but clearly a child who is intelligent, sensitive and finely tuned psychologically to the moods and strategies of his insane mother. He explains how he reads her, anticipates her intentions, and counteracts them, as well as his strategies to survive physically and emotionally. The first and last chapters use the ‘stream of consciousness’ approach whereby we enter David’s mind, and experience what he is going through at that time.

The story is not narrated in strict chronological order, but by using the flashback technique in the first chapter, David lets us know he has escaped. Thus, we don’t spend the rest of our time wondering if he ever gets out of this hell and are able concentrate on the events leading to his mother’s breakdown as a rational, loving human being, and David's fight to survive and escape.

Thereafter, the story progresses from the portrayal of a seemingly normal middle-class family through to an inexplicable snapping in the mother’s personality, after which she begins to abuse the boy. I kept asking myself: Why? What happened? It isn’t explained why the apparently happy home is suddenly transformed into a mini concentration camp with the child as its only inmate. But then I guess perhaps at that age, he was not conscious of a particular thing or event which triggered this (like, say, an accident or an illness). It’s as if his mother has metamorphosed, for no logical reason.

Through the ongoing degradation of the child’s body and spirit, what stunned me most was how weak the father was in the face of his wife’s abusive treatment of the boy. Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, and I expect many readers will disagree with this but I still believe the man should have a strong voice in the running of the household. Both he and the woman should command respect – from each other as well as from their offspring.

The other thing which really bothered me was the apparent unwillingness of the community (as represented by relatives, neighbours, the school) to admit there was a problem of child abuse and expose it so it could be dealt with. Only through the efforts of a relief teacher at the school is David’s plight known. We must all assume the responsibility of being aware and taking action against this sort of thing, on behalf of those who are too weak and/or frightened to do so themselves.

The most important elements which emerged were firstly, the uncompromising, yet un-selfpitying and uplifting account of a problem which is endemic world-wide and secondly, the moral and emotional survival of the author who, through sharing his suffering with us, gives hope and belief to many, many others. It is a moving tale of courage and triumph over evil, indignity and suffering and an individual’s affirmation of his inner strength, his identity and a belief in something better. What David went through forged his character and in his own words, paradoxically, had he not experienced this, he “might not be what [he is] today.”

Distressing, but well worth a read.

08:24:08 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Bryan_Carey

Author David Pelzer's first book, "A Child Called It", details his early years of child abuse that he received at the hands of his downright evil mother. I read this book completely, from cover to cover, without stopping. This is a definite page- turner that will keep your attention from beginning to end. Each page stimulates your interest further, keeping the reader in a state of anxious anticipation, wondering what will happen next.

Pelzer suffered extreme abuse, like no other account I have ever read. Be prepared for some very graphic, disgusting stories and be equally prepared for the emotional roller coaster ride that awaits you. You will experience sadness, frustration, grief, anger, sympathy, etc. Pelzer was forced to sleep on the floor, covered only in newspapers; forced to eat his younger brothers' feces; forced to drink ammonia and bleach; and forced to perform a host of other degrading, dangerous, and repulsive acts.

The one frustrating thing about this book is that it leaves so many questions unanswered. For example, why was David the only child to receive this abuse? He had several brothers, but they were all left alone. Second, what circumstances motivated the mother to commit such hideous acts against her son? The book mentions that alcoholism was a problem for both parents. But simply abusing alcohol would not, by itself, cause a parent to abuse his/her children in such a terrible way. There had to be some deeply rooted psychological problem, but the book makes no attempt to explain this. Third, what was the deal with David's father? On one hand, he seemed to love David and he did stick up for him from time to time. But why was he so passive and helpless around David's mother? Why didn't he make a greater effort to protect his son? And why did all of this abuse suddenly take place when it did? Pelzer says that things were great in the early years of his childhood. Then, without warning, his mother turned into a vicious, evil witch, delighting in the suffering that she was inflicting upon her son. What caused this sudden change in his mother?

Pelzer's account of his childhood will grip you with emotion, leaving you headscratch and angered. The book seems so unreal that you will wonder if you are really reading a fictional novel. Unfortunately, this is a true story of abuse and it should serve as both a warning of the signs of child abuse, and a source of inspiration. David Pelzer triumphed over his awful childhood and, in the end, he escaped the abuse. He now gives motivational speeches around the country, dedicating his time to helping others. David Pelzer, we salute you!

08:28:28 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: AngelaBar

Tortured, physically and mentally, from the time he was four years old to thirteen, David Pelzer's story compels you to understand and think about the amount of abuse and torture a physical mind and body can take before reaching a breaking point, if there is indeed a breaking point that one can reach.

Autobiographically written, Mr. Pelzer has divided the memoirs of his abuse-ridden life into three segments, the first being A Child Called It.

What seemed like an ordinary life suddenly and abruptly turns into a nightmare from hell for David as he approaches his fourth birthday. His parents are both alcoholics, and his father is a weak, co-dependent person who allows his mother to abuse both his body and mind on an hourly basis.

The type of torture that David endures is a repetitive pattern of starvation and humiliation, along with harsh physical beatings. There is no time that his mother feels even the slightest bit of remorse. There is no time period where David is invited back into the fold of his family, his two brothers (along with the birth of two new brothers after he is born.)

At one point, during his sixth year, a neighbor catches on to what is happening at the Pelzer household and notifies the Social Services system. This is after she babysits for David and his brothers while their mother is having another baby. The babysitter quickly sees the amount of bruises and gets suspicious.

Since the mother knows that she has called Social Services, she allows David to sleep upstairs with the family for the first time in three years. Usually, David sleeps on the basement floor, covered with newspapers. She holds him for the first time and allows him to eat dinner with the family. Usually he waits outside while the family eats and comes in afterward to wash their dishes and to dig some food out of the garbage when no one is looking, or eat the remains of the dog food dish after the dog is through.

David lives a normal life for two days, until he realizes why. The social worker arrives and David's mother casually puts an arm around him and encourages him to tell the Social Worker how wonderful everything is. David's spirit and heart breaks further when he realizes this is the real reason his mother has been nice to him and has allowed him to eat dinner. Once the social worker leaves, his mother resumes the abuse and violence, and David returns to living like a dog.

Mr. Pelzer never fully explains why or gives the reader an explanation as to why he receives all of the abuse and his brothers none. One of his typical punishments was to remain naked and lying in a tub of ice cold water for hours upon hours, keeping his nose beneath the line of water most of the time. His brothers would use the bathroom and just ignore the fact that he was in the tub, or they would bring their friends into the bathroom to wonder and amaze that yet again, David managed to be in trouble. "What did he do this time," a friend would ask. "I just don't know," replies his brother. This is because in essence David does nothing to warrant the animalistic life style he must endure.

He gets beaten daily. He gets starved daily. He steals food from the other children's lunch pails to survive. When his mother realizes that he has found a way to eat, she forces him to regurgitate and vomit on a daily basis to check to see if he has any food in his system. David records a time where he was forced to dig regurgitated franks out of the toilet, save them, and then subsequently eat them later in front of his mother and father. He is also forced to swallow teaspoons of ammonia as a punishment for eating as well.

This segment of book one ends with David finally, FINALLY, being rescued by social workers and teachers and placed into foster care, after years and years of looking the other way as the child arrives at school in the same tattered clothes, smelling, beaten and scarred.

How does a world like ours allow there to be a David Pelzer in our midst? A Child Called It will bring your attention to the abuse situation that resides somewhere in your neighborhood, or maybe somewhere in your own home. It will make you shudder and cry, and it will make you learn to appreciate and love yourself and your children just a little bit more after reading.

08:32:34 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: LilScamp

"Miss H? Have you read it yet?"

"No, I still haven't read it."

"When're you gonna read it?"

"It's in the middle of the book stack. I'll get to it!"

"C'mon, Miss H! You hafta read it!"

It's rare that my students are the ones to force me to read a book, but such was the case with A Child Called "It". To tell you the truth, I had little desire to immerse myself in a first-hand account of child abuse; I had read textbooks on the subject, books that critically examined the psychological impact of abuse, and I could see little that could be gained by reading a graphic account of torture and neglect.

Once, when researching a college history paper on medieval legal systems, I happened across an essay on the use of torture in extracting evidence for legal proceedings. The academic who authored it left out the gory details noting that they would only be required by those students with "baser interests". I recalled that essay numerous times as I read A Child Called "It".

In A Child Called "It", Dave Pelzer recounts his childhood abuse at the hands of his mother. Pelzer's mother was an emotional basketcase and a raging alcoholic. When Pelzer was held back a grade in school, his mother labeled him a "bad boy" and effectively made him the family slave. He was forbidden to play with his brothers and spent his days cleaning or locked away in a basement. His brothers and his father were afraid to inspire their mother's wrath, and stood by idly as young David's mother dislocated his arm, stabbed him, burned him, and forced him to drink household cleaners and chemicals. David was starved and abused both physically and mentally until he was finally rescued by his school nurse, teachers and principal, who reported the abuse to the authorities.

The account of Pelzer's abuse is raw and graphic. No details are omitted, and consequently the book does a superb job of recreating the terrible life of the abused child for the reader. Yet, I found Pelzer's approach to the project unsettling.

I read this book as if it were a Stephen King novel. It was terrifying and bloody. I couldn't put it down, to be honest, and finished it in a single evening. And I feel somewhat dirty having done so. Why? Because, to tell you the truth, I already knew that horrible things like those described in this book happen to children with abusive parents. I did not need to be informed of all the gory details. Yet, I read it because it was interesting. Morbid. Sickening. It does interesting things to the darker side of the imagination, much like a good horror novel or crime recount.

So it turns out that I have "baser interests" too.

Beyond the graphicness of Pelzer's account, there is little about A Child Called "It" to recommend it. The writing style is awkward and incongruous. In a disclaimer at the beginning of the text, Pelzer states that, "the tone and vocabulary reflect the age and wisdom of the child at that particular time." At points, the simplicity reminds one of the little boy from whose point of view the story pretends to be told, but this is punctuated by glimpses of the adult Pelzer, who uses harsh language that few little children would, and recognizes the madness and perverseness of the situation-- which I doubt many children who had been raised in such a state would be able to pinpoint. The writing, to be frank, isn't all that great; there is a starkness to the prose and occasionally the grammar becomes odd, particularly in descriptive passages. Starkness and unusual grammar can work for some authors, but Pelzer is no Hemingway.

More problematic than any inconsistencies in style are my questions about content and audience. Label me a heartless cynic if you like, but I honestly do not find A Child Called "It" to be "An Inspirational Story" as its subtitle purports. It isn't Self-Help or Psychological, as the filing categories on the back cover claim. Neither do I find it to be a valuable resource regarding child abuse. "It" is morbidly fascinating. That's why my teenage students can't put it down. That's why so many adults, myself included, could not put it down. That's why A Child Called "It" became a bestseller.

We are people with dark and twisted minds.

That given, you'll probably be unable to put "It" down either. Just take a long shower afterward, and mind the climb back up the ivory tower; it's a long one.

08:37:06 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: jenb123

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer is the disturbing story of one of the worst cases of child abuse documented in California history. I had actually heard about the living hell Pelzer endured at the hands of his own mother years ago when he appeared on a talk show. The parts of the show I saw were so shocking that I never thought I'd be able to handle more details of the abuse.

I'm not sure why I decided to read Pelzer's book, but I will certainly never forget it. As soon as I finished the book, I immediately went out to get the sequel. But I'm getting ahead of myself now.

An overview of the story…

A Child Called "It" is the first of three books written by Dave Pelzer about his painful childhood and difficult aftermath. The book begins with the story of David's rescue after years of physical and mental abuse. He goes on to recall happier times, when he was living a storybook life with his loving parents. His father was his hero, and his Mommy was an angel.

The angel soon became the devil. Pure evil. Doing unthinkable, unspeakable things to her young son. Torturing him and nearly killing him more than once, his mother singled David out as her victim and only David. His father and brothers powerless, his mother's influence almost brainwashing them, they allowed the torture and sickening games go on.

After being stabbed, starved, poisoned and beaten regularly for years, he was finally saved by his school nurse and principal in 1973. He was 12.

The detailed accounts of the perverse punishments and virtual slavery Pelzer endured at the hands of his own mother turned my stomach and made me cry. His mother was so manipulative that she convinced everyone, including David, that he was a "bad boy."


The Author's Notes preceding the story indicate that, while some of the names in the book have been changed, the events are true. Because the book details David Pelzer's childhood from ages 4-12, the narrative is supposed to reflect the child's viewpoint.

I have memories of my childhood and am the mother of two, I didn't really find the vocabulary and tone to be true reflections of how a child would speak or think. I don't see my seven-year old who is very intelligent and intuitive describing anything the way Pelzer does.

Though the events are described in detail, I did find the verbage to be very much that of an adult. The language used was not difficult and the perspective seems to show an adult's recollections and observations.

Perhaps an adolescent or teenager might tell the story as it is written in the book, but I don't see a young child perceiving the abuse that way at all.

I am not suggesting the book is poorly written, but certainly not written through the eyes of a child who is being abused physically and mentally the way he was.

Unbelievable, yet true…

As I read the book, I thought of the times my two children behaved badly. How could a mother carry a child for nine months and love him for a few years only to then turn on him and steal his childhood, dignity and soul? How could a father stand by and allow this?

Though I knew that this was a true story, I found it unbelievable. How could no one have intervened? A neighbor? A teacher? How could a child survive being confined to a bathroom with toxic fumes choking him? Being starved, humiliated and isolated, why didn't he tell?

If not for the vivid details and the commentaries from some of David's saviors, I am not sure I would accept this story as true. Who could make this up?

Riveting, but incomplete…

I could not put the book down, I turned each page with such expressions of disbelief and horror that my children kept looking at me wondering what I could possibly be reading.

The book is relatively short, though it covers about eight years of Pelzer's life. I obviously did not enjoy the content, but I devoured the book from cover to cover. I do, however, have a few problems with A Child Called "It". Not major complaints, but observations.

The biggest issue is how the book ends so abruptly. Yes, we know he escapes his mother's wrath, but the epilogue is so brief that the book seems "unfinished." I quite literally went out to get the second book, The Lost Boy moments after I finished reading the first.

Additionally, though the story takes place mainly in the early 1970's, in this day and age one can't help but wonder as to how the abuse was never reported as there were obviously people who knew. Only after visiting davepelzer.com was it explained that at the time, a teacher feared losing her job and no laws were in place requiring the evidence of abuse to be reported.

It would have been helpful if an occasional reminder of the time period as well as some mention of the ages of Pelzer and his siblings as the years went on. What about the parents? Were they abused? Why did the father let this continue? Were there drugs or just alcohol? Did any other family members know? The story just seems incomplete. Yes, there are two more books, but the chronology and abbreviated epilogue just left me with my jaw on the floor trying to absorb the atrocities I'd just read such vivid accounts of.


All things considered, I did find the story riveting and it made me think. It made me appreciate life and my children. I ached for young Dave and hated his mother. A Child Called "It" truly is a powerful story that bombarded me with very real feelings, emotions and sympathy.

Most of all, it made me hug my daughters and tell them how much I love them, how proud they make me and how glad I am to have them. I held them close before I began reading the second part of the saga.

But that's another review.

08:41:56 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Yzerman

This is the stuff Stephen King books are made of: absolute horror; cruelty beyond imagination. Except it’s a true story. I heard about Dave Pelzer and his childhood of abuse from other social workers I work with, so I thought I knew what I was getting into when I bought the first book in Dave Pelzer’s trilogy: A Child Called “It”. Was I ever wrong! His case has been deemed the third worse case of child abuse in the history of California; I cannot begin to imagine what happened to the first two!

This first book chronicles Dave’s childhood from 4 to 12 years of age. His life started off happy; he had a mother, father, and two brothers. They lived a good life; family dinners, vacations, love and affection. But around the time Mr. Pelzer was 4 years old, his mother began a steady decline into the world of alcoholism and mental illness. Her behavior began to radically change. Her once sweet, loving nature became harsh. She would spend all day on the couch in her bathrobe watching television and drinking.

For reasons not explained in this first book, Dave was targeted for all of his mother’s rage. The “discipline” began simply by making him sit in the corner for hours at a time. Then the beatings started, and she even pulled his arm out of socket. Dave’s father was a firefighter and stayed at the firehouse until his day off. Dave loved when his father was home because it meant he was “safe” because his mother had to be on her best behavior.

As his mother’s descent into the illness continued, the abuse worsened. She banished him to the basement and made him wear the same dirty clothes day after day. She was very fond of “games”. No, not Monopoly kind of games, but games borne of her twisted imagination. She would give him a list of chores and tell him that if he wanted to eat that day, he would have all of the chores done in an impossible amount of time. He would go as long as ten days at a time without eating.

Dave began stealing food from school, from stores, begging from the neighbors, eating left over food from the dog’s dish, etc. Once his mother caught on that he was getting food from other sources, she began making him puke everyday when he returned home, and God help him if he puked anything up! While the family ate dinner together every night, Dave was forced to stand in the basement. When dinner was over, he would be called upstairs to do the dishes for a meal that he didn’t get any of.

The school Dave went to finally started noticing his physical condition, not only bruises and cuts, but the fact that he wore the same thread bare clothes everyday, went months without a bath, and was extremely under weight. He was always in trouble for stealing food from the other children (he learned if he stole food and ate it first thing in the morning, it would already be digested by the time he got home from school when his mother would make him puke). One of the school staff finally called his mother to see what the problem was, but when he saw how beat-up Dave was the next day at school, he knew making waves would only make matters worse for Dave’s situation.

Dave’s father, who was also an alcoholic, tried to intervene on his son’s behalf, but his wife would just make his life miserable. He tried to sneak food to his son from time to time, but after getting caught several times, he decided it wasn’t worth facing the wrath of his wife over. He began spending more and more time away from home, which only fueled the mother’s anger even more, and poor Dave suffered because of it.

The abuse continued to escalate after the birth of two more sons. Her games now included making Dave drink ammonia and Clorox. Often she would mix the two lethal chemicals together in a bucket and lock Dave in the bathroom with it. As the chemical cloud would descend on him, he would cough up blood and pass out. Another game was to make him lay in an ice-cold bathtub full of water for hours at a time; the only thing she would allow to stick out of the water was his nose so that he could breathe.

Finally, Dave’s school intervened. They had kept meticulous notes on his injuries; they required him to visit the school nurse every day to document new bruises, cuts, and even a stab wound where his mother stabbed him with a knife. This is actually where the book begins with the school calling the police; the rest of the book is a flashback of what led up to this point.

Pelzer tells the story in the first person, and from the point of view of himself as a child. He includes what he was thinking and feeling at the time of these incidents. By the end, he thought of his mother only as “The B*tch”; she was no longer a person or a mother to him. One question bothered me through the entire story, and that was: why him? She had five sons, why did she only abuse him? I suppose that since he was writing from a child’s point of view, he did not know the answer to that himself (at least, at that time). I plan to read the second book of the trilogy because I am so curious about that, and I also want to know what happened to his parents. I would really like to know that both of them are rotting in prison! Even though his father didn't participate in the abuse, he did not do anything to stop it, so that makes him just as guilty in my book.

The story was well written and easy to read. The story itself is only 153 pages and I read the entire book in one sitting. In the back of the book there are a couple of extra sections on child abuse and resources, as well as, notes written by the teacher who finally “blew the whistle”. This is a soft cover book published in 1995 by Health Communications, Inc., and costs $9.95 plus tax. It can be found in most bookstores in the Self-Help/Psychology/Inspiration sections.

I do recommend this book, especially for social workers, teachers, day care workers, or anyone else who works with children. After reading this book, you will definitely be more aware of some of the indicators of child abuse. A word of caution, however, if you are squeamish or very sensitive, I would not recommend this book. The subject matter is very emotional, brutal, and horrific. As a social worker, I have worked with severely abused children and that still didn’t prepare me for the horror of this story.

On the bright side, Dave Pelzer went on to become a very well known motivational speaker, dedicating his life to helping others. He has received personal commendations from former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, several international awards, and was a Torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay.

The second book in the trilogy is The Lost Boy and is based on his life from ages 12 to 18 years old. The third book is A Man Named Dave and is from age 18 to present.

08:44:28 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: kelly60

A Child Called "It" is the kind of book that you can read cover to cover in one sitting. It is one of the few books I have ever read that have held my attention in this manner.

It is a true story of the life and the terrible abuse suffered by a little boy named David Pelzer. This is the first in a series of three books about his life. This book covers his life from age 4 through 12 years of age. His tragic story is continued in two other books, The Lost boy and A Man Called Dave.

David's story begins with a very loving family who somehow turn against him and the torture and abuse begin for young David. While David's brothers were treated well, he was treated as a slave. He was made to clean up after his family while he was being starved and mistreated.

A Child Called "It" was written by David Pelzer of his own life as the child who was never called by his own name, but rather either the "boy," or "it." The story is told in a heartbreaking manner from this child who was so badly abused that you can only wonder how he managed to even survive this horrible ordeal.

I found myself in tears many times through this story. It is inconceivable that any parent could do such things to their own child as what was done to poor David by his mother. All the while, his father stood back and did nothing to prevent this abuse. He would warn David not to upset his mother, and then allow the abuse to continue. Even his brothers were turned against him by his mother, who had them all convinced that he was nothing more than a worthless piece of trash.

He was teased at school due to the torn and smelly condition of his clothing. He was starved, beaten and tortured to such extremes that it is really unimaginable. He was left for days with no food.

A Child Called "It" is definitely not a book to cheer you up, nor it it a book that you will be able to close after a chapter or two. It will truly grasp your attention from start to finish, so be prepared to sit down for a couple of hours and read it cover to cover.

I chose this book because of a friend's recommendation, and I am very glad that I did. It gives you the insight of seeing things from this child's point of view. We will never know how or why such a horrible thing could have happened. We can only be thankful for the teachers who stepped in to save this young boy from his tragic life.

08:47:40 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: bops_mom

Like many others who've reviewed this book, I've had A Child Called 'It' just sitting on my shelf for awhile. Why you may ask would one buy a book only to let it sit there? Well, I wanted to read this book. I wanted to read the story of this amazing man, but I knew that it wasn't going to be easy for me. Not exactly a nice, happy-go-lucky read if you know what I mean. No sweet romance, or interesting mystery here.

Finally, this afternoon I somehow managed to muster up the "courage" to read A Child Called 'It'. I think it was only because I was tired that I grabbed the book and laid down to relax. (For anyone who's read the book, you know it's impossible to be comfortable while reading this!) Horrific as it was, I devoured this book in just over an hour. I could not stop reading. I had to know what this poor child would become.

About the book

A Child Called 'It' by David Pelzer is the authors true life story about the severe child abuse he endured. It's part one in a three part series, this book covers David's life from age 4 - 12.

I'm thankful that the book starts out telling about how David was "saved". How there were actually some people who FINALLY got up the courage to do something about what was happening to him at home. Knowing that he made it out alive really helped me to get through all the terrifying abuse he endured.

Mr. Pelzer writes the story from the point of view of a child. As if was happening to him right then. He goes into some detail of the abuse… I say "some" and not "graphic" detail, because I really have the feeling that he could have written in a way that would have given us an extremely graphic portrayal of his abuse. As it was, what he did give us was bad enough. David Pelzer's abuse case is the third worse ever in California states history.

As the story starts out, David live in a nice, normal home. He's got a mom and dad who love him and two great brothers. They take vacations, have picnics, visit zoos and just love life.

Then something happens. What we don't really know. David's mom slowly snaps. She starts by beating him and blaming him for things that don't go just right. From there it escalates to what I call torture. Forcing him to swallow bleach, ammonia, baby poop and food she'd made him throw up. He was starved, turned into the family slave and was so mentally abused by his moms mind games that he really started to believe he was just an "it". He wasn't one of the family. He wasn't given new clothing to wear, he wasn't allowed to eat, he wasn't allowed to sleep in his bed any more. It's truly amazing he survived.

His mom obviously had at least one mental illness as well as being an alcoholic. His father, who at one time was his savior from his mom, also started to drink to just get away from all of this. He no longer helped David, but just stood there and let it happen.

My feelings

This story is truly horrifying. Then again, it should be. Child abuse, in any form - great or "small" is something that should not happen. I really can't say this book is for everyone. As it was, having gone though some abuse as a child myself, it was difficult to read at times. I saw myself in David. Feeling worthless and like somehow it had to be my fault. Because of this, I do think that anyone who can stomach such a tale should read A Child Called 'It' - just to know what a child really does feel like. It's not logical, but the mind games really do rule the child.

I also feel that this book should do wonders for anyone who has read it to be sure that if they even THINK a child is being abused that they would stand up for that child and not rest until they're sure the child is safe. Whether that means the child must leave their current guardian or if things really are okay at home, just see it out! Children can't stand up for themselves. They need us to help them, and as far as I'm concerned it's our responsibility as human beings to do this!

As long as I live, I will never understand how anyone could intentionally harm a child. I simply cannot comprehend it. I don't understand how a mother could do these things to her own child. And I do not understand why David was the one who took the abuse. There were other children who never had a thing happen to them. They got to keep living like normal people… I simply do not get it.


If you can handle it, read this book. Yes, it's sickening to know that this happens, but really, we do know it happens. Because of A Child Called 'It' we can see how real it is, it's not just a few sentences in the paper or a scene in that movie. It's real life. And it effects these children for their entire lives.

David Pelzer gives hope to all formerly abused children. He overcame his horrific abuse and today is loving father of a son his own.

08:50:31 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: beckish

Child abuse. Cold, cruel, heartless, unbelievable. Something that no one wants to talk about, yet it happens to the most vulnerable members of our society way too often.

Don't read this book unless you are prepared to have your heart broken. Dave Pelzer has torn open the secrecy of being an abused child and revealed his experiences, something that took incredible courage for him to do. Too often the veil of secrecy and of protecting the abuser prevails, and many children do not escape the living hell they are trapped in until it is too late. This book should be mandatory reading in every parenting class that exists, because it might open the eyes of those who are at risk to harm their children.

Dave Pelzer paints a picture of his childhood that is bleak and heart-wrenching. This child was beaten, abused, harmed, stabbed, starved, and all this by the person who should have been willing to give her own life to protect him and keep him safe from harm; his own mother. As a mother myself, I can't begin to fathom how this woman could do the things she did to her helpless child.

His childhood started out like a storybook one, being in a family where he and his brother were loved and cherished by wonderful parents. Then everything changed, and he became his mother's personal whipping boy. His father, who should have stood up and stopped the abuse from happening, merely told him to be good, to make his mother happy, and to stay out of her way.

The things this woman did to her child will make your blood curdle. He mentions her alcoholism in the book, but it had to have gone far deeper than that. The woman had to have been mentally unbalanced to have hurt her small child in the way that she did.

The young Dave was the one who was blamed for everything. He was the family slave, the one who was required to do all the chores, and the one who was beaten and starved on a daily basis. He was sent to school in filthy, ragged clothes with his little body covered with bruises. It took the school years to finally realize that they could no longer condone what they saw happening before their very eyes.

Today, perhaps this kind of abuse would not have gone on so long without being stopped. Children who come to school covered with bruises are going to draw attention, and hopefully the result would be intervention that would protect the child.

If you do decide to purchase and read this book, plan on setting aside time to read it that you can be uninterrupted. It is impossible to put down once you have picked it up; it took me three hours to read it from cover to cover. Afterwards I sat there crying tears for what that poor child suffered, and then went to hug my own kids and tell them how much I love them.

I recommend this book as an eye-opener, a very clear message that we all have to be involved with each other. Our society depends on its members helping each other, and working together toward a common good. This book is a good example of what happens when that aspect of society falls apart and people become too isolated. These atrocities then start to happen.

Read the book. Feel the pain young Dave Pelzer experienced, not only physically but emotionally, knowing that his mother did not love him and was able to harm him so badly. Then go and hug your kids and be grateful that they are not growing up in this kind of environment.

This is the first book in a three part series. "A Child Called It" covers Dave Pelzer's childhood from age four to age twelve. The second book in the series is entitled "The Lost Boy", and covers Dave Pelzer's life from age 12 to age 18. The final book is entitled "A Man Named Dave", and covers from age 18 and up. I purchased all three of these books at the same time, knowing full well that I would not be able to stop at the end of the first one. I had to know what happened to him as he grew up, and where he is at today.

"A Child Called It" will break your heart. It will make you angry, and it will make you want to go and rescue that poor child, love him, care for him, and keep him safe. It is also a picture of the human spirit, the drive to survive, the courage and determination to rise above it all. Dave Pelzer truly found himself fighting for his very life, and he triumphed over it all. This is not a book you will ever forget.

08:51:21 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Mimi369

David Pelzer is a survivor. He is my hero. He is also one of few seriously abused children who miraculously made it to adulthood. This painful emotional true story, A Child Called It, is the first of a trilogy describing in vivid, horrific detail the child abuse suffered by David from the hands and feet of his own mother!

I had heard a great deal about this book prior to reading it. My daughter gave it to me as a mother's day gift so I began to read it. Immediately, from page one to the last page, my heart went out to David. Poor little David! How could anyone, especially one's mother, verbally, physically and emotionally torture a child? For me, the absolute worst of the tortures was the gas-chamber "game" of punishment. David's mother, a very sick, disturbed alcoholic, would put David in the bathroom with a liquid brew of bleach and ammonia in a bucket. She would lock the door leaving the poisonous fumes to burn his eyes and throat rendering him unconscious.

Some of the other difficult to believe punishments included forcing David to eat his own regurgitated food that he had stolen from school and had to eat frozen!! His mother took pleasure in starving him as a means of showing him that he meant nothing to her. In fact she told him more times than I care to mention here how much she hated him and wished that he were dead! She made little five year old David do most of the house hold chores on a time limit. He was in essence, her slave and treated worse than a dog! If he was unsuccessful in completing his chores in a timely fashion, he would not eat that night!! Or the next and possibly several nights and mornings after that!!

I was very disturbed while reading this book. What angered me the most is the fact that too many "outsiders" knew about the abuse, and for one reason or another, chose to sit back and ignore it. David's father was also trapped in this sick family, but his behavior angered me probably more than the mother's. I feel this way because David's father was also a victim, but he was an adult who could have left at any time and saved David.

This book is a real tear jerker. Make sure you have plenty of Kleenex when reading this one. You will find yourself praying that someone will stand up and make things right for David. You will start to question how anyone can stand by and not help a suffering child. You will begin to understand the depths and seriousness of child abuse in America. You must read this amazing autobiography to find out how David was finally saved.

I highly recommend reading this book and passing it on to your own children to read, when the time is age appropriate. My teenaged daughter is reading it now. We all must take a stand in trying to stop child abuse.

God bless you David!

08:52:07 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: juliewh

What can be more demoralizing to a child than losing his identity in the world? Can you think of anything sadder than a child who was not considered human by his own family?

This book is an autobiography written by David Pelzer about the horrendous conditions under which he was forced to live on a daily basis. It is a story told from a child’s point of view of the unspeakable severe abuse he endured from ages 4 to 12. It is a story of survival and hope!

SMACK! Mother hits me in the face, and I topple to the floor. I know better than to stand there and take the hit. I learned the hard way that she takes that as an act of defiance, which means more hits, or worst of all, no food.

I act timid, nodding to her threats. I let tears of of mock defeat stream down my face as she storms out of the kitchen, seemingly satisfied with herself. The act worked. Mother can beat me all she wants, but I haven’t let her take away my will to somehow survive.

In an unusual approach, Pelzer lets the reader know his childhood survival strategies and actual thoughts that kept him alive. Indeed some of the sadistic abuse was of a nature that it could have killed him.

The book is short, 153 pages, and very quick reading. It is difficult to read only because of the very disturbing content. I felt sick to my stomach at times and cried for young Dave at other times. I had to put it down a few times just to absorb what I had read and emotionally recover.

Dave’s life started out ideally, with a loving mother and father who shared a wonderful family life with Dave and his two brothers. He remembered trips to the park, being sung to, family vacations and a soothing and nurturing mother. The reader is not informed, probably because four year old David had no clue, as to why his world fell apart when he was four years old. It was at that time that his mother started to single him out for severe punishment and physical and psychological abuse. The book chronicles the ever worsening forms of abuse the boy endured at the hands of his mentally ill, alcoholic mother.

The discipline for David, who was referred to as a “bad boy”, escalated from sitting in a corner for hours to severe beatings and even having his arm pulled out of it’s socket. As the mother’s alcoholism and mental illness progressed, the little boy was banished to the basement where he was forced to sleep and live except when he was allowed upstairs to perform chores as “the family slave”. He wore the same dirty clothes day after day and was often deprived of food for many days at a time., up to 10 days one time. This resulted in his stealing food at school, shoplifting food, and begging from neighbors. He inevitably got caught and paid the consequences, torturous child abuse.

Two more brothers were lovingly brought into the family. His mother nurtured and loved all the other children. David was targeted as the victim, the “black sheep”… He was made to sit in a prisoner of war pose with his hands under him and his head back for many hours at a time. He was forced to inhale and ingest his baby brother’s excrement, He was force to drink ammonia and Clorox. He was locked in the bathroom, which became a veritable gas chamber containing a bubbling bucket of a poisonous chemical combination of ammonia and Clorox. He was stabbed in the stomach and was not taken for medical treatment and had to squeeze out the infection himself.

At first his father tried to protect his son. But after a while his father, himself an alcoholic, was rarely present in the home and rarely even tried to help David. He was afraid to stand up to his viscous wife. He stood by and dispassionately allowed the abuse to continue. David stated that he hated his father even more than his mother for his failure to protect him. Eventually his brothers didn’t care about him either and even participated in some of the abuse. At school, he was ridiculed by the other children and ignored by teachers.

Eventually a diligent teacher risked intervention. He sent David to the nurse daily and they carefully documented his injuries. The police came and rescued the child, never to return home again.

This book left me with many questions. Perhaps they will be answered in the next two books of the sequel, The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave.

What provoked the mother to change so drastically?
Why was David the only one abused. while she coddled the others?
When David was removed from the home did someone replace him as the victim?
Why did it take so long for teachers to recognize the abuse and to take steps?
Does he have a relationship with any of his four brothers?
What are his residual health and emotional effects of the abuse?

As a CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocate for children) I have first hand knowledge of abused and neglected children. I am appointed by the court to investigate cases where children have been removed from the home for reasons of abuse or neglect and make recommendations to the judge what is in the best interest of the child. I have never encountered this kind of sadistic treatment by a parent and I hope I never do.

The book ends with several chapters, one written by the teacher that saved Dave, devoted to preventing child abuse… I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in child abuse such as teachers, social workers, day care providers and CASAs.

David Pelzer has become a loving father and a motivational speaker. He dedicates his life working in the prevention of child abuse.

The book is a paperback published by Health Communications, Inc. I paid $6.75 (listed at $9.95) at Sam’s Club.

08:53:03 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: LisaDo

This is one of the best books, although tragic, that I have ever read. It is simply amazing what this child is put through and yet he manages to live to tell about it.

This book is about a little boy and child abuse, "the third worst case of child abuse on record in the entire state of California" as quoted from the book. Dave Pelzer tells the story of his own life from the ages of 4 to 12. There is another two books in the series. One is called "The Lost Boy", which is based on Dave from the ages of 12-18. The other is "A Man Called Dave", which I am awaiting it's release.

The things that happen to Dave in the book are almost to horrible to believe! I can not believe that a mother would do these things to her son. And that his father allowed it! It amazes and outrages me. As a mother of one myself, I can not image doing these things! Beating his face into the kitchen counters, breaking his arm, stabbing him with a knife, not feeding him for up to ten days in a row, not to mention the other horrible things that she does. I almost got sick at one point. What she did was so horrible! I don't want to get into graphic detail, just read the book!

It also tells about the teachers and others that risked their jobs to set Dave "free". Free from his mother and the torture that she put him through. Free from the starving sessions, and dirty, ragged clothes that were never washed.

Many people had ideas that things were not right, and yet no one helped this boy out until he was 12 years old. How could this happen?!? How could people see this poor boy all skin and bones and not help! He was stealing from other kids lunch boxes as he wasn't allowed to eat and home. He got caught many times and yet no one guessed. They questioned the mother, and of course she denied it saying that Dave had an active imagination and was basically a liar. They believed her, not this poor starving badly bruised boy. Even when she took him to the hospital about his broken arm and said that he fell from the top bunk. Yes, it does happen, but the way it was broke made the nurse ask questions but nothing came of it in the long run.

This book will make you sad, frustrated, angry, and possibly sick to your stomach with what this boy is put through, but I still HIGHLY recommend it. It is also a story of great courage on the part of this little boy. How he makes it through each day. How he finally escapes his private hell.

It is a fairly short book and I read it in no time at all. The softcover book that I bought online from Barnes and Noble was just shy of 12$ including shipping and handling and I received it about a week. It is fairly large print and also includes short paragraphs in the back from Dave Pelzer himself, Steven E Ziegler, a teacher that helped him get away from his mother, Valerie Bivens, a Social Worker, and Glenn A Goldberg, former Executive Director of the California Consortium for the Prevention of Child Abuse. They say a little about Dave and what happened and have other statistics of child abuse.

08:53:55 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: cdm72

David Pelzer's A Child Called "It", the first in his trilogy (followed by The Lost Boy and A Man Called Dave) tells the story of his first 12 years of life, most of which was lived at the abusive hand of his mother in "one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history." The back cover tells us A Child Called "It" is "the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played torturous 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."

Marketed as "An inspirational story", this New York Times and USA Today bestseller is a brutal, horrible story, one you won't easily forget. Unfortunately, you'll also have a difficult time taking it at its word.

Now, I don't mean to downplay or disregard what Pelzer went through. I wasn't there, for all I know every word in the book is the absolute truth. But just read it for yourself and see if you don't find yourself wondering if maybe a paragraph here and there might be exaggerated.

Dave Pelzer and his two older brothers started life with what Dave himself calls "the 'Brady Bunch' of the 1960s." His father was a firefighter in San Fransisco while his mother took care of their home in Daly City just a few miles away. While their father was at work, their mother took them on day trips and seemed to spoil the children. But over time, David found his punishments were not only becoming more extreme, but more and more frequent, eventually leading to his mother flying off the handle if he did nothing more than look at her or one of his brothers.

There are horrific stories in A Child Called "It" about Dave's constant struggles for food. Often his breakfast consisted of whatever one of his brothers didn't eat. His lunch was 2 peanut butter sandwiches. And more often than not, he wasn't allowed dinner. He was made to wear the same clothes every week throughout the school year. He slept in the basement, which was really a garage under the house. Some of his mother's favorite punishments included forcing young David to lie for hours in a tub full of cold water, allowing only his nose above the water so the boy could breathe. Or she would close him up in the bathroom with a bucket of amonia and Clorox until the room filled with noxious gas, burning his lungs and melting away some of the skin on David's tongue. She beat him, starved him, ridiculed him, even to the point of his younger brothers (she had 2 more children after her abuse of David was under way) growing up with an ingrained hatred of him.

This went on for years, from about the time David was in the first grade until he was 12 years old, until FINALLY a teacher stepped in. David's case was reported to the police and he was rescued. "I'm free?" he recalls thinking as he's being driven away in a police car.

For starters, I want to say that if David's story is the real deal, he has my undying sympathy. I have a son who'll be in first grade next year and he's about the most precious thing ever. I could never even imagine treating him like David was treated. Hell, even if only part of the story is true, it's more than I could ever do to my children.

But that's where the hard part comes in; taking this story at face value. Some things just don't add up for me.

For one, David tells how his father tries to sneak food to him and whispers once in a while that he's trying to plan an escape for the two of them. Finally David's father decides he can't handle David's mother or the situation with David and he moves out on his own. What? What father in the world, even the biggest scumbag father, would knowingly abandon a child to this treatment? Better yet, what kind of father would allow it in the first place? The first time I came home to find my son was sleeping in the garage on a cot would be the biggest fight my wife and I ever had. But it would quickly be topped when my son came to me to whisper that his mother had stabbed him. All David's father says, however, is, "does Mother know you're in here talking to me? You better go back in there and do the dishes. 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…"

Do what?

I also find it hard to believe his mother shoved his face into a soiled baby diaper and told him to eat the contents. Or that she forced him to throw up the food he'd stolen at school that afternoon, then forced him to eat it again when his father came home that night.

We don't call that abuse in my house, we call it divorce and grounds for custody.

David's story is a tragic one and I certainly hope to God it's not true, but, like I said earlier, I wasn't there. I have to take his word for it that what he wrote is what happened, although, seriously, it WAS 30 years ago. Events could have been blown out of proportion in that time. For all I know, A Child Called "It" is another in a line of spectacular "true account" stories like Communion or Lorenzo Carcaterra's Sleepers that is so incredible in its accounts that we don't know whether to believe it or blow it off as an attempt to make more out of something than it deserves.

I've no doubt David Pelzer was abused as a child. Court records alone should be able to prove that. Surely witnesses could be found to attest to his bruises and behavior, enough to correlate with the events in the book. And maybe the next 2 books in the trilogy provide the answers I'm looking for, but on it's own A Child Called "It" is nothing more than the hook for the rest of the series. It's a terrible story, but on its own, the facts aren't there to back it up. We don't know, from the first book alone, what happened to his mother--I would hope a very LONG prison term--or his four brothers. We don't know if he ever reconnected with his father. And probably most important, we don't know WHY his mother did this, and why her torments were saved for David alone, leaving the other four children alone. We don't know anything other than the extent of his abuse. I'm sure that was the intent with the first book, but for me, I need a little more.

However, whether you believe his story or not, A Child Called "It" will do one thing for you--give you a whole new level of appreciation for your own children. When my wife saw I was reading it, she said it would make me sad and make me want to hug the kids. Well, it didn't make me sad, but it did make me want to make sure the kids know I love them.

08:55:59 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Darkmistress

I came about as close to child abuse as I am every likely to come a few weeks ago. We were baking Christmas cookies with my husband’s soon to be ex-sister-in-law and her two year old was a little wildebeest all day. In fact, I’m pretty sure wildebeests are better behaved. He ran round the house, he messed with things he wasn’t supposed to mess with, he swung a bag of balls around until he beaned himself, he wanted everything until the moment he had it and then he wanted everything else. I was this close {} to locking the little bugger in the closet (which is the extent of my physical abuse.) I was so angry at the kid it didn’t matter that I knew why he was acting the way he was (father walked out, parents divorcing, Christmas) and it didn’t matter than he was only two, I wanted to kill him.

And I think that’s what most people think of as child abuse. Parental discipline that gets out of control and goes too far. My grandfather used to steal my mother’s and uncles’ saved money and go drinking and when he came home, he would wake them up to find it and when they couldn’t he would beat them for losing the money, but he was drunk and not in his right mind. Around the time ‘child abuse’ started being used as a term the show Emergency did a sub-plot dealing with a little boy with some very suspicious injuries. It turned out that the mother had inflicted the injuries, but she’d gotten a concussion in an accident that caused a change in her personality. In each of these cases we want to believe that child abuse is something that isn’t planned, isn’t malicious, isn’t something done by a sober adult.

Except that David’s mother did plan, was malicious and had to be sober part of the time. And David’s father stood by and watched helplessly.

About the time that episode of Emergency aired in 1975 David’s mother singled him out to torture. She would refuse to give him food for days (up to ten,) she made him sleep in the garage, she wouldn’t allow him to even eat the leftovers from dinner. And she planned tortures for him like making him lay in a slowly draining tub of cold water for hours and locking him in the bathroom with a mixture of bleach and ammonia. She also once stabbed him and refused to take him in for treatment. She was drunk when she stabbed him, but she wasn’t drunk for the entire time he was healing and when she stabbed him she was threatening him with the knife. Would you threaten your kid with a knife? I didn’t even want to threaten Alex with physical harm, I just wanted to lock him in a closet.

Did I mention that David was 7 when this started? Did I mention that David’s father kept promising to help him only to stand aside and watch when his mother forced David to eat his own vomit which she’d forced out of him as proof that he was stealing food because she wouldn’t feed him? Did I mention that David had four brothers who she didn’t treat this way?

This book is both an easy and shatteringly difficult read. Easy because it takes a very short time to read, I accomplished it in two days at work. If I had been home and uninterrupted I would have finished it in about 4 hours. Shatteringly difficult because it takes apart everything we would like to believe about child abuse. It is not only done by stupid people, David’s mother was a nurse before quitting to raise her family. Up until he started first grade she was a loving, involved mother. David’s father was a firefighter, saved people for a living, but wouldn’t save his own son from his wife. It is not always just an overestimation of force. Sure it was an accident when she stabbed him, but it was no accident when she beat him with a dog chain. And it isn’t always an altered state of consciousness. She drank and she drank a lot, but she took care of her other four boys and she wasn’t drunk constantly for five years.

That’s how long this continued. David was starting fifth grade when the school decided enough was enough. Too many things were funny, too many stories didn’t jibe. He was taken out of his parents home and placed in foster care. It’s with that story the book starts. I haven’t yet decided if that’s a good thing or not. It is nice to know, while reading the book, that the horror will end, but at the same time when you get to the end of the book it doesn’t feel like it’s ended without rereading the opening chapter of the book.

I recommend it with a caveat. Read it in the morning when you will not be seeing your children for hours. You may frighten them with your emotional response to the story of this poor little boy. And if you find yourself wondering why someone didn’t stop her sooner remember, ‘child abuse’ became an accepted term in 1973 and everyone associated it with Sybil, whose seriously insane mother tortured her so much that she had 27 separate personalities. Teachers were not held responsible for reporting suspected child abuse until the 80’s, before then it was ‘discipline’ and you had no right to poke into a family’s private business like that. And when I was in college in the early 90’s I met up with a girl from the neighboring town who told me her brothers forbid her to date boys from my home town because they were known to beat their girlfriends and wives.* Up to and including one of my cousins whose wife got herself together while he was in jail (I have a really checkered family) and for all we know she beats him now. This stuff all still happens, accidentally and pathologically planned. It’s our responsibility to be aware of that little kid who always seems to have a black eye or a bruise in the shape of a hand on his arm and that husband or wife who seems afraid of their spouse.

*If you're curious go to http://www.brookfieldpd.org/radiocalls.html and you will find two domestic calls. One is labeled man beating woman in street, the other involves a man kicking out the windows of a cruiser after being arrested for violating a restraining order. The train trestle call is pretty funny if you need a lift after the other 2.

08:56:36 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: theawahaid

I've read this book so many times, and yet it's still difficult to know exactly how to tackle writing a review on it. It’s one of those books that combine everything-heartbreak, sadness, joy, fear, elation, desperation and misery, and every time I read this book I feel different.

The topic is certainly not a happy one at all. It's a tale of horrendous child abuse, and it really is a harrowing and horrifying read. It’s the first in a series of three books portraying this boy’s unhappy childhood, and was certainly the book from the trio that affected me the most.

Many children have tales to tell of abuse, and I've read many stories on the matter, having suffered myself at some point, but never as much as this. This book covers eight years of such mind blowing abuse that at times I felt like putting the book down and stepping away, as it had me in tears so many times.

The story is an autobiographical account of the early years in the life of Dave Pelzer, the middle child of five boys. For some reason he was singled out as his mothers punching bag. I don’t want to detail all the issues in this review, but at various points she starved, burnt, kicked, stabbed, and attempted to drown Dave. In one chapter we also read how his mother starved him so much that he stole and ate frozen raw hotdogs from the school kitchens. HIs mother made him vomit it up, and then forced him, in front of his father, to eat it. He was even forced to eat his baby brother’s nappy contents.

I'm not sure who the book was written for exactly. Maybe for teachers and social workers, maybe for people who were the victims of abuse themselves, or maybe it was just Dave’s way of healing the past and coming to terms with it.

David’s writing style is addictive, and although he topics discussed absolutely disgusted and shocked me, there were some beautiful memories of times before the abuse that were so joyful the contrast was shocking.

The book also contains interviews with the people who helped bring about an end to his torment, and these are just as moving as the book.

There are also chapters containing information on how to get help, and some rather shocking american statistics on child abuse.

The story doesn't end in this book, although he does tie the book up nicely at the end by moving on to his present life, showing that yes, people who have suffered this level of abuse can go on to a normal life. As I've said, every time I read it my feelings on reaching the end are different. Sometimes I am inspired by the way he lived through it, at others I am depressed by the sheer magnitude of it all. However, it's still a book I'd heartily recommend, and I'd also recommend reading the sequels, 'The Lost Boy' and 'A man named Dave’ If you like books that can move you to tears, you'll love this!

A Child named ‘it’. Dave Pelzer,
6.99, published by Orion,
ISBN: 0752837508

Thanks for reading!

08:58:02 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: chantilly20

This is a true story. Written years later by the man that was this child, David Pelzer. This is a story of a child's courage to survive.

If you have never read a book in your life, this one is a must. It's about a little boy named David who for the first 5 years of his life had a very loving family. A Mother and Father that loved him and showed that love. For some reason everything changed. He became a child of a VERY abusive Mother. His parents drank a lot. His Father would try to take up for him but "Mother" would always win.

David had two other Brother's which were never abused. Later a third Brother. They lived a fairly normal life. They were allowed to eat, have new clothes, play as normal children would. Sleep in a nice bed. Everything a child would want.

On the other hand David had none of this. He was not allowed to eat with the family. Most of the time he was not allowed to eat. When he was, it was the scrapes left over from what the family didn't eat. Sometimes she set a time limit to eat. If he didn't finish in that time she set, he had to stop. Sometimes he would have to go through the trash can to get something to eat. When his Mother found out he was getting food from the trash she poured something in it so he wouldn't be able to eat it. No new clothes for David. Over the years between the ages of five to twelve his clothes were rags. He had to sleep in the garage on an old army cot. No covers or heat to keep warm. He had to wash his own clothes.

He had to do the family chores. If he didn't get a chore done in the amount of time set by his Mother he would get beat. These beatings became a game for his Mother. One game that she liked was "Mother" would send him to the bathroom with a mixture of ammonia and clorox in a bucket. Shut the door. The fumes would over take him. Afterwards he would cough up blood for over an hour. He called that game The Gas Chamber Game. There were other games simular to this one. Another time his Mother stabbed him then told him to finish his chores not caring that he was in GREAT pain and bleeding. Over the years he became use to the games. He started to believe his Mother when she said he was bad, a nobody, an "IT" !!.

Since David didn't get to eat at home he became a troubled child at school. The school didn't know what was going on at home, or just over looked it. In my opinion anyone would be able to see something wasn't right. He would steal food from the other children. After he was found out on what he was doing at school, his Mother would make him throw-up when he got home to show that he had nothing on his stomach.

In his fifth year in school help finally came. A nurse would check him over and see all the bruises, the scar where she stabbed him years ago. His life in that house was finally over. He Was Free!!

As an adult he spends a lot of his time working with "Youth at Risk". Also programs on child abuse prevention etc…
He has written three books about his life. The book after this one is "The Lost Boy". About his life between the ages of twelve to eighteen. The third one being," A Man Named Dave".

He has received several Awards and had the honor to carry the Olympic flame for the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay.
There is a web site which is www.davepelzer.com

I am now reading the second book. Who in their right mind could treat a child like this.

I have questions on why he was the only child in his family to be treated this way. Why the school system didn't see something was wrong years before something was finally done.

At the end of this book Dave comments, "that many of your questions will be answered in the next two books".

08:59:43 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: unhappycarrie

First, I would like to thank the 150 plus members that also reviewed this book. Yzerman, Mimi369, Angelabar, Chantilly20, Kelly60, Bryan_carey, and others' reviews had me down at my local bookstore begging to buy a copy.

On with the review…

David Pelzer lives with his parents, 4 brothers, the family dog, and a horrifying secret. He lives his life in Hell. He doesn't remember what it's like to have new clothes, new shoes, sleep in a warm bed, or eat dinner that someone hasn't already picked over. In fact, sometimes he goes days without eating at all.

Life wasn't always this difficult for David. He remembers going to the park and lakes with his family. He remembers being loved.

Around the time he turned 4, however, things began to change. His mother and father both had drinking problems. Things get worse when David's dad has to start traveling for his work. With his father out of the picture most of the time, his mother rules the roost.

I don't know why his mother takes out her bitterness and anger out on David alone. Poor David has to endure such torment and degradation all on his own while his 4 brothers are left alone. She soon turns them against David.

At first, his mother would just make him stand in the corner for long periods of time without moving or talking. Soon she got bored of this and starts playing other "games" with him.

He was now confined to the basement and was only allowed upstairs when there were chores to be done. He had to sit on his hands on the steps in the basement until his mother called for him. On a good day, he was allowed to eat his brothers' leftover cereal. On a bad day, his mother would give him an obscene amount of chores to do and time him. If he got them done in time, he was allowed a small portion of food, if he didn't, he had to go without food and endure a painful beating.

She starts calling him "the boy" and eventually just calls him, "it."

The abuse only got worse after that. His mother would lock him in the bathroom with a bowl of ammonia, and a bowl of bleach, and tell him to clean. He would usually pass out, and at one point she actually made him drink this concoction because he was too slow.

The book chronicles David's life from the age of 4 to 12. There are two more books following this one: The Lost Boy, and A Man Named Dave. I am currently reading the second one hoping it will answer some of my questions.

My warning to those of you who have not read this book: This is a very disturbing account of the the third worst case of child abuse in California. It is very graphic. I had to put the book down and cry on more then one occasion, and I'm not a crier and do not have children of my own.

However, if you choose to read this book I think you will be glad that you did. David's purpose in writing these books is to create awareness and open people's eyes to such tragedies that are going on around us everyday. He does just that in A Child Called It.

09:02:50 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: trthomp

I decided to read this book after reading many other reviews about it here at Epinions. I decided that I wanted to know first hand what the book was all about! I bought this book, and the next one, THE LOST BOY at the same time. That was just over 3 weeks ago, and I am now deep into the third and final book, A MAN NAMED DAVE.

The trilogy of books is an intriguing story of an abused little boy. The first book in the trilogy, A CHILD CALLED IT, covers the time from before the abuse started, to a day several years later when “The Boy” was rescued. It is both a touching, and an emotionally tiring read.

What Happens:

The book starts out with the “rescue”. It is a very detailed and well written tale of the day David (as Dave Pelzer is referred to in the book) is removed from his mother’s house. I say that the book is well written because it is. Once you understand that the story is written from the point of view of a small helpless child, you should be able to look past the simple wording, and sometimes headscratch thoughts.

David is in the beginning of the book, the middle child. He has both an older and a younger brother. His mother stays at home, while his father is a firefighter. Life is good. The family enjoys home cooked meals, elaborate holiday festivities, family outings, and just being an average family.

David’s parents both drink. Their drinking goes from occasional to constant as you progress through this book and the other 2. It is obvious that his parents have marital problems, as David ages. Much of “The Mother’s” anger is turned toward David. It is not made clear in THIS book why she chose David, but we do get an small idea in book 3. She does more to David than “just” abuse him. Reading this book, you will relive David’s TORTURE at the hands of “The Evil Mother”, the name given to David’s once loving “Mommy”.

Reading this book, I actually can say I felt David’s pain. It is not usual for me to get this involved in a book. Each day, I suffered David being viciously attacked by “The Mother”. I heard the other kids making fun of him because of his clothes, and the way he smelled. You see, “The Mother” didn’t allow David to have but one pair of clothes to wear to school. These same clothes he also slept in at night. “The Mother” kept an extra pair of clothes in new condition for David to wear when people came to visit.

The abuse David endured was nothing less than the torture of slaves and prisoners of war. “The Mother” would make David swallow vial things, that the mere reading of turned my stomach. David, who was no longer a part of “The Family”, was forced to sleep on an Army cot in the garage! During “The Family” meals, David was forced to sit on the basement steps with his hands under his legs, and his head tilted back. Once “The Family” finished the meal, David was forced to clean up. If he failed to meet his mother’s time deadline, David was given no food.

Food was another way “The Mother” tortured David. She with held food for small infringements on HER rules. These infringements included being to slow too finish a chore, looking at her while she spoke, or responding to something she said without permission!

His father looks on and permits this to happen. I have read others comment on the fact that this seems unbelievable, but in fact it really isn’t. I, the reader, find myself fearful of this woman!! I can only imagine what she was saying to, doing to, or threatening the father with! The father took the role of many spouse’s of child abusers, he was an observer. I feel that he didn’t think he did anything wrong, he never hit David himself!! WE know now when we read this book, that the father is as much to blame for David’s plight as is “The Mother”. I will only say that living now in 2000, we have a much better idea and understanding of what abuse is and what it does!!

David goes to school each day and is examined by the school nurse. The nurse documents every mark on David’s body, as she has for a year. FINALLY, they decide they have enough evidence to remove David. Remember, this book is written by a now grown man, and it takes place in the late ‘60’s, early ‘70’s. Child abuse laws were not so clearly written. A child had to be PROVEN to be in a life threatening situation before anyone would EVEN LOOK at the case. Surely, if this abuse were going on now, David would not have suffered as long as he did! Another thing that would have been different now, is the other 3 boys would not have been allowed to stay with “The Mother”. Yes, there was a 4th son born after David's abuse began.

Even though this book is emotionally hard to read, I must say EVERYONE needs to read this book at some point in their life. I would not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 18, but it is a must for all adults. This book looks into the life of an abused child from that child’s point of view. WHAT AN EYE OPENER!! This book will make you see how important it is for all of us to become aware of child abuse and prevention!! IF ONLY! That must be the thoughts going through everyone’s mind who knew David as a child, but failed to report his living conditions to the proper authorities! IF ONLY one of them had stepped forth sooner, David would not have been so brutally attacked by his mother.

If only everyone who reads this book, comes away with a better understanding of what child abuse is, and what it does, the rate of abused children might begin to fall. Please do not be afraid to stand up for a child. You may see something, and think it is only minor. It may be a hint to a big underlying problem. If you are wrong, big deal!! What if that child is the next DAVID PELZER? What if your actions could save that child?

09:03:29 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: nikki1976

The mall was just about to close…I quickly ducked into the book store to pick up a gift for a friend. As they vacuumed the floors, I found what I went in for and was walking toward the cash register. I stopped for a second to check out the Best Seller rack. In the #3 spot was a book with the face of a beautiful little boy on the cover -- the title; A Child Called "It". I vaguely remembered someone raving about it recently, so I grabbed a copy before I cashed out.

This is, by far one of the most unforgettable books that I have ever read. Dave Pelzer shares the story of his childhood, in horrific detail. Beaten to a pulp on a daily basis by his alcoholic Mother, he was starved and shunned by the entire family, for reasons unknown to him, or anyone else.

In each of the 7 chapters (184 Pages), you feel the pain of this innocent boy as he fights for his life, and freedom. A guaranteed tear-jerker, especially when you pause and remember this is a true story.
There are no actors, just a numb soul in an innocent boy, left to the demise of his Mother's twisted games. What will the days punishment bring? Maybe a freezing bath for a few hours? Or perhaps the ammonia and clorox breathing treatment… Everyday it seemed to be something new and worse. Pleading for her to stop only made the beatings last longer, so he learned to deal with and hide pain at a very early age.

His heart growing cold and his brainwashed emotions soon lead him to believe maybe he really is a bad boy afterall. But his strength erupts from within, giving him the will and determination to survive.

Clearly written, Pelzer describes every detail of the incidents - weather it be the color of his father's shirt to how flushed his Mother's face would become when she went on a rant. It added to the overall feeling of the story, giving you the ability to imagine the situations, thus making it more realistic. You could almost smell the alcohol on his Mother's breath…

The author, Dave Pelzer has used this terrible situation to his advantage, addressing conventions, corporate groups and human-service professionals. Honored as becoming one of the ten most outstanding young Americans in 1994, he was also chosen to be a torchbearer in the 1996 Olympic Games. He has now dedicated his life and time to helping others help themselves.

This book is one in a trilogy. Followed by The Lost Boy, which picks up just where this one leaves off. If you could purchase just one book in the near future, this should definitely be It.

09:04:03 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: CJsMommy

I have never been as horrified, saddened, frustrated, maddened, and even uplifted as I have been after reading Dave Pelzer's book A Child Called "It" . This book has taken me to places I never thought I could go, and I'm not really sure I wanted to go. Although I feel this way about the book, I would also urge everyone to go out and read it! What kind of book could make me have all these feeling? Well, let me tell you a little bit about A Child Called "It" …

The story is autobiographical, although I found myself truly wishing this could never possibly have happened. The book starts at the end, but I will start at chapter two, because I don't want to spoil anything for you. The Pelzer family is a happy one. They seemed to be the perfect American family. A hard-working father, and a mother who would do anything for her three young boys. They take wonderful family vacations, surprise picnics, and have spectacular holiday celebrations. It seemed like nothing could take away the happiness from this family.

Then, one day, something changed. Suddenly David, the youngest boy, was being punished for things he didn't do. And not just a normal punishment like a spanking, or a time out. His mother was beating him! She had even threatened to kill him. Soon, he became the outcast of the family. Not even his father, his only ally, would pay him any attention, or help him out of the h$ll he was living in.

As the years went on, the punishments, or his mother's "games" as David called them, became worse. She began starving him, forcing him to steal from his classmates at school. And when his mother found out, the "games" became even more deadly. I won't go into too much detail, but trust me…it's horrifying.

I won't tell you the ending because I want people to read this book. I will say that, luckily, he does make it out of that horror alive. And now Dave Pelzer is an advocate for stopping child abuse. The thing I loved most about this book is the fact that it showed how someone living in the worst possible situation can find enough courage in themselves to finally break free. David never once gave up, even though he was so young, and the abuse was so violent.

The horrors that this book brings to light are so real that it is terrifying to me. I cannot comprehend how a mother who once loved a child so can deny him not only the basic things he needs to survive, but also her love, and his own self-worth. I also cannot understand how so many people can just stand by and let all this happen. He went to school every day…the neighbors saw it…and worst of all, his own father and brothers saw it. And not one person did anything about it.

The book is easy to read…it only took me about two hours. It is written from a child's point of view, which I think is wonderful. It makes it even more real. The first chapter is really the last chapter, but it seems it does need to be that way. But, be prepared to cry!

I hope that everyone who is involved in any way with children will read this book. If only one teacher, neighbor, or family member had stood up and said something, it would have saved Dave years of terrible abuse. Please, read the book, understand the signs, and do something! It is everyone's business…we can stop child abuse if we just pay attention, and take enough time to care about a child's life.

09:05:48 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: angie420


The reason I wanted to write this is because stories like this rip my heart out and you hear more and more everyday. I can’t say it any better than Glenn A. Goldberg who is former Director of the California Consortium for the Prevention of Child Abuse:

“David Pelzer’s story must be told so that we can mobilize Americans to create a country where it won’t hurt to be a child. Millions of our children, our most precious natural resource, are being victimized by a tragic and unconscionable epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Both the level and intensity of child maltreatment have increased dramatically in the last decade. David’s story will help people understand that our child abuse crisis goes far beyond excessive spanking. Each year hundreds of thousands of helpless children are being brutalized and tortured physically, emotionally and sexually.

Each act of child abuse reverberates into the future; when a child gets hurt, we may all suffer the consequences. David Pelzer is a triumphant survivor of his childhood abuse, and his story is an inspiration to all of us. We must never forget, however, the tens of thousands of other children who didn’t survive their ordeals, and the millions who are still suffering. The only cure for child abuse is its prevention; and it is my fervent hope that this book will help build our growing movement of people working to prevent child abuse in all its forms.”


This will be a two part book review. The book(s) is “A Child Called ‘It’ and The Lost Boy” by Dave Pelzer. It is two complete books in one volume published in 1995. This review is on A Child Called “It”. Please stay tuned for a review of The Lost Boys. Don’t worry, it won’t take long because I can NOT put this book down!


This book walks right up to you and goes WHOP! By the second page of the first chapter, I was fighting back tears. Written in first person as a fifth grade boy, Dave describes a typical day at home. This poor child was starved to half to death. If he was lucky, he got his brother’s leftover cereal bowl in between doing the dishes and being beaten by his mother.

Your heart goes out to this poor boy who’s getting ready for school in the same clothes he’s had for years. Mom only let’s him wear one shirt, one pair of pants, shoes…he mentions that he stinks but he doesn’t say if he was allowed to bathe, or if she just refused to wash his clothes.

On March 5, 1973, he has to report to the principal’s office for being late for school. He has to explain yet more bruises by telling the lie Mom said to tell them this time. They know better; he used that excuse last week.

They couldn’t take it any longer. A policeman comes to talk to Dave. The teachers and principal try unsuccessfully to hold back their tears and hug him goodbye. They take the poor child, who thinks he’s going to jail for being bad, to the San Mateo Juvenile Department.

Dave is free.


Chapter two reflects on the time when Dave had a good childhood and a sweet, loving family. The woman he describes is wonderful, but you already hate her from the first chapter, so it isn’t very convincing. However, at one time Mom cooked wonderful picnics, planned elaborate vacations and gave her three sons extravagant Christmas’.

They seemed like the picture-perfect family.


As time goes by, Dave describes drastic changes in his mother. You realize that she is truly an extremely sick woman.

When standing in the corner doesn’t become enough, Dave received what he called the mirror treatment. After getting his head knocked in to the mirror, he had to repeat ‘I’m a bad boy’ repeatedly while looking in the mirror, then stand with his nose to the mirror until bedtime.

School was a haven for him. He made friends easily and ‘got more smiley faces than anyone else’.

One day, he came home from school and mom informed him that because he was such a disgrace to the family, he had to repeat the first grade.

Mom got a letter one day from the North Pole saying that David had been a bad boy and couldn’t have anything for Christmas. Later, Mom and Dad got in a fight because he bought Dave a couple of coloring books.

Mom doesn’t abuse the other boys or play her wicked games while Dad is around. As Dave describes other horrid forms of his abuse, you wonder why dad doesn’t notice anything is happening. David’s father seems very loving and gentle but notices nothing of his wife’s bizarre, vile abuse.

The only hint to this question in chapter three is when she’s yelling at Dave and calls his father a lousy drunk. That was one of the nicer thing she says to him.

She seems to have a bit of a drinking problem herself.

It doesn’t tell how it was explained to Dave’s father why he had to repeat first grade. It’s obvious that he wasn’t told the truth.

After an episode that is too graphic and horrid to describe for a general audience, Dave makes the decision to survive. He will no longer give this woman the pleasure of begging for mercy. He will no longer act like a little whimpering baby. David was fighting for his life and he was in the first grade.


The details of the abuse this child undergoes really is too vile to put in this article. This woman is so mean and vicious to this child, you begin to doubt it’s validity. Then you realize that someone could not possibly make up such horrific stories.

Not being able to eat more than left over cereal, Dave began stealing food from school. He gets caught and when the school calls his mother, he gets beaten profusely.

This cycle continues until the kids put their lunch boxes where they couldn’t be gotten into. This part sent up a red flag for me. Think about it. A kid is continuously stealing food. Doesn’t that tell you something is wrong? This child goes to school in the same clothes everyday, multiple bruises all over his body, and he’s starving to death. Why isn’t anyone doing anything about this?

This child is a servant. He does all the housework, scrubbing floor on hands and knees.

He sleeps on a cot in the basement.

Family members are not aloud to acknowledge him and must refer to him as ‘the boy’.

He isn’t considered good enough to ride to school. Mom takes the other boys in her car, while Dave must run to school. If he walks, he’ll be late.

He gets caught eating out of the trash, so mom starts putting bad meat and ammonia in the trash can.

As punishment for eating, Dave is forced to eat spoonfuls of ammonia and Clorox bleach on several occasions.

This child is constantly humiliated and tortured by his mother. No one notices.

The question about Dave’s father is answered very clearly during a horrific ordeal one night. David had snuck into the school cafeteria to steal food. This child was so hungry, he ate frozen hot dogs and tater tots.

Somehow, mom found out he did this. He was welcomed home by a punch in the stomach. In her horrendously violent way, she made him vomit the frozen food he had eaten. When he finished, Mom collected a sample of the mess to ‘show Father what you did’.

Dad came home and tried to talk her out of it. They got in a huge fight. Unfortunately for Dave, Mom won.

Yes, he was forced to eat his vomit.

Dad watched.

Your hatred builds toward these pathetic excuses for parents. When you don’t think you could resent them anymore, guess what? She has another baby. Her fourth son named Russell.

Dave escapes his torture through determination and daydreaming. He constantly imagines he’s a super hero, or just has a family that love him. His will to live is tremendous. I don’t think I could ever be so strong.


By the age of ten, Dave knows his mother’s patterns. It is during the summer, and he’s averages a meal every three days.

The abuse is worse than ever, he Dave insists that mom is perfectly aware of the things she is doing.

At this point, it becomes clear that she is trying to kill her child.

Dave must do his chores now within a certain time limit.

One day, he apparently did not get the dishes done within the twenty minutes allotted. When all is said and done, Mother stabbed him with a knife in the stomach. The baby, Russell sat in Mom’s lap while this was taking place chanting, ‘The boy is gonna die’ repeatedly.

Mother did not really acknowledge her son’s wound. She patched up the cut with some gauze and gave him thirty minutes to finish the dishes.

The boy goes to father and tell him that he was stabbed, expecting to be taken to the hospital. He asked Dave nonchalantly why she stabbed him. He replied that she was going to kill him if he didn’t finish the dishes in time.

Dad told him he should go finish the dishes and he wouldn’t mention to Mother that Dave told on him.

The child is so weak, and in so much pain, it took him an hour and a half to finish the dishes. Apparently, mom gave up and started drinking at this point, because dad somehow musters up the decency to help him put the dishes away.

Mother then allowed him to go outside and play in the driveway for a few minutes. The highlight of this child’s life at that time was playing with a sparkler firecracker.

Later, mom brought him some bread and water and, without emotion, slightly tends to his severe wound that had been bleeding profusely.

The next morning, he woke up with blood everywhere. Mother ordered him to clean himself up and get started on his chores.

As much as he had hoped that his parents would stop torturing him, nothing had changed.


After the knife incident, Dad pretty much stops coming home. He’s either at work or in a bar most of the time. You can tell that Dad hates what is going on, he’s just too much of a drunk weasel to do anything about it. Sadly, he tell Dave about how someday they are going to escape together. At least this kid is looking forward to something in his life, even if it is false hope.

With Dad out of the picture, Mom escalates even more out of control. You read how much this woman (I use that term so very loosely…) enjoyed what she was doing.

For example, he hasn’t eaten in six day. He was so weak, so could barely move. After finishing his chores one night, Mom put cold leftovers on a plate before him. She yells at him he has two minutes to eat.

Perfectly happy with those two minutes, he picks up his fork to dig in. Just before he got the food into his mouth, mom snatches the food, puts it down the garbage disposal, and informs him it’s too late.

He wondered the same thing you wonder when you read this book. Why?

Needless to say, this child became filled with extreme hate. Not just his mother, he hated everyone because they had so much more than he did. He hated family and neighbors and everyone else around that ignored his obvious condition.

She does other things that make you wonder what world these people lived in, not to have anyone notice. He was made to mow lawns. He was giving quotas on how much he was to make HER. He would steal money just to earn her impossible goals.

One Christmas, he got a pair of roller skates. He couldn’t believe he got a X-mas present! It was just another sinister act. He is made to roller skate outside in the cold without a jacket on. He skates for hours on end. No one notices. I also wondered how on earth he could possibly roller skate. I find it hard to believe he can walk…

Horrid abuse become even more sinister, if you can believe that. One day, she hears about something on TV and she wants to see what happens. She gives Dave 30 minutes to clean the bathroom. In a bucket, she places a mix of bleach and ammonia. Walks out, closes the door, and leaves him in there for thirty minutes.

It was called the gas chamber and she did it often.

During the last month of summer something happens. Mom tells him she is tired of the life they are leading and she wants to change. They hug and she promises him she’ll start being a good mother. He got to change into new clothes he got for Christmas but wasn’t allowed to wear. He ate, took a warm bath, and got to play for two prized days.

Right up until the lady from child welfare came to visit.

Dad finally leaves. He wishes the kid well and leaves him in these conditions.


Chapter seven looks back on Dave’s spirituality in the days of his abuse; or should I say the lack thereof. He stopped his dreaming and hoping for something better. He wished himself, and everyone around him, dead.

He no longer enjoys school. There, the kids pretty much took up where Mom left off. He looks back on times that the kids around him seemed to exemplify what Mom had taught him…He was nothing. He was an It.

To me, the saddest, most horrifying part of the book is when the school chooses the title he made up for the school newspaper. His teacher wrote Mom a glorious note telling her what a good job Dave had done. He was so excited, just knowing that Mom would be proud of him for once.

What she told him sent chills down my spine:

“Get one thing straight you little S.O.B.! There is nothing you can do to impress me! Do you understand me? You are a nobody! An It! You are nonexistent! You are a bastard child! I hate you and I wish you were dead! Dead! Do you hear me? DEAD!”

After that episode, Dave wished he were dead too. He figures that perhaps if he actually did something bad, maybe Mom would finally just finish him off.

His rebellion made things worse still. Even the other children were allowed to abuse him.

David prays that mother have mercy upon him and just hurry and kill him.


The epilogue of this book tells of him as an adult, taking his son to the ocean. It tells of his extreme appreciation of the smallest things in life. It isn’t very emotional, but it makes you feel good seeing how he overcame his horrid past.

The testimonials in the book gives his story more validity. The first is by Dave himself and his perspectives on child abuse.

He points out that one out of five children in America are abused in some fashion.

He tells how the abuse causes a domino affect for generations to come. Most of these abused children either mad1 one day and go on a killing spree; others just pass down the violence to their own children.

He broke the cycle, and so can anyone else, given the proper support and determination.

Other one page testimonies are from Steven Ziegler, one of Dave’s teachers and Valerie Bivens, a social worker. Both speak about their experience with Dave and how proud they are of his miraculous recovery from his life of hell.


A Child Called It is a powerful, sad, disturbing story. I am completely unable to understand how anyone could treat any form of life this way. However, David’s recreation his life is vivid and colorful.

It is my fear that this could become a textbook for other abusers. Several times during the book, Dave explains that Mom got ideas from TV and such, and utilized this knowledge for her sinister acts. If people are looking for new and unusual ways to torture someone, it horrifies me that they might use this book for that purpose.

The book leaves a lot of questions to be asked.

What happened to Mother? Does she do any jail time for her crimes?

What happens to Dad? Does David ever see him again?

Where does Dave go after he is taken away from home?

What is the condition of his health? He was starved, fed poisonous substances, and exposed to toxic gases. He was stabbed in the abdomen and received no medical attention. I find it almost impossible to believe he’s a very healthy adult.

If the second part of this story wasn’t included in this book, I would be terribly disappointed. I would rate it very low for incompleteness.

I hope to answer all of these questions for you in the second part of this review on ‘The Lost Boy”.

09:07:28 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: mzkito

This has got to be the most disturbing book that I have ever read. What makes it even more horrifying is that it is all true. David Pelzer, the author, describes, in his own words, the hell that he knew as a child.

For most of us, a mother is someone who kisses Band-Aids on bruised knees, who rocks us back to sleep after a bad dream. But for David, his mother was the cause of those nightmares, those that came true in the daytime. From the time he was 4 years old, he was forced to sleep in newspapers in the basement garage. He was not allowed to speak, or to look anyone in the eye, and no one was to use his name. He was known simply as "It". He was starved for days, weeks on end, and when he did beg for food, he was force-fed cleaning chemicals by the tablespoon. He was burned, stabbed, forced to eat scraps leftover in the dog's dish…all this at the hands of his "Mother".

And where was his father? Sipping a drink, watching the whole thing. This man did not deserve to be called a father. Occasionally he would sneak a slice of bread to his little boy in the basement cell, with false promises of helping him. A real father would've taken all of those children and left at the first sign of abuse.
Yes, I did say all of those children. David was not the only child, yet he was the only one treated in such a manner. And as far as the book goes, there were never any charges filed against his mother. She was free to "mother" those other children. I can only hope they survived as David did.
Yes, he survived! At the age of 12, someone finally opened those blind eyes and made a phone call that would ultimately save David's life. As told in his second book, "The Lost Boy", he was placed in the foster system, where he, understandably, developed emotional and behavioral problems. Still, he survived!
Today, David is a father, an author, and a child right's activist. I applaud him for overcoming such circumstances and becoming "A Man Called Dave", which is the title of the third book in his trilogy, which I hope to read soon.

09:08:45 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: insaneglue

Have you ever been out someplace and you see someone scold their child? And maybe in your opinion, sometimes it was too harsh? Did you intervene? Or do you feel its up to the parent to punish the child as they see fit, after all it is their kid. In the story of A Child Called It, one child was tortured and mentally abused for years before that one person spoke up.
Dave Pelzer was that child called it. In this easy to read book, you'll read his memories of growing up with a mother that despised him. Her love was worse than hate. I would put her in the friendship ring of Hitler. A man who hated simply to hate. And that was HER, she hated him simply to hate. In the beginning of Dave's life things were good. The home was happy, she was a nurse. Dave's father was a fireman, and he had 2 brothers. The house they lived in was described as a split level home, neatly decorated, well kept. And all was good, with family vacations at a lake and lots of love to go around. On the outside this paints a very pretty picture, however there was an alcohol problem kept hidden. Dave explains the change in her as coming on like a light switch. She loved him one day, and the very next it was gone. Following this story is not a difficult task. It will make you cry at times, it will make you hug your children tighter so that there is no doubt in their mind that you love them. It makes you tell your own mom how much you care. Although its been a while since I've re-read my copy, but this book is highly recommended. I could rehash the plot for you, but the events are so unbelievable that my paraphrasing would pale in comparison to his story.

Some of the unbelievable events:
-She would starve him and he would steal food from the dogs.
(I cannot tell you the horrible thing she did to him when she found this out.)
-Put him in a closed bathroom with a mixture of ammonia and bleach.
(This is almost a story in itself)
-Would force him to sit on the steps going into the garage with his hands under his bottom for hours on end.

There are so many more details in the book. So many things that will make you get upset. And the rest of his family knew how she was dealing with them, and looked past it. The brothers was told IT was bad and is not to be spoken to unless something is needed from him. The father tried to be a man, but the whiskey and her abuse to him cause the dad to put himself first. The story tells of him leaving his family. And how the times became worse after his only protector was gone. At the age of 12, a teacher finally stepped in and Dave was put in foster care. The story doesn't end here though. She still continued to harass him, as did the brothers. But for this book, the time is over. I hope you'll take the time to read this book, along with the rest of his story. Child abuse happens way to much. It took a story like this to honestly open my eyes and know their are some horrible people in this world.

The Lost Boy is the story after Dave is put into foster care. It chronicles his teenage years and becoming a man even though his mother said he was nothing. Its an intriguing story, and it relates to the first book but doesn't repeat it.

A Man Named Dave: The story of Triumph and Forgiveness brings us into his adulthood.
We read about his journey with relationships and children. Having a son of his own now, he struggles to understand why his own father made the choices he did. Dave reveals his feelings to us when he faces 'the mother' as an adult.
Once again, you'll be shocked at her response to him.

Dave Pelzer is a remarkable man. I can only say great things about all his books. They are all non-fiction even though they might seem unbelievable. I think the fact that the abuse was so *HORRIFIC*, makes this story seem made up at times. We cannot fathom the depth of hate she had for Dave.

09:10:38 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Lytabyron

My youngest daughter, Tiana asked me to read this book after reading it in English with her class. I put off picking it up, because I am a victim of child sexual abuse, and I didn't want to face the pain again.

After getting special permission from her teacher to keep the book longer, I realized this was important to her that I read it, so I did.

David Pelzer came from a normal family that went wrong somewhere. His father was a firefighter who stayed away from home for long periods of time and his mother became a very sick woman who took out her problems on her son,David.

She began drinking and for some reason, unexplained in the book, started to treat David differently than her other sons. She no longer fed him anything but scraps from the table and in order to survive, he began to steal food from his classmates lunches and from the local store.

He was forced to live in the basement on an old army cot and was isolated from the rest of his family. His mother began checking on if he had been able to eat during the day by forcing him to regurgitate his stomach when he got home from school.

He was beaten regularly and once his mother stabbed him and did not take him to the hospital for treatment. She also devised other tortures for him, including a gas chamber treatment of locking him in the bathroom with ammonia and bleach in the same bucket. He survived by holding his breath and breathing through the heating ducts.

His father was a very weak man, who promised to save David, but instead escaped and left David to suffer alone. Some of the time David hated his father even more than his mother. His father had given him false hope.

Eventually, the school nurse gathered enough evidence to get David placed in a foster home. This is where the book ends, the second book on his life called "The Lost Boy" will continue the story.

This is a story of brutality and torture, but it is also a story of one boy's courage and perseverance that prevails.

I can identify with David's feelings as I was abused from the age of 9 till about 17 by my stepfather. At times, I hated my mother more, just like David and his father, because my mother knew and stayed with this man.

This is not an easy book to read, but it is an important story to tell. Hopefully, if you see a child in your neighborhood who seems a misfit, that you will try to find out why and have the courage to get involved. You may save a life!

09:13:00 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: jlava73

Before I bought this book I read several of the reviews here and I still had doubts about whether or not I could handle reading it.I did buy it a few days later at the local Super Stop & Shop for $8.95. I found this price to be good considering that it is $17.95 at Amazon and that does not include shipping and handling. It is also available at Barnesandnoble.com for $8.95 or you can download the e-book format for $9.95.

This book is one of those that once you start to read it you just can't put it down. I read it cover to cover in literally 3 hours. I read straight thru the first hundred pages on the night I bought it. I went to bed eager to get up and finish the remaining 84 pages which I did finish the next morning.

About the Book

Dave dedicates this book to his son who he says taught him the gift of Love and joy thru the eye's of a child, and to the teachers and staff of the elementary school who all finally summoned the courage to intervene and were responsible for his being rescued from the clutches of a heartless woman who he knew as Mother. They risked their careers to save this suffering child. Incidentally Dave was rescued March 5th 1973 almost 3 months before I was born at the end of May 1973.

This book is the first in a series of three books written by Dave Pelzer as they chronicle his life. This book chronicles his life from age 4 thru his rescue at age 12.

There are a total of 184 pages and 7 Chapters followed by the Epilogue and perspectives on child abuse by Dave and a few of those who knew of his case and one of the Teachers who helped rescue him, there is also a poem written by Cindy M Adams. The last few Pages are made up of Resources, and notes by Dave and about Daves Organization.

The Address for Questions or Comments is:
P.O. Box 1846
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

A self addressed stamped envelope is required in order to receive a reply along with an advisory that not all correspondence will be answered because of the large volume of Mail received.

The Address for specific information on Dave's Programs is:
Write the address above or Call
Phone 760-321-4452
Fax 760-321-6842

or visit www.davepelzer.com

On to the Story

Chapter 1 - The Rescue
Dave's Day begins with him rushing to do the dishes so he can have the few leftover scraps of cereal that his brothers did not finish. When he arrives at late school it appears the faculty had already decided that this would be the day they would finally act. Daily visits to the nurse
were a part of his regular routine for more than a year giving the reader the impression that the faculty had been attempting to document the abuse this child was suffering.

He is frightened at first by the changes in behaviors of those who are planning his rescue and he becomes almost frantic when he is told by the principle Mr. Hansen that his mother will be called, being that it is Friday and he knows he will have to be home all weekend with no escape from her sick games and violent attacks.

When the officer arrives to assist in the rescue and takes Dave to the Police station Dave thinks he is being arrested. When Dave is told that he is free and that his mother will never hurt him again, a feeling of sadness is implied by the author along with the sense that he does not fully understand what is taking place.

Chapter 2 - Good Times

This Chapter outlines Dave's life before he became the object of his mothers attacks and you see the picture of a creative and intelligent woman who always had more than enough love to go around and all of the things she did seemed out of love and care for her family, this Chapter makes you wonder how things could have changed so drastically in such a small period of time.

This Chapter keeps haunting you throughout the rest of the book, you wish somehow this horrible woman will change back to the mother she once was. You hurt for Dave knowing that his memories of happy times are slowly torturing him while he wishes for the return of those happy times.

Chapter 3 - Bad Boy

The punishments start slowly in this chapter with the Games, as Dave describes them and escalate into full blown attacks, his arm is pulled out of socket and left untreated for hours , a bar of soap is jammed into his mouth, he is made to lay on top of the stove,he is stripped, beaten, kicked and punched by his mother Dave is almost completly removed from the family unit at this point.

His father still makes a few weak attempts to comfort and protect his son but his lack of strength is painfully evident. As far as I can tell he is still allowed to eat normally in this chapter. You get a hint of problems between the mother and father which may in part be contributing to the mothers behavior.

Chapter 4 - The fight for food
This Chapter is where it gets horrific, Dave is made to go without food for extended periods of time as many as 10 days at a time, he is forced to steal food from his classmates at school which leads to them hating him. At first Dave refers to his mothers "forgeting" to feed him. He is essentially turned into a chore boy who is banished to the basement of the house and beckoned to clean up after the family has finished dinner, he is rarley or never allowed to eat with the family, he is forced to steal food and dig through the trash for scraps his father makes a couple last ditch efforts to sneak him food but soon gives up when it becomes evident he is fighting a losing battle and as the arguing increases his will to help his son decreases. During a family vacation Dave's mother smeared feces on his face and forced him to eat it.

When his mother found out he had eaten anything he was forced to vomit and eat the vomit his father stood by and watched too weak to fight a losing battle. At times you almost feel worse for the father than for Dave because Dave has gained enough internal strength to cope, the father seems to have none. Imagine watching your child be tortured and doing Nothing to stop it. The guilt he must have had to live with. None of us I'm sure would ever allow our kids to be treated so horrible and stand by and do nothing. I can't even fathom it. He is literally almost killed when she forces him to drink dish soap, ammonia and bleach.

Chapter 5 - The Accident
In spite of what Dave titled this chapter this was no accident. He himself says there was no remorse in her eye's I don't want to give away too much because this is a short chapter but it is one that will haunt you. It is very difficult to read if you are very sensitive. He is holding on by a thread and his will to survive is fueled only by the desire to defeat his mother and not let her win. She treats him almost humanly for a breif period following the accident but soon returns to her torturous ways.

Chapter 6- While father is away
The misery of Summer Vacation sets in as the horrors of him home life keep getting worse. His father again attempts to ease the suffering a bit in a small way and makes a promise he could never keep. It appears that the father has finally decided to remove himself from the situation and his guilt is catching up with him. Too bad it is not strong enough to motivate him to take his son with him. Dave's mother, who by now is way far gone, tries to poison him with toxic fumes for being caught with a lunch he had gotten from a neighbor the real horror here is that she does this more than once.

Chapter 7- The Lords Prayer
By now Dave had little or no hope for survival, anger and resentment and pure hatred are building up he no longer has faith in God or a will to live. His life is a virtual black hole of misery, he began to hate himself and was tortured at school in addition to being tortured at home. Mercifully this book ends abruptly sparing us the gory details of Dave's last punishment as he says a silent prayer that she will kill him quickly.

The epilogue contains a bit about Dave's life now as he reflects on his past and the very fact that he is alive.

A few of my own personal feelings

This book disturbed me on many levels. Although I am aware of possible reasons she may have done these things I cannot condone her actions based upon these reasons. In the 60's and early 70's which is when these abuses took place, there were few or little support systems for parents especially those with troubled marriages and I suppose that frustrations just built up inside this woman and she took them out on Dave. Still I feel that she is ultimately responsible for her own actions.

Please If you know of a child who is being abused- get involved - most times you can call the authorities and remain anonymous.
Child Abuse Hotline


I hope I have been helpful!

09:13:50 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: econnell

I was looking forward to reading this memoir because I had heard such wonderful things about it. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the quality of the writing which undermined its effectiveness as an "anti-abuse" testimony.

Dave Pelzer's experience was a horrific one. His mom tortured him and his dad allowed the torture to happen and to continue. He is to be commended for his overcoming what must have been an awful childhood.

But the question is "Why?" I am not suggesting that David did anything to deserve the egregious treatment he received, but he never explains what really happened. It is as if one day his mother snaps, for no apparent reason, and suddenly he becomes the target of abuse that seems as unprovoked as it is unexplained. And if the abuse is not bad enough, his father's complete silence and failure to help his child are more inexplicable. Not that it is Ozzie and Harriet before the abuse starts but there is an immediate acceleration of violence that simply does not fit with what most of us know about the nature of abuse [particularly those of us who experienced abuse at the hands of alcoholic parents--that abuse tends to be a gradual and pervasive type of abuse and is characterized by "honeymoon periods" of remorse]. Perhaps the trigger for this abuse was so traumatic that David could not bear to express it, but any good editor should have realized that an intelligent reader will have serious concerns about an memoir that takes such a dramatic turn without explanation.

This failure to explain what precipitates the abuse and random, immediate plunge into full scale alcoholism lessens the power of the narrative and the overall writing quality is extremely limited. This is the Danielle Steel of memoirs--filled with cliches and empty dialogue that fail to convey a real sense of depth to the narrator. The descriptions of the abuse and the child's emotional reaction to it border on "bathos."

Perhaps I am an old fogey but I would rather read Dickens or revisit Jane Eyre if I wish to hear the voice of an abused child that touches me emotionally. Frankly, even that 70s sensation "Go Ask Alice" had more authenticity that this which read like a bad Chicken Soup for the Soul entry [and by and large I find these to be greatly satisfying emotionally if not of great literary merit]

Child abuse is too important an issue to become the victim of "sensationalism."

09:16:17 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"

A Child Called "It" is the first book in a three book Biography of a man named David Pelzer. This book is incredible!!! I myself am not much of a reader. When my honey recommended that I read it he told me that when I decide to read it to make sure I had plenty of time, due to its intensity and the fact that I would not be able to put it down once I started it. Well that is very true! Although I wasn't able to finish it in a single sitting I did read more than half of it in my first reading session.

This particular book is the type of book that grips your heart, soul, and emotions. I'll have to be honest it was a tear jerker for me. The fact is that child abuse goes on so often, but yet it seems to be one of the most well- kept secrets due to the fear put in abused children not to tell or else! If questioned about the abuse, children are often drilled with lies to tell (by the parents) so that they can successfully detour the suspicion of others. And that is exactly what happened to the young Dave Pelzer.

The chapters of this book are as follows:

1. The Rescue

2. Good Times

3. Bad Boy

4. The fight for food

5. The Accident

6. While Father Is Away

7. The Lord's Prayer

Then it has the:


Perspectives on Child Abuse

Resources for Help

The book contains 184 pages with the last two pertaining to Mr. David Pelzer and his quest for helping others. You may contact him using one of the following methods:

Address: P.O. box 1846
Rancho Mirge, CA 92270

Phone number: 760-321-4452

Fax number: 760-321-6842

Web Site: www.davepelzer.com

Mr. Pelzer has given the public several different ways to contact him if your interested in having him speak publicly to "youth at risk", School assemblies and other groups. Dave's motto remains: "Helping others……to help themselves."

I truly found this book incredible! Dave was very open and honest with some of the events that took place. And he gives the reader a very clear, very graphic picture of the abusive situation he was in.

On a more personal note I really don't know how Mr. Pelzer tolerated all the abuse. I give him five stars on character, and dignity. He was determined not to give up nor let anyone keep him from succeeding. What a Trooper!

I recommend reading this book. It gives many of us naive Americans an eye- opener on abuse that goes on behind the scenes and how so many of us don't realize it. Even when we do know, few among us ever take action.

This book shows that we must take a stand on the behalf of the children around us. We need to open our eyes and pay attention to things that go on in our little neighborhood, instead of being so fixated on ourselves. Children need us!

09:17:53 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: cristina1

After reading several reviews on this book, I purchased it yesterday while at the mall. Last night my husband and I went out for a bit, and our babysitter saw it on my desk and asked me about it. We came home from our night out a few hours later and I was informed by the babysitter that it was the best book she ever read. I couldnt believe that she read the book that quickly, and this morning I picked it up to read a chapter or two while enjoying my morning coffee.

Wrong thing to do! This book will not let you put it down at all. I just could not get my nose out of the book for anything and I kept reading and reading until I finished it two hours later. (Good thing I started it on a weekend when my husband was here!)

Child abuse is never a pretty thought, but this chilling story is told through the child's eyes. Not only do we read about what this boy has gone through, but we see deep into his soul as to exactly what was going on in his mind throughout the whole ordeal.

This is the true story of David Pelzer's life with his "family" (if you can call them that.) He started out with a fairy tale life. His mother and father were in love, the children were all treated extremely well, and life was beautiful. For some reason, it all changed for David. Why he was the only one singled out we will never know. As the oldest of five boys, he turned from a very much loved son to the family slave who was treated worse than the dogs.

This poor boy was starved (no food for as long as 10 days straight!!), beaten, and put through tortures that leave you crying and angry. He had gone through everything from having the contents of a dirty baby diaper smeared in his face and being told to eat it, to living through a gas-chamber of ammonia and clorox in a bucket while locked in an unventilated bathroom. He was forced to lie naked in a tub of very cold water with his head submerged for hours, then made to sit outside in the shade, shivering, without even being able to dry off - he was just able to put his clothes on his wet body.

His "job" was to clean up after the family. He was not considered a part of the family at all, and while the rest of them were celebrating Christmas with presents or eating dinner or having family time in front of the TV, David was either cleaning their dishes (hands were not to come out of the scalding water or his mother would beat him)or sitting on the stairs with his hands under his buttocks and head back like a POW.

David would have a time limit to get the dishes washed, dried and put away and if he did not make the time limit he would not be allowed to eat. His mother would tease him by putting a plate of food in front of him, watch his mouth water, and when he went to take the first bite, pull the dish away and wash the contents down the garbage disposal. He would do anything for morsels of food - from stealing other children's school lunches, to digging through the garbage for scraps, to going door to door begging.

David was not a "son" to his mother. He was not called by his name, but either called "The Boy" or "It". He was told he was hated, that she wished he were dead. He was made to repeat what a bad boy he was.

He wasnt even allowed to sleep in the main part of the house. He was confined to the basement on an old army cot. The images of this poor little boy in the cold dark basement covered with bruises and haunted by the torment of his mother's "games" has the tears just rolling down your cheeks as you read chapter to chapter, each page breaking your heart a little more.

What really upsets me about his story is the fact that his father stood by and let it happen. He would be "nice" to David by sneaking him food or spending a few stolen moments to talk to him, but he jumped when the mother barked and he allowed her to continue her brutal treatment of this young boy. As the other adult in the house, he had the power to stop the abuse and let this child lead a normal life, yet the extent of his help was to tell David not to upset his mother.

His brothers were brainwashed into thinking that David was worthless and a bad boy and shunned him. The kids at school teased him and bullied him because of his torn smelly clothes. He had no one in the world except for the teachers and school principal that finally got the courage to risk their jobs to save him.

The physical and mental abuse that this child suffered will break your heart and make you run to give your own children hugs and tell them how much you love them. David Peltzer is a true hero in my book for surviving such an ordeal. This book is not for everyone. Be prepared if you read this book to have haunting images follow you everywhere.

This is the first book in a trilogy and I am anxiously awaiting another trip to the bookstore to pick up the other two, The Lost boy and A Man Called Dave.

09:19:38 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Kassie

He was starved and tortured by his mother. He was neglected by his father. He was shunned by his brothers. And he was teased and bullied by his peers. Yet somehow Dave Pelzer miraculously survived his traumatic childhood.

After reading several reviews here on epinions about the book "A Child Called It", I had to read it for myself. This is a true-life account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history.

The oldest of 5 boys, Dave Pelzer was the only child in his family to be abused by his alcoholic mother. Why she singled him out we will never know. And although his father was perfectly aware of this abuse he chose to ignore it.

Treated far worse than an animal, this child would go days without being allowed to eat. To survive he resorted to stealing lunches from the other students at school. He dug through trash cans seeking scraps of left-overs. And when mother wasn't looking he would eat morsels of dog food from the pets bowls.

Dave was banished to the cold basement where he slept on an old army cot. Most of the time mother ordered him to sit on his hands, with his head thrust backward… "prisoner of war" style.

Being treated like a slave, Dave was made to do many various chores around the house. From washing dishes to scrubbing the bathroom floor. If mother wasn't happy with his performance, or if he didn't complete his tasks quickly enough, she would "punish" him severely.

Some of these punishments included:

* Being forced to drink ammonia or clorox.
* Being forced to lay naked in a tub of cold water with his head
* Beatings
* Being burnt on the stove top.

If mother suspected that Dave somehow managed to sneak food, she would force him to vomit and eat whatever he threw up.

Back in the early 1970's, child abuse was not a well-addressed issue. While many people suspected that this poor boy was being mistreated, they didn't know what to do about it.

It wasn't until several faculty members at Dave's school could take no more. They put their jobs on the line, banned together, and finally reported the abuse to the authorities. After years of starvation and torture Dave Pelzer was finally "free".

Today, Dave gives speeches and seminars on child abuse in our country. In 1993 he was honored as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Americans". In 1994 he was the only American to be named one of "The Outstanding Young Persons of the World". He was also selected as the torchbearer in the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay.

A remarkably man, Dave Pelzer gives us all hope and encouragement. Whether you are an abuse survivor or not, this book is a "must read"!

09:20:24 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Rowhite

Wow, what to say? I went to the book store and in the space of about an hour and a half, I read this book, cover to cover and picked up the sequel and read that one completely through.

What better way to touch the hearts and minds of a multitude of people who may or may not be in denial about the severity of abuse children suffer at the hands of those who are suppose to love and protect them. Dave Pelzer is a strong an admirable person. First of all, to have survived the torture derived for him by his own mother and secondly and most important to grow into the self-effacing man he appears to be.

This novel uncovers the horrors of child abuse and hopefully will open the eyes of many people by revealing that there are sick minds out there who will suffer the children.

As a former child abuse investigator, I have to admit I have seen some horrible things but I got out of the field before I could witness the absolute horror that Dave Pelzer has written about. I admire him for coming through and surviving with such grace and such an overpowering will to teach through love.

The author is very honest in his writing. He makes you feel as if he is telling you his story, one on one. I was deeply moved. Moved especially to tears of joy when he finally told me he never had to go back to his abuser. Moved to fear when he almost sold the farm in court and back to joy when he didn't.

He makes you feel as if you are walking by his side and wishing you could stop the madness. This book is very well written and you feel everything Dave feels as he describes his horrors and then his joys.

As I have read the second book, I now have to go back and read the final installment, the completion of his journey.

09:21:24 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: mlgosser

Powerful, compelling, strong, direct, unrestrained, candid, and honest; these are the only words I could formulate to describe Dave Pelzer's "A Child Called It", yet none of them, or any other written word can serve this piece justice.

Personal opinion aside for a moment, let me take the time to analyze one of the more basic aspects of the novel. A story about one of the worst cases of child abuse I have ever encountered, Dave Pelzer managed to maintain a detached autorial voice (in an emotional sense) throughout the entire piece. While this may seem illogical and inappropriate for such a touching subject matter, Pelzer knew that readers would actually gain more without it. He instead required the reader to revisit thier own most trying memories in order to grasp the message behind the story, and overall enhances the reader's experience by creating a common plateau for both the reader and author to uncover the real meaning of the piece.

This is where my only complaint comes in. Not until the very end does Pelzer specifically note the motive of his story, and I think that most people actually miss it all together. The blunt, yet extremely vivid details of the story may tell of his traumatic childhood experiences, but were not meant to prove that abuse has indeed become a national epidemic, which most people wrongfully conclude. He simply wanted to point out that everyone has their problems and difficulties (some being worse than others), but we can all get past them and move on if we try. Dave Pelzer did not set out writing this book for sympathy or pity, he wrote it to tell people to take a stand and deal with their problems head on so that they can make something positive out of such a negative situation.

Definately an easy read, which I obsessively completed in one sitting, "A Child Called It" never is one of those pieces that have the ability to keep the reader's attention due to its non-stop flow of the plot (which does become pretty gory at some points, but the simple fact that its a true story urges the reader to press on even with a queasy stomach). And after reading this book, one may also, strangely enough, feel a little bit better and more lucky in knowing that their childhood could be categorized as a fairy tale next to Dave Pelzer's.

09:22:12 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: erinjean

I love to read true stories, this one, I wish, is a story that should have never happened. This is a true story about a child named Dave Pelzer (the author) who is abused mentally, physically and socially by his mother. This is the first of 3 books about Dave 'The Child Called it" is from ages 4-12. His next Book "The Lost Boy" is from ages 12-18 and his last "A Man Named Dave" is about his adulthood.

I teach Child Development at the High School level. One day while we were discussing child abuse on of my students asked me if I ever read the book "A Child Called It". I had not heard of the book so my student explained some of the truly unbelievable things that this boy, Dave's, mothers did to him. I was shocked so I decided to purchase the book.

Once I started the book I could not put it down. I had heard and read many sad stories of child abuse, but this book was more than just sad. This story made you wonder how in the world any parent or anyone for that matter could dream up some of the things that this boy's mother did to him. And yet this child lived to tell about it.

This boy had to live through pure torture. His mother was an alcoholic who came up with different horrible games to play on the boy. He had little to no food on a daily basis, the food he was given was scraps off of his other siblings plate or his father. Many times he had to get it out of the garbage can. Any time he came up with a way to sneak food, his mother would eventually find out and then punish him even more. He was only given raggedy smelling clothing, to wear. The other amazing part was that his father did very little to prevent the torture from happening. The mother did not treat the other children this way.

Through all the beatings, starving, poisonings, and mental anguishes his mother put him through, it is truly amazing that this boy lived to write about it. I have never cried so much as I did when I read this book. Beware this book is very graphic and detailed with accounts of what he went through. The most severe case of child abuse I have ever read where a child actually lived to tell about it. It is a book that makes you very aware of the things that are happening to our children. Hopefully it will make people realize that child abuse is real and can not be ignored. Thousands of children each year are killed by their parents or other family member. I hope that more people become aware of what is going on in their neighborhood and watch out for signs of child abuse.

09:24:49 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: DoggieLove

A Child Called "It" is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. I've read it cover-to-cover-to-cover…I read it STRAIGHT up 'till the end, and after I finished reading the book -- I read it again. What makes this book so wonderful for ME, is the "after taste" you will get(the feeling you get after reading it). Despite being a real terjerker, A Child Called "It" also inspires you (for crying out loud, it inspired ME to write this epinion!).

SO, Regina, What's This Book About ANYWAY?
This book tells the story of Dave Pelzer's (the author) childhood days, when he was just a little boy aged 4-12. Don't get me wrong. His childhood days aren't HAPPY SAPPY! They're sad. All because of his mother.

Before Dave was 4 years old, he lived with perfect parents and with his brothers. Dave recalled that his mother was creative, full of ideas. Dave said that she was kind, and very loving. I REMEMBER he said, she would cook the best meals. One day, which happened to be the last day of school…Dave's mom asked if he could be excused early because they would be going somewhere. His mom and dad drove him and his brothers far far away, escaped from the city life and had a BIG adventure.

Then suddenly when Dave turned four, things turned around. His once kind, loving mother TURNED INTO A WRETCHED WITCH. She brainwashed him, making him repeat, "I'm a bad boy" even though he was a very good one. She beat him everyday and banged his head against glass mirrors. When he turned older, the witch made him do all the chores, and played her torturous "games" with her! AS I SAID, his mom was CREATIVE. IMAGINE ALL THE HIDEOUS GAMES SHE DREAMT UP OF! They went far past hitting.

I'll give you some examples -->

1) His mom made him do the dishes, with a time limit. If he didn't finish the dishes within the time limit, he wouldn't get to eat. If he WOULD EAT, it would be leftover scraps from his brothers' plates.
2) She filled the tub with COOOLD water and made him stay in the tub for hours, with his nose under the water. Once in a while she also came in the bathroom and dunked his head under the water, making him GASP for breath! The guests (his brothers' friends) were allowed to come inside the bathroom to peek at naked Dave. HOW HUMILIATING!!!
3) Trapping him in the bathroom filled with ammonia and bleach. This was what Dave called his "Gas Chamber". I said ammonia! Hey, that's poisonous isn't it? Yup, right. The poisonous fumes burned his eyes and his throat.
4) Starving him for 2-10 days.
5) Making him eat his own vomited hotdogs from the cafeteria.

THIS WAS CHILD ABUSE, folks! It didn't stop there. While Dave was treated worse than a rat, his brothers were treated like kings. AND ANOTHER SAD THING -- Dave's dad was so weak in spirit to even stop his mom! Dave believed in his father. His father usually tried to give Dave some extra scraps of food. Dave's dad even told Dave that one day, one GORGEOUS day, they would escape their home, the "madhouse". However, Dave's dad never did anything. Instead, he separated with Dave's mother and didn't even take Dave with him.

He went to school though…in ragged clothes with more holes than Swiss Cheese! His classmates would despise him because of his smell and his clothes. This was his mother's way of humiliating him again. ANOTHER suprising thing is that his teachers didn't even think that Dave was abused…until he turned 12. By magic, his teachers suddenly CARED, and was rescued.

This is a story of one of the most terrible accounts of child abuse in America. And something that really strikes me, is that THIS story, actually happened.

Inspirational Book?!? More Like A Child Abuse Story!
The cover says it's an inspirational story. But what makes THIS so inspirational, eh Regina? It's just all about child abuse! Not really! Dave would write how he felt, and what he thought. From here, we learn how he endured the pain, his willpower to live. He would write things like, "I imagined I was superman, and SHE couldn't hurt me."

Also, the end contains his thoughts about child abuse. He tells us the lesson he learned from his ground-breaking experience-- the he shouldn't take things for granted.

If you want my experience, I learned the truth about child abuse. Before, I didn't care much about the abused children. I'm not saying I'm an absolute meanie…I cared A LITTLE about them, but not much. After I read this book though, I understood the SUFFERING that abused children go through.

I think this is why the book is so amazing. He talks to you in simple English. So simple in fact that even a 9-year-old kid can understand it (except they SHOULDN'T; tell you why later)! His writing just, how should I say this…uhhh…"jiggers" your emotions! He would use the perfect words. He would share his feelings and his thoughts.

Through his writing, you will feel sad when it's a sad moment, you will feel his frustration, you WILL feel his anger toward his parents.

The problem with the book is that little kids can't read it. The mother gave TERRIBLE punishments, including lots of hitting and beating -- plus calling Dave "a little SH*T!". Dave would also call his mom "The B*tch". Oh well…maybe you can make older kids read it (people over 12 or something).

ALSO, there are some questions that he never answered. WHY Did the mom change?!? Was the dad afraid to help?!? Even though they weren't answered in this book, Dave promised that he would answer the questions in the two sequels of this book ("A Lost Boy" and "A man called Dave").

I really recommend that you read this book! It's sad, but nice to read -- and it teaches you some lessons about life. It inspires you as well. GET IT!

09:26:27 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: violet18

During my senior year of high school, I was a library assistant. I picked up A Child Called It one day as I was shelving books and checked it out out of curiousity. I returned the book the very next day.

No, I didn't return the book because it was bad. I returned the book because it was so well written and captivating that I read it in one night.

The book is written by Dave Pelzer, and offers a horrifying look at his childhood.

Dave's life started out simply enough. He lived with his two brothers, mother and father in Daly City, California. His father was a firefighter, and his mother stayed at home with her three sons. Dave described his mother as "a woman who glowed with love for her children." She took them on trips around the San Fransico area, kept a beautiful home, and prepared wonderful meals. But around the time Dave began first grade, his life changed drastically.

Dave states that his relationship with his mother began to change once she began drinking. She lied around the house watching t.v., changing from "the nurturing mother to the wicked witch." Around that time, Dave, never Dave's brothers, began to be punished.

At first, he would just sit in the corner, a fairly common form of discipline among parents. Later, he would be forced to chant "I'm a bad boy!" over and over, destroying his self esteem. His mother blamed him for ruining her and her husband's lives.

Dave's mother was out of control. She frequently beat him, once dislocating his shoulder, another time stabbing him in the stomach with a knife for failing to complete the dishes in the amount of time alloted. She held his arm over the flame of a gas stove, only letting go when Dave's brother returned home.

Dave was denied food, once for ten days straight. He resulted to stealing food from the trash, and even from the school cafeteria.

His mother began to play "games" with Dave, but they were not fun. He was forced by his mother to eat from his baby brother's soiled diaper, forced to swallow a tablespoon of ammonia, and locked in a bathroom with a bucket of ammonia and bleach. He was forced to sit outside in the cold night air, shivering, while the rest of his family enjoyed a meal inside. He was forced to lie naked in a tub of ice water, with only his nose abve the water so he could breath.

By then, Dave was not Dave. His mother called him "The Boy" and later resulted to calling him "It". She made him sleep on a cot in the garage without a blanket. He wore the same clothes every day.

The scool nurse noticed the bruises and marks on Dave's body, and documented them everyday for months on end. Dave was afraid to speak out against his mother, and denied that she abused him for fear something worse might happen to him. It wasn't until Dave's fifth grade teacher, school nurse, and principal contacted the police that he was freed from the abuse he suffered.

Dave Pelzer's case was the second worst in Calirfora's history. But he did not right his book for pity from others, or to seek revenge on his mother. He wrote the book to open American society's eyes to the horrifying child abuse that takes place around the country every day. He claims his story is "more than a story of survival. It is a story of victory and celebration."

Today, Dave has much to celebrate. He has a wife and son he loves, and has broken the cycle of child abuse in his family. He recieved recoginiton from Ronald Reagan and George Bush for his work in child abuse awarement. He has also recieved many national and international awards for his courage and hard work.

Dave Pelzer has two other books telling the story of his life. The Lost Boy tells his life in foster care from the age of 12-18, and A Man Named Dave deals with his life from the age of 18 to the present time.

A Child Called It is available from Health Communications, Inc. (the company that publishes the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) for a list price of $9.95. It contains 184 well written, easy to read pages that leave you captivated by Dave Pelzer's tale, and will leave you chilled by the terrible acts commited against children in this country everyday.

*Just a personal note…child abuse should NEVER be tolerated. Often, children are too afraid to admit they are being abused, and depend on adults to do it for them. If you even suspect child abuse, contact the proper authorities. A child's emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing depend on it.*

09:29:59 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: RayneStorm

I should have listened to the advice I was given when I purchased “A Child Called ‘It’” by Dave Pelzer. Although I was purchasing this book for a friend, the sales clerk warned that I would need a box of Kleenex nearby when reading this story, and she was right. Originally published in 1992, this 180 page novel tells the true story of the child abuse and suffering endured at the hand of his mother from the time Dave was in grade one until he reached grade five (and he had to repeat the first grade).

My friend had been talking about this book constantly for a few weeks before we finally found a copy. Although I hadn’t previously heard of the book’s title, I did recognise the story once it was told to me. I had recognised it from having seen Dave on a television phone show.

The book tells the story of Dave’s fight for survival when, as a young child, his mother began not only beating Dave regularly, but also thrusting various other tortures upon him. Many of these other tortures are beyond the imagination, beyond what any sane person would be able to dream up. One such torture was nicknamed “the gas chamber” and included Dave being locked in the bathroom with a bucket of ammonia and Clorox, the mix causing a toxic gas to fill the room.

The book also explains the family’s reaction to what Dave had to endure. While at first, Dave’s father was not only sympathetic to his situation, but also tried to save him from it, this changed in time and eventually his father left the family home. His brothers also ignored the situation, and Dave himself, seemingly accepting of what their mother did to their brother, and in the end, treating him in much the same was as their mother did.

The book’s title is indicative of the treatment endured by Dave as a child. Although his childhood started out as a happy one, over time, Dave’s mother became less and less interested in her son, except to use him as a beating post or slave, until the time that she referred to him as nothing more than an “it”.

Although it was written by Dave as an adult, the book’s writing has a childlike quality to it. This is explained very early on in the book. Dave explains that because these tortures happened to him as a child, he chose to recount them as a child, recount them in the same language he used while undergoing these various abuses.

The novel is not only the story of child abuse, but also the story of one person’s will to survive and their strength and courage. Dave’s mother thrust tortures upon him that could have easily lead to his untimely death, and it was only Dave’s will to survive and “beat her” at her own game that got him through this horrific period of his life.

At various times while reading this novel, I felt almost like and intruder, as if I was privy to something that was very personal to one person. But upon stepping back and thinking about this feeling more, I realised that I almost owed it to Dave to read his accounts. I felt that in reading his story, I was proving that he was not an “it”, that his life did have meaning and that people cared.

There was another feeling also, one that is harder to explain. I felt that in Dave having to suffer such abuses as a child and suffer a life that left him feeling alone, then it is almost our responsibility to read of these accounts so that Dave the child did not have to live through this alone. Even though I am younger than Dave, and even though I know that Dave is now and adult who survived these horrific beatings and tortures, I wanted to reach into the book and pull the child from the home and save him. If I could not do this, at least I could stop him from feeling alone by living through his nightmare, to a much, much smaller extent, through Dave’s words.

But in not being able to save Dave as a child, I was left feeling helpless also. This book stirs up a tornado of feelings, from those of helplessness to anger. And at times, I almost felt denial, denying the story was factual. This is not because the book reads as a lie, but instead, because I found it so unreal that one human being could torture anyone, let alone their own child, in such a way.

I was also left with many questions after completing this book. I couldn’t help but wonder why his mother treated him in such a way, and why she singled him out for this treatment, I wanted to know why his father seemed to abandon him, and why his brothers also ignored the situation. Because this book is only one in a series of three, these questions may be answered in the other books, books I intend to read also.

This is a hard book to read, not because of the writing style, but because of the book’s content. But closing our eyes to the facts doesn’t make them any less real, and it is a book that should be read, if for no other reason than to understand what does happen behind closed doors.

09:30:40 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: happybunny75

Is A Child Called ‘It’ an autobiography or an autobiographical novel that was hijacked by clever marketing?

I am going to have a real problem writing this opinion and I know it will take a while, because I don’t want to offend anyone. So how could I possibly offend you?

Like many, I read A Child Called ‘It’ because of the positive feedback that read on this site and recommendations from friends. Most have commented on what a fantastic book it is; how tragic Dave Pelzer’s childhood was and how he’s overcome so much to become a world-renowned writer. Unfortunately, if this weren’t a true story A Child Called ‘It’ would have been buried in bookshops’ graveyards on the bargain shelves or would never have been published at all. Sad, but true.

I would just like to say at this stage that this is not a critique of the content of Dave Pelzer’s story; the book is biographical and a situation which is sadly repeated too many times in our world. Neither can history be rewritten nor could Pelzer write anything other than a brutally honest account of what he endured: If you’re going to tell the truth, you tell the whole truth and don’t dress it up as anything else.

For those who haven’t read A Child Called ‘It’, Pelzer presents the reader with a blow-by-blow account (and believe me, it is) of the physical, and mental abuse that he suffered at the hands of his mother. His father abused him in a different way: he let the violence continue in his presence. Even neighbours, teachers and the authorities didn’t help until 8 more years of Pelzer’s tortured life had past. And they say ignorance is bliss.

In the Author’s Notes, Pelzer reminds the reader that “This book…depicts language that was developed from a child’s viewpoint. The tone and vocabulary reflect the age and wisdom of the child at that particular time”. Ok, that’s fine. I’ve read books before, some autobiographical, where that form of narrative is the only form that should be taken: The world from a child’s eyes. However, after I had finished the first two chapters, I knew that this method wasn’t going to work on me. There were two problems. Firstly, I have read Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt and secondly, the language Pelzer uses does not seem typical of a 12 year olds’ perspective.

‘Explain yourself, you harsh heartless cow!’

I will be the first to say that the childhood’s of Frank McCourt and Dave Pelzer bears no resemblance to one another. McCourt’s childhood was, in a nutshell, one of poverty (the abuse you could argue was down to his drunken father who drank all the money). There is no comparison. However, both are autobiographical and tell the story from the standpoint of their younger selves. McCourt, I believe was able to do this in a way that really was childlike, without being gushy.

There are a couple of examples I found in Pelzer’s account, purely by just stopping at random pages. “I stood in a daze as mother badgered me relentlessly” and “sick, perverted pleasure”. To me, these are not the words of a 12-year-old, but the words of ‘a man called Dave’. I couldn’t see the child in this book, as I believe it was intended. I saw that everything would be all right in the end, because the older Pelzer, and not the younger, was narrating. There were of course times, when I, like many others, were drawn into the hell-on-earth world of the young Pelzer, through the violence which he endured and the occasional reference to the mind of a child. For instance his fear of going to jail. Dave is convinced he is in the wrong, therefore he sees his policeman ‘hero’ as being his condemner.

But what of the other people in his story? I was left feeling as if there were certain things that needed to be added, in order to understand aspects of Dave’s story. I felt that I needed explanations of why his mother changed from being Ma Walton to The B**ch, and what happened to his brothers on the day that Dave was taken away from the horrific situation. Maybe I’m jumping ahead of myself, and I will find answers to my confusion in one of the sequels. I do realise this was Dave’s story and not intended as an explanation of the ‘whys’, but as a reader who likes to be analytically challenged I had difficulties accepting just the violence.

Unfortunately, I believe that A Child Called ‘It’ is a catalogue of the different types of torture that Dave endured which left me embarrassed because I was reading it. Embarrassed because I consider reading a book as entertainment. Although I was being informed of a true story, I was also entertained.

What is the entertainment value of this book, and why has it been rated so highly?

For those of you who couldn’t put this book down, you were entertained. For those of you who paused for thought in between the harrowing recollections, or would think about Dave’s story when not reading it, you were engrossed in his story and disturbed by its reality. For those of you who didn’t read beyond the first three chapters, you do not have a disposition for gore.

We are all, on the whole, intrigued by horror, crime and other disturbing events/incidents. We read about true-life crimes and watch films that contain violence. I am no psychologist, but I would imagine that most reading A Child Called ‘It’ would have obtained some entertainment value and enjoyment from reading this book. And it is rated so highly because of our sympathy towards Dave and the guilt of both knowing that most of us had never experienced what he had, and that we enjoyed reading what he had gone through.

I noticed on the front cover of my paperback copy, the words “The Number One Bestseller”. To me ‘Bestseller’ strikes up visions of Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel. It reeks of commercialism, and lets face it the marketing of this book has exceeded the expectations of bad taste. Here we have the first of a trilogy of books, which contain 150 pages of Dave’s childhood story, and a chapter from each of its sequels. Is that a good marketing ploy? Why could it not have been one book? Well done to the publishers for that one.

And at the end of this cynical opinion I want to say that I will be reading the next part of Dave Pelzer’s trilogy. I want to read about the aftermath of his tragedy and how he became the author of his memoirs after having such a damaging start to his life…maybe my cynicism will become less after that.

But the question I’m still left with is, should this have been published as Dave’s story? No doubt, this will create a somewhat heated debate, but we all deal with reading this kind of hard-hitting truth differently, and I hope that Dave’s story has been read and heeded by the people who should read it.

09:31:25 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: lisalexx

I was in the hairdresser's a couple of months ago. In addition to my monthly cut, highlight and wax (and no, it's not my mustache) I always am treated to a very loose based version of a book club.

We're not talking Oprah's book club here. Just a bunch of women who spend at least three hours a month in each other's company who talk about the latest books that they have read.

Well, while I was being wrapped in about a two dozen pieces of foil (wondering if all the extra metal by my head would make my piece of crap Cingular phone service work better), "the girls" started talking about "A Child Called It."

Well, I was compelled to say the least. A kid whose parents made him eat out of a dog bowl? A kid who stole food to survive? A mother who hated her eldest son yet not her other children?

What a trip!

Well last weekend I was visiting my hairdresser (who is now my friend) at her home and found the book in her bookcase. So I borrowed it. I read it.

A Child Called It… The good stuff

The book is truly bizarre. The author writes in a sort of dreamlike sequence. You almost get the feeling that it happened to somebody else. Vivid and descriptive at times. Bold and brave yet very surreal. Did this guy live this life and survive to tell about it? According to the story, "IT" truly overcame. Or did he?

A Child Called It… Why I didn't get what I was expecting.

Like any one of you who has read "When Rabbit Howls" or other such psychologically-based memoirs, I was expecting more. More what? Well more explanation for one. David's mother was truly a monster. But why? His father stopped sticking up for him - why? The whole school knew he was severely abused yet they didn't protect him until years later. Why?

And now David, prides himself on being a "self-help communicator". Call me queer, I've been called worse, but what exactly does severe child abuse have to do with "self-help". Except if he's "helpin'" himself to our money by sensationalizing his childhood. I just didn't get the reason behind this book.

This ain't exactly AA here. The kid had problems. Sure he did. Or at least some odd part of me hopes he did. Why? Because for somebody to make up such a hellacious story about his own parents is disgusting.

There are two types of people who have read this book. Those of you that are truly disgusted and moved by it and those of us who say "Hey, what are you writing this book for anyway?"

Is it true? Is it a fake? Is it somewhere inbetween? I'll never know for sure. All I can say is that it's worth the two hours it took me to read it.

Just don't plan on walking away from it with more answers than questions.

09:32:47 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: bambi3069

I first learned of this story through and Epinion on this site and was intrigued to find and read this book. I was able to get the first two stories out of a series of three which happen to be about Dave Pelzer's life. I started them today and finished them both and what I read was absolutely unbelievable and horrifying!!

If you have a queasy stomach or can not bear to read of childhood horror than this book is definitely not for you but if you can get past the abuse and simply see what this book truly is, a story of triumph, then I can say you won't be disappointed.

A Child Called "It" covers David's life from the age of 4 until the age of 12. The abuse he sustained was of the worse kind imaginable I never expected to read the things I did while reading this book. Aside from his mother proceeding to break his spirit and self-worth by referring to him as "The Boy" or "It" and not allowing other members of the family to even acknowledge him, to me it is astounding he came out of the physical abuse alive.

Reading this story made me sick to believe that a mother, any mother, that gave birth to the most precious thing possible could do such things to her child. It made me thankful for the fact that I had a loving mother and in turn am a loving mother. I am relieved that nothing like what happened to David as every touched my life directly or indirectly and it also opened my eyes that even my worst nightmares for a child are out there and are going on.

I will not go into grave details of his life but I will say that any person that can walk away from what Dave Pelzer walked away from and manage to make a success out of his life deserves absolutely only the very best and the utmost respect out of life. I commend him for writing his story and not hiding behind the horrors of his childhood. I commend him for moving forward and not continuing the "circle" of abuse that many abused children follow. And I commend him for taking his time and effort in every possible way to change abuse and the system the abused fall into.

It is not an easy story to read but I would say that anyone who deals with children closely should read this story, if they can stand it, so they know what signs to look for. I will say that you will have to expect the worse and then know it will only be worse from there but it did end up with a happy ending--David is proof of that.

09:34:22 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"

The first thing I noticed on collecting this book from the library was how small and thin it was, (being a bestseller I had expected the usual many paged wonder). Had I only known, the size of the book is almost a prophecy as the contents depict a small, thin child who despite having an initial normal childhood, eventually suffers horrendous abuse at the hands of his mother.

We join David Pelzer at the end of a tortuous period of his childhood. Living in San Francisco,his injuries and precarious health are eventually noted by teachers and health officials who take him under their wing and ultimately take steps to remove him from the care of his mentally unstable mother.

The book then goes on to depict the horrors the child had to endure as initially the youngest of four children. We hear of starving and beatings, cold baths and even torture by obnoxious gases, all of which are apparently endured despite the knowledge and love of his father - a spineless, unhappy man who is obviously under the control of a tyrannical spouse. We read of the hatred felt by David's mother towards him and how he is deprived of love and forced to steal food from his school companions. How on occasions he is forced to eat the remains of dinners put out for the family dogs in order to survive. He describes his foul smelling clothes and the bullying he consequently receives from schoolmates who see him as an outsider and his anger at his helplessness and the lack of intervention by those he should have been able to confide in.

I have to say I read the book with some initial cynicism. I am by nature a person who always asks why and questions motives and backgrounds. David's early childhood was it seems normal. His mother cuddled him and took him on outings and picnics with his brothers and ensured the children's Christmases were happy with the usual toys, Christmas trees and affection. She apparently smothered the child with love and I therefore found it hard to believe such love could turn to hate for no apparent reason - a mother's love is after all never-ending. The reader is given no insight into why there was this sudden change of heart or the circumstances leading up to it, although there is an indication that alcoholism played its deadly part. Being a mother myself, I could not envisage anything making me treat my own or any other child in such a way, although obviously children can at times try the patience of a saint. In this respect the book is rather annoying as the reader obviously is intrigued to know the circumstances leading up to the neglect and I must admit to wondering at this stage whether the abuse hadn't been exagerated to sell more copies.

Unfortunately it is hard to make out exactly how old David is at the time of the beatings, although the illtreatment seemingly began when he was about 5/6 years old when he is forced to stand in corners for hours at a time and he is rescued seemingly at the age of 11/12. Obviously as he grows older David begins to hate his mother and his siblings for the illtreatment he has to endure, but I found it difficult to envisage a small child feeling such hate that he would call his mother an f………g b……
Most children are very forgiving at an early age so again my cynicism came to the fore here.

Reaching the end of the book however, I felt ashamed of my cynicism and wondered whether this is exactly the reason most child abuse goes undetected because people just do not want to believe the truth, or refuse to believe that others do not feel as they do. The story ends with a brief description of David's successful career in later life and his love for his own children, followed by a short write up by the teacher who noticed the illtreatment in the first place wishing him well for the future.

Apparently this was the third worst case of child abuse in America in recent years but we are not given any insight into what became of the mother and father or even the other children, although I understand sequels have been written regarding his life from 12-18 and then from 18 onwards.

This is certainly a very disturbing book, one that makes the reader question their judgement and reactions. It makes unhappy but compelling reading, although ultimately it has been written in a non self-pitying way, obviously as a means of release by the author.

I understand David Pelzer has appeared on various television programmes when he has discussed his childhood. I am glad however that I didn't see these appearances as I was able to read the book with an open mind. It has certainly made me see just how easy it would be to disbelieve that such cruelty could exist and it is indeed frightening to know that one could inadvertently miss such dreadful signs and let such inhumanity continue unabated.

Not a book to take to bed with a cup of cocoa, but certainly an education into man's inhumanity to man, or in this case to small children.

09:35:49 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: dandj

What could possibly provoke a woman once so loving, nurturing and seemingly happy to wreak such deadly havoc on the life of a small child? And what was the motivation behind her choosing to torture this one out of an eventual five sons.

How can a father sit by and do virtually nothing to protect the child, and then move out of the home, leaving him there? This makes him almost as contemptible as his wife.

These are just a few questions that will enter the reader's mind.

A Child Called "It" is David Pelzer's account of the physical and emotional abuse (bordering on attempted murder) he suffered at the hands of his own mother.

I became totally engrossed with this book and was unable to put it down, for more than a few minutes at a time, until I had finished it. It was utterly horrifying to read page after page describing the terror faced by the young Dave Pelzer from the time he was four until he was twelve…eight years.

Eight years of starvation and beatings. Of being forced to swallow such things as ammonia, bleach and dish soap. There was even once an attempt to force him to eat the defecation smeared on his face from his baby brother's diaper.

This child was treated as a prisoner of war, to the point of having to sit like one. Whenever he was not doing some kind of slave work for his mother, he was banished to the basement/garage steps to sit on his hands with his head kept tilted back. The garage is also where he slept, curled up in a tight ball for warmth, with only an army cot as a bed.

He was tortured with a gas chamber-like "game" his mother enjoyed. She would lock him in the bathroom with a pail full of ammonia and bleach. By the time she let him out, his eyes burned, his throat was raw, and he was coughing up blood.

Death was a release David Pelzer sometimes craved and nearly got. He was once stabbed in the upper stomach by his mother. Although it was something of an accident, she did not take him to the hospital for treatment. In fact, she made him resume his slave duties, regardless of the fact that the blood from the wound was continually saturating his shirts. When it became infected, making him quite ill, he had to squeeze it clean himself.

These are just some of the incidences in this sad childhood which you will read about.

The book contains seven chapters, each focused on a certain aspect such as…

The Rescue--when teachers finally involved themselves and the police and David was saved

Good Times--the family in their "Brady Bunch" days, as he calls it

Bad Boy--when things started to fall apart for him

While Father is Away--the worst torture came during the days David's father was at work

The Lord's Prayer--with his father now no longer living in the home, David makes one final plea to God

Also included is an Epilogue which lets the reader in to a very special moment in time David shares with his own son. Perspectives on Child Abuse are given by the author himself, his former teacher, and a few other participants in the fight against child abuse. Best of all, there are resources listed for help.

This book is presented in such a way that, rather than feel sorry for young David (although you will be truly appalled), the reader is led to admire his strength and conviction.

It is amazing that he came out of the situation to begin a normal life. He has put it behind him, choosing to learn from it in lieu of acting upon it.

Just remember the major point of this book while you are reading it…IT IS ALL TRUE.

Look for David Pelzer's other books

The Lost Boy
A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family


A Man Named Dave

09:36:46 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Kachina88

These are the shockingly true words spoken by the father of David Pelzer, to the mother, who does, indeed, treat the family dog better.

A Child Called "It" is the heartbreaking autobiographical story of David Pelzer, who lives through 7 years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his own mother. Written from a child's point of view, and disturbingly graphic, it is impossible to read this book without a constant "dropping jaw" and a gasp on nearly every page at the brutal life this child lived.

Life was not always wretched for David, up until he was 5 years old, he had the perfect family life. Loving parents, memorable family trips together, wonderful family holidays. Suddenly, without warning, and for no apparent reason, David alone, becomes the target of his mother's wrath and hatred, and his life is hell for the next 7 years. Although David had 2 brothers, when this started, he was the only one abused. Equally appalling, is the father, who for all practical purposes, chooses to look the other way while his son is abused, seemingly to protect himself from bringing his wife's ire down on HIS head.

"The Mother", as David comes to refer to her, has a never ending array of punishments and tortures to bestow upon the innocent child. Everything from beatings, to starvation (anywhere from 2-10 days at a time), to virtually turning him into a slave responsible for all household chores. The Mother is not satisfied with this treatment alone, and also sees to it that his brothers, in turn, treat him as "dirt", and all refer to him as "it". He no longer "deserves" to even sleep in the house, and is banished to the basement, and made to sit on his hands, for hours at a time, on the basement stairs, alone, cold, and starving. These are just some of the examples of the horrors David lived with on a day to day basis.

It is nearly impossible to believe that this child could endure the years of abuse that he lived through, and still come through it with the indomitable will to survive and overcome, and a heart that can forgive and love in spite of it all.

A Child Called "It" is the first book of a series of three, which follows him thru age 12. The sequel, The Lost Boy, chronicles Dave's life from the ages of 12-18, and his struggles to overcome his past and cope with life in foster care. The third entry, A Man Named Dave-A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness, covers his life from the age of 18 to adulthood. I read all 3 books in less than a week, I could not put them down.

Dave Pelzer is now a best selling author and world renowned advocate for the education and prevention of child abuse. Dave, I wish you only the best, you are an inspiration to every man, woman, and child. I will never forget you. God Bless You!

09:38:05 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: amylouky

My sister gave me this book with the caution, "This book will make you cry". She wasn't wrong. I stayed up until 4 AM reading this book because I absolutely couldn't put it down. Luckily for me, she gave me the two sequels, "The Lost Boy" and "A Man named Dave", because I'd have had to go out and buy them too. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me just tell you a little about the book, and then I'll explain why I think it is a must-read.

This true story was written several years after Dave, the child in the book, reached adulthood. He was removed from an unbelievably abusive home when he was in the fifth grade, and this book tells the story through his eyes up until that point. Dave's inexperience as a writer is apparent by the straightforward language and unsophisticated style of this book. It really does seem to be written by a child sometimes, and there are parts when the raw emotion shows through in his words that a more professional writer probably would have tried to get across more subtly. I think that actually adds a lot to the book, though… instead of reading a polished, well-edited, depersonalized account of child abuse that looks like it belongs in a social worker's case study, the reader is drawn directly into Dave's world.

And what a world it was. His mother was an alcoholic, with mental disturbances, and for some reason those disturbances and her rage settled on Dave. The abuse he was subjected to is unthinkable, including being starved, beaten, burned, even stabbed, and emotional abuse that was in some ways worse than the physical. Dave's entire life suffered, he had no friends because he stole from his classmates' lunch pails to avoid starvation. Even after he is removed from the home, he still struggles to find a normal life… but that's another book.

To be completely honest, my initial reaction to parts of this story were "yeah, right. Someone would have done something long before now… he has to be exaggerating." I wondered why I felt that way, if I was just heartless… then I realized that the horrors that little boy had to go through were too much to deal with… I didn't WANT to believe that anyone could be that purposefully cruel to their own child. Then I thought, if it's that painful for me to READ… how horrible it must have been to live through. I think maybe that's the purpose that Dave was trying to accomplish… not to garner sympathy, but to make people like me realize that it IS a real problem, and that more still needs to be done.

09:39:03 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Suziers

This was not a pleasant book to read. It actually was downright difficult. A horrifying true story about one of history's worst cases of child abuse.

A play by play, day by day story of a young boy who survives barely)unimaginable treatment by his demented mother. The story was so graphic that at one part, I became physically ill. I asked myself over and over WHY I was doing this to myself. But once I started I couldn't just abandon the child and not find out how he escaped.

The book is very well written. I found myself completely involved with the child's emotions. I was tearful and angry and fearful constantly throughout the book. When I finally finished, I was incredibly drained and unsettled. It is an eye opener for many of us who find it very easy to forget that abused children exist in this world. But I warn you it is not a pleasant read.

I am a little tossed as far as whether or not to recommend this book. I think I am going to chicken out and rate it right down the middle as although it was a true story that needed to be told, I don't feel like a better person for having heard it. Well that isn't true. I have hugged my kids a LITTLE bit tighter since the horror of this man's childhood has become a part of me.

09:40:34 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: evelyn

Thank you Dave Pelzer for having the courage to write this book. A Child Called "IT" is the autobiography ot the author. It is not a fictional tale, but the account of Dave Pelzer's horrible childhood. I have a friend who is a social worker and she loaned this book to me, and quite frankly, I couldn't believe it. I would encourage everyone to read this book, and consider being a foster parent.
Mr. Pelzer's book is very easy to read. No big concepts to get your mind around, except the biggest, most horrendous - child abuse. What makes a devoted mother turn on one child? What is her flaw? I would like to read even more of the details of this story, but the book gave plenty. When you think you have heard the worst about David's life, hang on! It gets worse! Please read this book. It brings some hard questions into your consciousness, and makes you regret almost any mean or judgmental thought you have had about someone. You just don't know what goes on in a home, between mother and child, husband and wife, etc.
I am certain that Dave Pelzer's openess, and his willingness to put his
life into some kind of perspective, have helped out many, many people.
God bless all these children. God bless the workers who try to care for them, but are criticized every step of the way. God bless Dave Pelzer.

09:41:29 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: tiasmom

This book is not for the faint of heart. It's not a pleasant or easy book to read, but at the same time, it's hard to put down. It's full of gut-wrenching incidents that actually happened in one boy's life.

Dave Pelzer, the author, is telling the story of his abusive mother and the horrors he suffered at her hands. This is a book in which you quickly become involved. After each chapter, I felt like I was returning from a nightmare, and yet, this was his life.

From early childhood, his mother singled him out among his siblings for abuse and torture for reasons known only to her. She began to refer to him as "It". His father stood by afraid to speak up. The siblings seem oblivious.

Dave has to submerge himself in ice cold bath water for hours. He has to wear the same clothes to school day after day and eat nothing for days. However, he is allowed to take a sandwich to school so nobody will know he is starving. When he is suspected of stealing food and denies it, his mother makes him vomit to prove he is not lying. He is poisoned and stabbed at her hands also. His torture goes on for his entire childhood. Very few adults ever take notice. When they do, there is nothing they can do to help. Finally, a teacher at school is able to help him escape his horror.

He tells the story as one of triumph over adversity. He is not looking for pity, he says. He grew into a successful adult who wants people to know that joy can be found after suffering. He has written other books in this series which I have not yet read following up on what happens to him in later years.

09:42:49 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: MsArriana

After seeing Dave Pelzer on Oprah several times and hearing his heart breaking story I decided to buy his first book. I had no idea at the time what an emotional rollercoaster this relatively short book would take me on. I purchased the book on a Thursday and was finished with it by Friday morning.

There were times wen I felt bad for reading the book and being so glued to it. I almost felt in some way like I was being mentally stimulated by this man's childhood ordeal. But as soon as I started feeling that way, I realized that it was not the same kind if stimulation I get from reading a good mystery or romance novel. It was more of horrified stimulation. As I sat and read of this child's horrifying journey through childhood I was repulsed by his parents, captivated by his strength and sickened by a world that allowed this sort of thing to exist.

We often hear on the news of abused children who were rescued from abusive homes, but rarely do we get such a detailed picture of what those children endured as we do with Dave Pelzer's story. The atrocities that this child was subjected to are far beyond what my mind was capable of imagining. There were times I went from being in tears to screaming to crying again. There were times when I wished his parents would die, and believe it or not there were even times that I wished Dave himself would die so that he would no longer have to endure what seemed like abuse that would never end.

I finished reading this book in December, and at first was anxious to run out and purchase his next book, The Lost Boy. But I have waited, for many different reasons. I waited because I wasn't sure I was ready to read any more of this poor child's horrendous childhood. I also wasn't sure if I was ready to accept that people, especially parents could be so cruel and vicious to an innocent child. Well now I think I am ready and I am actually going out tonight to look for the next book in this saga.

I strongly recommend this book not only for people who enjoy reading, but for teachers, parents, young adults, and basically anyone who is capable of handling such an emotional ride.

09:43:19 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: braggio

While researching and working in the child advocacy field I came across this book. This story depicts the horrors of child abuse with a raw gut-twisting truth. I read it in one day and then began it's sequel. It is the true account of the writer's experience as a tortured child.

Page after page I re-lived the author's downward spiral from humanity. I felt his humiliation. I shuddered through the shut down of his emotions as the pain became too loud to bear. I trembled as his identity was ripped away along with his name. I was also ,however, inspired by this child's strength in overcoming this tragedy.

This book will cause you to face one of this world's most awful crimes against humanity. You will be forever changed by the experience. Some of you will simply pay more attention to the lives of those within your reach. Some of you will be challenged to move from apathy to action. Some of you will be inspired to join the many warriors out there fighting for the lives of our children. Whichever the case, you will never quite be the same.

09:44:27 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Starrrynit

"A Child Called It" by Dave Pelzer has permeated images in my mind I don't think will ever leave. How could anyone, let alone his parents, do those evil things to a little, innocent boy?

I heard about this book through a friend from a Woman's group I belong to. My friend went on and on about this particular read, so the next day I went to my local library and checked it out.

Even before I got to the car I was in tears. The cover of the book shows a beautiful child's face looking up at what I imagined was God. It depicts a hand represented as a cloud stroking his little face, as if to say, "It's gonna be all right. It's gonna be all right."

As soon as I started to read this book, I knew I wasn't going to be able to put it down until I finished it. I also knew I would never forget this story either. It is a truly haunting tale.

I kept imagining someone doing these violent acts to my children. I soon started to hate David's parents for doing these things to their own son. I hated most of David's teachers for not acknowledging problems existed and for not getting involved.

By the time I went to bed that night, I finished the book, crying my eyes out. I gave my two little children an extra kiss while they were sleeping.

As I stared down at my children that night, I started to think about my first grader's classmates. Are any of those kids going through this? If so, will someone stop it? Will *I* be the one to stop it? Did anyone I went to grammar school with suffer with abusive parents?

This book got me thinking. About a lot of things. I believe I will be thinking of "A Child Called It" for the rest of my life.

09:46:35 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: kuiipo

I bought this book about three years ago, after listening to a talk show on television and I have read this book from beginning to end and I have to say this; the man's mother was definitely psychotic and his alcohol father was no better either. He should have had the decency to protect his son from physical and verbal abuse from his sick wife, but he was no match for this woman. Both of his parents should have been arrested even back then. Even if his father never touched him or called him abusive names, he is just as much as responsible as his wife was because he just simply stood by and not do anything to stop the cycle.

The man who was about eleven years old at the time, went to school hungry every single day. His mother would not pack him a lunch and often, the school would give him a free lunch because they all felt compelled to do what they can to help this boy out.

At home, life was a living hell. This boy was subjected to physical and verbal beatings all in which his mother would not let up on this and she let this be well known to her defenseless son who was so afraid to fight back.

The mother would sometimes make her son drink his own urine and bowel movements as well. Once, she stuffed a very dirty rag into his mouth and made him hold it there for a long time.

The boy would most often show up to school with bruises, but he would somehow get by without answering much questions to people who wanted to know how he got all those scratches and bruises from.

Finally, the school officials call the police and have the boy removed from his family and into protective custody. Once he was in protective custody, he was still somewhat nervous, but relieved to know that he would not be going back to his mother's house for a very long time.

Eventually, this boy was placed in foster care. For the next several years, he would be in and out of foster homes and sometimes, he ran into trouble while he was a teenager, but he got himself straightened out later in life which will be told in one of his next books.

None of his real siblings were ever treated in the same manner as he was because I guess he happened to be the oldest and the parents must have believed that the oldest should be treated the roughest, who knows? But I will say this right now, this is very inexcusable and I don't care if the child was the oldest, the middle, the youngest, etc. Child abuse in this country today is no longer tolerated and if there is a possibility of a child being abused, the person/persons responsible would be arrested and tried on charges of abuse. But of course, there are others out there being abused and these cases not being reported. We can be a much better friend to our child/children if we stop the cycle and start living again, for them and for us too.

I find that this man's life story is very interesting and I really enjoyed reading his books. I have all three and they are inside of my coffee table.

For those who enjoy reading psychology, you may want to read this man's story.

09:48:27 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: angienic2001

One day, when at a friend's house, I was looking for a good book to read. My friend recommended this one to me, saying it was really good. I agree. This book is one of the saddest yet most inspiring books I've ever read.

David Pelzer is one of three kids in what turned out to be a very screwed up family. This is his account of how he survived through years of abuse from his mother.

At one time, David's family was very happy. His parents loved each other and their children, and they all took trips together, their mom taught them a lot of things, they had great Christmases together, the whole bit. But then David's mom began to change. She drank a lot, and then, unexpectedly, David became the target of life-threatening abuse. His bed was now an old army cot in the basement of their home. His mom tried to kill him by attempting to force him on top of an oven that had been turned on. She smacked him senseless and threw him around like a rag doll. And at first, David's dad tried to help save him. His dad promised that one day they'd escape from the nightmare and live happily ever after. But after a while, his dad gives up and moves out of the house, leaving David behind to suffer his mother's wrath. The strange thing is that his mom treats his brothers like gold. And David explains how he made it through the horror.

I have a pretty strong stomach, but even I got grossed out by some of the descriptions of the abuse in this story. There's a part involving a dirty diaper and a scene involving regurgitated hot dogs that will make you feel sick to your stomach. But the mother of all grossness comes when David describes cleaning up a stab wound. That one, if you have a weak stomach, will pretty much make you puke. However, even though these scenes are disgusting, they are there to serve a purpose, that purpose being to show just how far David's mother's abuse went, and how it affected David in the long run. This book really surprised me, because I had heard some pretty horrid tales of abuse, but never like this (although any kind of abuse is horrible, no matter how far it goes). I definetely recommend reading this book. It was very interesting and very well-written. I admire this guy's courage.

09:49:37 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Disti57

Working as a caseworker, I encountered many children who lived the life of Dave Pelzer. I heard many stories of horrific abuse, and worked one on one with children who were raised in these awful situations. Because Pelzer was a victim himself, he was able to capture on paper the true pain and emotional scarring of an abused and neglected child.

Through Pelzer's detailed descriptions of the abuse he sustained at the hands of his own mother, it becomes evident how this catastrophic life effects the child, both as the abuse is occurring, as well as how it continues to effect him into adulthood. One cannot imagine the kind of pain Pelzer was forced to endure, and his gripping descriptions make you read the book cover to cover.

After reading this book, you will become very aware of the horrific abuse that happens on a DAILY basis to many children in our society. It seems so unbelievable that a once loving parent would want to inflict horrible pain on their own child, however, Pelzer shows us how very real this life is. It is remarkable that he is able to do this through the eyes of the child, as he himself had to experience it.

09:50:45 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: jmpickartz

A friend of mine suggested that I go get a copy of "A Child Called It" by David Pelzer. Upon her advice, I went to the library and checked the book out.

As soon as I started reading this book, I was totally into it and could not put it down until I finished it. I was infuriated and sad by what I was reading.

David Pelzer grew up in California. His dad was a fireman and his mom stayed at home with the children. David was the oldest child and his mother eventually turned him into a slave for the family.

David was always getting into trouble in his mother's eyes. As punishment, she would not feed him and he would go to school and steal food which got him into more trouble. This is just a minor punishment for David as a small boy. Other punishments included: making him drink ammonia, pouring liquid soap in his mouth and making him drink it, trying to burn him on the stove, beating him senseless, stabbing him, filling the tub up with cold water and making him lie in it, etc…

David was forced to sleep in a basement/garage on an army cot. His clothes were never clean and they always had holes in them. He was teased in school because of the way he was dressed and how he smelled. David Pelzer did a great job of writing all this, I could picture it all too well.

What angers me, is that this all happened in the 70s and there were no laws to protect children back then. People simply turned their backs on children that they saw being abused. It is sad that experiences like this had to occur before laws were brought about to try and protect the children of today.

I would have to say that this is the worst child abuse story I have ever heard. I normally do not read these kind of books, but upon recommendation, I gave it a try. This author did an awesome job of re-telling the events of his childhood "hell".

09:51:57 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: tyjmsmith

A Child Called “It”, by Dave Pelzer was the most horrible book I have ever read. I knew vaguely what it was about when my sister sent it to me. That’s why it sat on my bookshelf for almost a year. But finally, I got up the courage to read it.

I started reading this book with much trepidation. I knew it was about a horrendous case of child abuse and I figured I would be crying my eyes out reading this. Well, I did not cry my eyes out, but I was extremely livid with the mother, his teachers, and just society in general. This book was set or told in the early 1970’s, before child abuse was a cause. It seems though today, Child Protective Services has just gone from one extreme to the other.

Back to the book…It is about a young boy held hostage in his home. He did get to go to school occasionally, thank goodness, or else his abuse would have never been discovered. He was treated worse than a dog! I really do not want to give any examples of his tortured life because they are all horrifying!

Things were okay in his family until his mother and father started fighting and his father eventually left. The boy had two older brothers and two younger brothers who were never abused and they never came to his rescue. They even did they own share of tormenting the boy! It was the boy’s mom who did the abusing. Actually abusing is too nice a word for what this evil woman did to her own flesh and blood!!

Okay, I’ll give you one example. You cannot truly understand the malicious home he lived in without at least one example. He was sent to the upstairs bathroom at one point (and a few more times after the initial time) and his mother had a bucket of bleach sitting on the floor. She threw him in the bathroom and added a bottle of ammonia to the bleach! Locked him in the bathroom and left him there for an hour or more! That was a milder example of her cruelty.

I just got the second book of this series and knew I had to write a review on the first one before I started reading the second one. The thing I hope to learn from reading the other books is WHY Why was his mother this way? How could one person become so evil? I just cannot understand how a mother could do this to her baby!!!!

On the cover of this book it says “An Inspirational Story”. I don’t see how this book is inspirational except in the fact that he survived and is now an honorable citizen with a child of his own. I really don’t know if I would recommend just anyone reading this story. It is really difficult to read. It is so very heartrending and sad! So, I guess, if I piqued your interest, go and buy this book or get it from your library. Actually if you buy it, you put money in this poor man’s pockets and I’m sure he donates quite a large chunk of his profits to a charity for abused children.

09:54:19 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: deepdreamer

Yes I hated this book but I gave it five stars. This wasn't the best book
I've read, it wasn't the most well written book I've ever read, and by any means it wasn't a page-turner. In fact, I hesitated turning the page in fear of what devastating punishment this little boy’s mother had in store for him next. In all, I completely despised this book. So why the high rating? I’ve read many books, yet few have actually made such a dramatic impression.

This book had such a crystal clear purpose. The only reason I hated it so much was because it exposed the harsh reality of child abuse. We’ve all seen the movies and heard the stories but never have I ever experienced such a vivid personal account of a persons suffering. My first reaction was anger. I’ve never been able to honestly say that I’ve felt a true hatred for anyone, but through the accounts of Dave Pelzer I wanted to personally banish that b#%*h of a “mother” he had to burn in hell. Excuse my choice of words but anyone who treats their child like that woman did, deserves nothing.

As much hatred as I felt for David’s “mother”, I felt that much admiration for David. His “mother” might have destroyed his health and self-confidence but he never once let go of the dream to be someone someday. The most important lesson to be learned from this book was David’s reaction to his treatment. I felt that David’s mental pain was more severe than his physical, which seems impossible considering the things his body endured. What hurt David the most was the he wasn’t loved by his family, not that his “mother” beat him nearly to death every chance she got. This proves that the most important thing in any child’s life is love.

I’d like to personally take this opportunity to thank Dave Pelzer for not only having the courage to endure and preserver through years of mental and physical pain but for also having the courage to relive those years in order to get the word out that Yes, Child Abuse Does Happen. I hope that all educators read this book. I am baffled that the school system didn’t catch the abuse of David Pelzer sooner. My heart wrenches to think of other children living through a similar hell with no hope of getting out unless a school official recognizes the signs. So in conclusion I don’t recommend this book because it was an interesting read but because it was a major eye-opener. If you haven’t already read it, please, for the sake of all abused children, read it.

09:55:02 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: cookie2017

David Pelzer's "A Child Called It" is as a disturbing account of child
abuse I've ever heard and read about. I bought this first of three books through the Barnes & Noble on line rare books area because it just isn't available anywhere else. It should be! It should be required reading for social workers, family court judges and child advocates everywhere.

I was comfortable enough reading this book because it just didn't seem real to me. I didn't allow myself to get too "grossed out" because I felt that I needed to know that this sort of abuse really happens. My emotions ran the gamut from frustration to anger, at the system, the family, and even David-the child called "it". His mother was an enigma to me because it's so hard to understand her on any level or excuse her actions… How could a once 'model' mother begin a systematic torture of her young son? Her cruelty served no purpose in her life except possibly as revenge for her own childhood. She was a twisted soul and inflicted many different kinds of abuse on everyone who lived around her.

What's worse was the father's weakness to allow it to happen,
not just to this one boy, but later to the other children as well. He looked the other way.

This book is not fiction. It did happen. All you have to do is see Mr. Pelzer on any interview program (usually Montel Williams). Witness his sincerity, his calm demeanor and soft-spoken eloquence and you'll KNOW it's all true.

This is just the first book in a trilogy by David Pelzer. He takes us step by step, into his childhood experiences as seen through the eyes of a child. He is honest, detailed and graphic, but not for the sake of sensationalism. He has reasons for telling you exactly what happened.
I was horrified, yet fascinated at the human will to live, in spite of
all odds. I honestly would like to shake this man's hand and thank him
for first of all, surviving and writing these books, and secondly for turning his childhood hell into a positive lesson and hope for all the other abused children out there.

This book is a real page-turner and I'm glad that Mr. Pelzer wrote the book in 3 parts so we could be with him literally in each stage of his childhood and eventual growth into manhood.

If you decide to read this book, I suggest you order all 3 books in the trilogy. You don't want to be without the sequels when you finish the first book.

09:56:38 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: sheri414

This book brought tears to my eyes. Never would I have thought that a child could be so badly abused by his own mother.

Dave Pelzer takes us through his early childhood in this first of three books describing his life as an abused child. He begins with the happy days, when he was an accepted and loved member of the family. But we follow Dave through the years as his mother's abuse becomes more and more violent. The most touching aspect of Dave's story is his will to live. Throughout his whole ordeal, Dave shows such strength and courage when most would give up.

Dave is abused in ways that most of us would never even imagine. He is forced to eat human feces. He is banished to the garage where he must sit on his hands, often for hours at a time, until summoned. Food is a reward that he very infrequently receives.

The book also gives the reader a look at the abuser and how he/she is able to manipulate not only the child being abused, but neighbors, family members, teachers, and the community at large. David Pelzer was abused for years before anyone came to his rescue, although many had their suspicions all along. His mother was able to convince those around her, Dave included, that he, not she, was the problem.

"A Boy Called It" will cause the reader to think long and hard about the issue of child abuse. I know that I cannot get Dave's story out of my mind. I have always thought of child abuse as beating a child, mistreating a child, but never could I imagine what he went through.

The book is written in simple language and is very easy to read. I read it in one evening and read the second book the following evening. Although the reading itself is simple, the issues presented are deep. I think this is one advantage of the book, because it allows the reader to concentrate on the actual events. You can skim read the words, but the story causes the reader to think deeply about the issues themselves.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a great wake up call to all of us and relates just what goes on in the life of an abused child. So often we turn our heads and pretend we don't see. Dave Pelzer's story may change that way of thinking.

09:58:15 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Emags2000

Right now, the only thing I want to do is hug David Pelzer. This was the only thing I wanted to do throughout the entire story and tell him everything will be ok. This book was amazing. It was inspiring, it was disgusting, horrific yet uplifting. How can a child be put through this by someone that considers themselves a mother? A parent? One that should love and hold their child.

I bought this book because I work with children and have worked with them for years. I wanted to read something that would open my eyes to a situation I knew very little of. I am glad I read it.

I am sure people wonder why I find this book inspiring and uplifting. Well, it has shown me how the human spirit can never die, unless the person allows it. I know that if I were in the same situation I would have given up. The amazing strength David had throughout his life shows me to be strong. It shows me you can learn from children. What David's mom put him through was the most horrific and disgusting thing I have ever heard of in my life. Mixtures of ammonia and clorox placed in a bucket for him to inhale? Teaspoons of ammonia to swallow? Mental games that were torturous and yet loving ever other child in the house? I find this book amazing because David, although tortured and starved, figured out how to live, although an outcast to his family, he played his games back to survive.

I felt a sense of pride when reading on how David has his own son to love and will love ten times more because of his feelings. I became so afraid for him and felt myself wanting to scream at his mom! As well as the entire school system, including his father. How can people just sit back and let this happen! Why didn't they stop it!

The style the book was written in allowed me to feel as though I was inside the house. I really felt as though I was watching what was happening and felt hopeless. I felt like I needed to help him.

This book has taught me that people are horrific in this world. They can partake in actions unthinkable to me. I know now not to take things for granted and to hug all of the children I work with a little more. I see now how important it is to be loved. When I have my children I will love them and make sure they will feel loved and secure.

David god bless you in your life and I wish only the best.

09:59:51 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: blackelve

The shutting of the door of fallen skeletons within a family is screaming out to be heard,
and it was with this book.

This book is a collection of the thoughts of the authors turmoil and troubled youth. The physical, emotional abuse and attacks against himself from his mother and father.

The emotional came from a father that didn't care, couldn't stand the confrontation of being married to a woman that had no morality.
The physical from a mother that had no heart nor soul.

This is a book that is high on my shelve where a child can not take it down and read. I do not want my son to read anything in this book. It is too real, to harsh, to much reality for a child.
Any child!

The door were always slammed in this authors youth, abuse was a secret. you did NOT talk about it. you ignored it. So many people ignored the author as a child, it is a surprise he lives today.

There has been controversity if this book is really based on fact, or the imagination of a creative writer…if it fiction, then this is the harshest most cruelest horror book ever written in the world, ever.

If you do not have a strong stomach, don't read this book. It will make you sick to your stomach as you read the torture within. Your head will hang in shame remembering the last time you ignored a small child who looked at you with pleading in his eye.

If you are a survivor of child abuse, if and only if, you have worked out everything in your life, do Not read this book, it will bring up things that you forgot.
If you are a survivor and things are looking good…maybe this book will keep you surviving.

As you can see I feel very strong about this book.
This book brought me nightmares for weeks after reading it.
It also opened my eyes to the reality of childhood

10:01:48 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: aquani

When I first heard about Dave Pelzer's "A Child Called 'It' I regarded it as I would a Stephen King book. I thought it would just be a fictional story with a normal nightmare plot that leaves the reader scared out of his/her mind. I don't think I have ever been more wrong…

The book was horrifying, to say the least. That a mother could even act that way towards her child is beyond me. I have heard many sad tales about fathers beating their kids and wives, but I have never heard of a story so heart-wrenching that I wanted to just break down and cry. It was gruesome. My heart was breaking for the child as he went through is daily struggles that were "normal" for him, yet to the average person, those things would only be dreamt of in our deepest, horrifying nightmares. The child went through hell on earth. The fact that he lived through it to tell about it is a miracle.

The story seems to play out every gruesome detail. While I was reading it, I was continually on the edge of my seat, not wanting to read the next page, but not wanting to leave this poor child, seemingly, alone by himself. I wanted to be there with him, to comfort him, and to merely wrap my arms around him. I wanted to take him away from his mother. As I continued to read on and the story introduced the boy's father, I wanted to be sick. I can't believe that a father would sit by while a mother did those horrifying things to her son.

Emotionally, this book was incredibly draining. As I finished it, I wanted to just sit and cry. I can't imagine having to go through anything that bad in all my life. Nothing that I have gone through or could go through would even come close to what that boy experienced in a mere day.

After reading this book, it really brought me to a realization that most of us have it pretty good. Maybe we didn't get that special toy that we wanted, but never in our lives will we go through something as bad as what this kid went through. It opened me up to a new way of looking at life.

Although this book doesn't have what you might call an extremely well developed plot, it doesn't need it. It takes you through the life of a child that is starving for attention, beaten at home, sent to sleep in his own wastes, tortured day in and day out, and afraid of telling anyone of his struggles. For this, the book doesn't need any better plot. It follows the boy's life, and that in itself is a more intricate than the ones in most movies now-a-days.

This book is definitely a must-read. However, I would caution people before they read it, that it is very vivid and detailed. If a person has a very soft heart, this book would be extremely hard to read. Never will you see a movie that depicts this. Nothing can even come close. But, I would encourage everyone to read this, because it is a fantastic book.

10:03:34 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: peppergirl_7499

David Pelzer was once a happy little boy with a mommy that loved him and his brothers. His mommy once had been the perfect mother who cuddled all of her children and played with them. David lived in what any little boy would think of as a perfect world.

Then it seemed as if his world was turned upside down. It was a slow process in the beginning with him being punished for no apparent reason. As time moved on the punishment became more severe, he was now sent to bed without meals. He was also being beaten and being told he was not worthy of his mother's time or love. His brothers were encouraged to disassociate with David.

David's father, who was a fireman, seemed to never be at home anymore. This was not totally because of his job. In fact, it was less because of his job than it was about the problems at home. When Stephen (David's father) was at home, he would tell David to be good and not make "her" mad. He would also give David the only affection that he received. David loved his father and thought of him as his hero.

As the abuse became more severe, people outside of the home took note of David. His teachers and neighbors began to see the outward marks of what David was going through. But in the 1970s, it was not easy to help children of abuse. Finally, it became apparent to the school authorities that something had to be done to save his life. And they came to his rescue.

In my opinion, David only survived due to his own will. Some of the things his mother did to him should have caused his death. Without a strong will to live and determination beat "the Mother" in her own games, we would not have ever heard this inside story. He saw his father as his hero, but I feel that David himself was the hero in this book. He was determined to win…survive.

I feel that back in the 1970s that people tended to turn their back on child abuse and see it as a way of discipline. Even by the standards of that day, David's mother went far beyond discipline. In my opinion, some of the things she did to him should have been grounds for attempted murder charges.

As you read this book, your heart will hurt for David. Be prepared to become angry, sick, and sad. The story of this young boy's way of life will touch you in a way that you may never have been touched before.

David Pelzer is a strong willed person, a survivor. David Pelzer is a hero in his own rights.

10:04:06 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Ambrotos

An amazing story of survival, that leaves the reader more aware of the kind of ugliness that goes on behind the closed doors of some homes and some of the ways that children reach out for help. The books is quite graphic and at times I had to put it down to come to terms with some of the things that were happening to this child and deal with my shock and amazement that no one stepped in to stop it.

The author, Dave Pelzer, writes from his own experience and has attempted to write each part of his story with the language, level of understanding and perspective of the child he was when the events happened in his life. The effect is such that as I read the book it felt like the 5, 8,or 10 year old was telling the story as, or right after, it happened. As a college student who is learning to help emotionally disturbed children I found this book a great addition to my college reading list as it helped me become more aware of the subtle ways that children reach out for help, and of the ways that children attempt to understand and rationalize abuse and things that even adults have trouble understanding. I think that this book would be a helpful addition to reading lists for any one who is working with children or is looking to a career working with children even if they are not planning on working specifically with victims of abuse.

David Pelzer has continued to tell his story by writing two other books that detail his life in the foster care system, and his, as an adult, coming to terms with his childhood. They are called "The Lost Boy" and "A Man Named Dave". The second book is well worth reading and although I haven't yet read the third book I plan to read it as soon as possible.

10:05:15 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: honey8403

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. These character traits, along with caring adults (nurses, teachers, social workers, etc.), help him to become resilient. David's inner strength helped him turn shame into pride and rejection into acceptance. A Child Called "It" sends an inspirational message of resilience and the human spirit. A person has the ability to leave their dark past and look forward to a better tomorrow. If David Pelter could do it than anyone can!

10:05:57 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Avebury123

A Child Called It, by David Pelzer, is a disturbing account of a pre-adolescent's life as the victim of horrendous physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his mother. In this autobiographical story, countless neighbors, teachers, doctors, school personnel, relatives, and society in general failed to intervene while the child was starved, tortured, savagely beaten, stabbed, force-fed ammonia, and treated as a slave and an animal.

Despite the disturbing elements to this story, courage and a strong will to survive lead the author toward a mission where in his adult life, he becomes a strong advocate for all children.

This book is the first book in a three part series detailing David Pelzer's life. The book is disturbingly graphic, and raises many questions that go unanswered, and one wonders if the answers are to be found in the sequels. This is an important book for educators as well as social workers, and indeed anyone who cares for the well being -- physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually -- of children.

10:07:14 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: honey39167

I had read here at Epinions some reviews of this book and just had to have it. I went to Waldens books in the mall and bought it. Hubby was out of town for the weekend working which meant I had all weekend to do as I pleased and I pleased to read. Granted my kids were still home but luckily they are old enough to amuse themselves. I went to my favorite reading spot, my bed, about 9:30 pm and picked up the book. At 1:30 AM I read the last page.

This is definatly a book that will take you right to what you are reading. You felt this childs pain, you wanted to choke his mother, and slap his father.

The book is about one of the 13th worst child abuse cases in the state of California written by the person who lived it David Pelzer.

At the age of 4 his mother went a lot nuts and decided that her youngest son at the time was nothing better then a slave and a kicking post. She did unspeakable things to him from not feeding him for weeks on end to making him drink tablespoons of ammonia. He was not allowed to sleep with the family instead was made to sleep on an old army cot in the garage. He was not allowed to speak to his 2 older brother or the 2 younger ones when they came along. She burnt him, stabbed him, made him set in a tiny bathroom with the doors shut with a bucket full of ammonia and bleach mixed together (which puts of a poison rasta). When she would allow him to have a bath it would be in cold water and he was to lay fully submerged except for his nose for hours. Then was not given a towel but sent to the back yard to freeze while setting on his hands in a bed of rocks with his head hung back in the prisoner of war position. She beat him with brooms, and when she thought he had eaten at school would make him throw up, if something did come up she would refuse to feed him for days, making him vomit daily to make sure he hadn't snuck food from anywhere. The things she done to this child goes on and on.

The father a fireman and also a drunk would just look the other way when he was home because he felt that it would do him no good to argue with her about him. He stayed away most of the time living at the firehouse.

Every one had ideas as to what was going on teachers, neighbors, and family but this took place in the early 70's when child abuse was not talked about and the law really didn't do anything about it.

Finally when David was 12 the school nurse who had been watching the results of the abuse for years stepped up and called the principal, teachers, and the sherrif in was able to get him out of the house and away from her.

There are 3 books in the series and I have read all 3. These books will take you through a tourant of emotions and at times make you sick to your stomach to think that someone could do that to their child. I am not ashamed to say I cried almost all the way through this book.

The 2nd book is about David's life in the foster system during his teen years and the 3rd book is about his adult life up until now. I won't fill you in on them in this review but I will say after you read the first book you will want to read the other 2 books, just to see how he overcomes all he has been through.

10:07:45 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Tigerlily26

The human spirit is such an incredible aspect of the mankind. Its hard to believe that a small boy could withstand such horror and survive to tell this tale. It may sound like something straight out of a horror movie, but the novel "A Child Called It" chronicles the story of Dave Pelzer and, literally, his torture at the hands of his mother for over seven years.

This book not only made me cry, but also made me appreciate everything I have in my life. For this young boy to live day to day only on the hopes that some day his physical abuse would end if heartbreaking. This autobiography is so well written in flash backs and compelling prose that I really could not put it down. He offers intimate insight into what happened to him, the torture and humiliation he was placed through, and how he was able to overcome all the horrors that his mother could think of.

After reading this book, I had to pick up the two other books in this trilogy - "The Lost Boy" and "A Man Called Dave." If you want to hear the whole story of his life and how he grew into a confident loving father, you should definitely pick these up as well.

10:09:00 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Sugrplm

"A Child Called It" is really a page turner. You keep reading on and on hoping someone would help this poor boy. This is a true story written by Dave Pelzer. He was seriously abused by his own mother. There were 4 other sons in his family, but David was the only one that received this terrible abuse.

David's life started out pretty normal. He took vacations with his family, helped decorate for holiday parties, and loved to play with is brothers. But this all changed the day his own MOTHER decided he was nothing. She started to refer to him as "It" and treated him terrible. He was forced to do numerous chores, sleep in the cold damp garage-basement on an old Army cot, and put up with his mothers games.

Some games included:
Laying in a cold tub of water for hours
Being locked in a "gas chamber"
Being starved for days or weeks at a time

This book is a must read for everyone. It alerts the reader to the severity of child abuse and the lack of knowledge about child abuse in the early 1970s. Let your children read this book when you feel they are at the right age to understand.

The thing that really made me upset while reading, was the time it took for people to help David. His Father knew of the abuse and did almost nothing to stop it. He would tell David's mother to "stop treating the boy like a dog," He had the chance to leave with is sons and save David from abuse but did nothing because he was also under the spell of Dave's mother. Someone David had seen as a hero became just as guilty as his mother. Teachers could see the signs of abuse but were hesitant to help at first.

Thank God for the teacher and school nurse that had the courage to alert the authorities.

Be sure you have plenty of Kleenex on hand while reading this book.

10:10:02 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Sneezy96

When I was younger I considered becoming a social worker, but I knew that it would rip my heart out every time I saw a child that had been abused. After reading this book I know I made the right decision.

I actually bought this book several years ago, but I could never bring myself to read it until last week when I saw a re-run of a Montel Williams show. Dave Pelzer was his guest. During the show I had an overwhelming need to read this book. I finished it that same day! The next day I went out and bought the second book in the trilogy, "The Lost Boy". I knew that I would read it in ONE sitting so I had to wait until the next day to read it. I woke up early that day and read it in just a few short hours! I have the third book on order. I'm sure that will be a one sitting read as well!

Reading the first book made me realize that I was and still am very naive…it never occurred to me that a child could be abused THIS horrifically!!! This *mother*, (and I use that term loosely), tortured her child in ways that I never could have fathomed in my wildest nightmares! Dave Pelzer's torture is considered to be the third worse case of child abuse in history of California!

While reading this book I wanted to know that this mother and father were sentenced to life in prison. Unfortunately, I have learned that they were NEVER arrested and she was allowed to continue to raise her other 4 sons! APPARENTLY, CHILD ABUSE WASN'T AGAINST THE LAW IN THE EARLY 1970'S!!! Both parents are now dead.

After reading the first two books I *still* have many questions. I was able to get some answers by going to Dave Pelzer's web site: www.davepelzer.com

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who works with children!!! However, be fore warned that this book is EXTREMELY heart wrenching!!!

10:10:55 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: skeebird

I recently read "A Child Called 'It'" and I found it very difficult to push myself through some parts. In reading the book, I was very disturbed and shocked at the injustice and violence portrayed.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless he or she has a strong stomach and can handle reading about child abuse. I found the book quite depressing.

The main character, whom his mother called "It," is an innocent victim, always in the warpath of his deranged mother. One comes to wonder about the source of his mother's anger towards him. There is a deep and profound sense of hatred that she conveys to him over and over again. However, she favors her other sons and acts motherly towards them.

In all, the book made me angry: angry that a mother should harm her child in such disgusting ways, angry that favoritism should be so blatant, and angry that an innocent child should be punished so ceaselessly. The injustice portrayed in the novel left me feeling uneasy and dissatisfied.

It is a powerful book about the sixth worst case of child abuse in the United States, and one must be very determined to get through the book to start. It is a horrifically powerful and truthful piece of literature.

10:12:15 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Newelhouse

WOW -- I have never been so compelled by one book. Dave Pelzer's true-life account about his life of child abuse and neglect brought me to tears from chapter one through the end. His well versed autobiography put a name and a face to the epidemic of child abuse in our country. For one young child to experience what he did in a few years is more painful than anything I have ever experienced in my entire lifetime. His courage and strength somehow prevailed and have now helped him on a crusade to spread the word about the horror that many children are still facing. If Dave Pelzer's book can help one other child escape from the situations that he faced, God bless Dave and his work. I only hope that today's teachers, doctors, social workers, and other public officials take note and speak up much sooner than those involved in Mr. Pelzer's case. For a child's life is much more precious than the repercussions that an error may have been made.

10:13:49 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: vjm618

For 11 years I worked in a hospital that served an area of New York that included the very wealthy and the very poor. I learned that money doesn't mean very much when it comes to parenting, addiction, and mental illness. The stereotypes don't hold water.

This book supports that fact. Anyone with an once of empathy will be at least disturbed by this story of a young child singled out by his mother to be the outlet of her drunken madness. That she brought him to the brink of death over and over, only to see him survive through sheer will, must have been her own private torture. She deserved worst.

The quiet, factual, unjudgmental writing style is fascinating in itself. Was it necessary for him to put emotional distance between himself as the adult in charge of his life and the child he was, his fate at the whims of his sick mother?

It's a small book with a big message. Still, it's hard to recommend. The violence and degradation is so pervasive, so unrelenting, that I felt somehow responsible for the state of the American family and all that happens behind the dark curtains and dark minds of my neighbors. That the author put his history on paper for the world to see is incredible; why he did it is miraculous.

He's a survivor and exhilerated enough by the life he's put together of his own choice that he has no time for victim-dom. What he has to share is his knowledge of how the innards of our soul, spirit, mind, consciousness - whatever we choose to call it - fights to flower even in the least accomodating garden.

Working in that hospital I learned a few tricks to cool tempers in the gray hallways outside the ER. When I saw a parent losing his/her cool, I'd tell them that the smart kids are always harder to raise, that their imagination is just too big for them and they have to wander and explore. I'd say that my own kid was a challenge, and brag about her scholarship to an ivy-league college. It always worked to calm the moment, but that was never enough. I wanted them to want what I wanted for my child. Rich or poor, as this books shows, our kids get the luck of the draw. Read it and hug your kid. Better yet, read it and look the dirty, hungry kid you see everyday on the downtown train in the eye. If you don't like what you see, do something about it.

10:14:50 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: mama2tinka

"Heart-stopping, compelling…", "…testimony to the triumph of the human spirit" These are words used to describe the book"A Child Called It".

A Child Called It is the inspirational story of poor little David Pelzer whose life so drastically changed starting at the tender age of 4 due to reasons unbeknownst to him (and me) David's mothers' life changed--she took a drastic turn for the worse and took it all out of him.

First seeing his story on Oprah a few months back on a show about abused children I couldn't believe all that this child, who is now a man endured.

This heartfelt book contains the horrible "war stories" David had to endure for 8 long years of his life. David Pelzer shows the true meaning of strength through his words and his story.

Some of the horrible episodes you will read about on the 181 pages of this book that David was put through include: the stove incident when Dave's mother grabbed his arm and put it into high flames and held it there to burn, the "gas-chamber" bathroom incident where David's mother ordered him to clean the bathroom while accompanied by a bucket filled with Clorox and ammonia; she locked the bathroom door and kept him there for an hour, and last but not least the bathtub incident where poor David was ordered by mommy to lay in a tub of freezing cold water for hours on end, in a locked bathroom while she and "her" family ate dinner and did other family things.

Throughout this book you feel as David does living like a POW (prisoner of war) trying to stay strong and defy his mother, slowing losing faith and hope in himself and all that surrounds him ("…I hated myself) and finally losing all hope and faith in God. ("…I hated God more than anything else in this or any other world.")

After 8 years of torture and abuse, David's father leaving, 2 additions to the family, and 4 grade levels in school, with the help of a few teachers, The Principal, and a very concerned school nurse David was finally relieved of his life long anguish and pain. After wishing his mother would finally just kill him to end all the pain, he was FREE

**For more information on Child Abuse and What you can Do to help contact**

Child Help USA
(800) 422-4453

Child Welfare League of America
located in Washington,DC
(202) 638-2952

*Child abuse is wrong and shouldn't be tolerated. If you, or someone you know is being abused get help, tell someone

10:15:48 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: BrodeurNo1

While flipping through the channels one day I happened to catch the author, David Pelzer on "The Maury Povich Show". It was towards the end of the interview so I only got a brief idea of what the story was about. That was enough to catch my interest but for some reason I did not run out and buy the book. Last week while browsing in the book store, I noticed and decided to buy it. Little did I know the journey I was about to undertake. This is not an easy story to read content wise. David lived through the most horrifying acts of child abuse I have ever heard of. It is so realistic that at times it is actually sickening but through the revulsion there is a love for this little boy. It is remarkable the things that a young child had to endure just to survive to the age of 10. It is also a sad commentary that it took so long for the school system to help him but at least they did. The people that believed his mother's obvious eyes and witness the bruises and rags he had to wear should be ashamed of themselves.

The best part of the story though is the triumph of David's spirit. Through everything he still managed to survive even when he thought his hope was gone. This is the first of three books about his life. I think it is important that people be aware of how an abuser can cover up there tracks and scare the child into lying about the abuse, especially anyone that works with children. It is remarkable that David did not end up another statistic and hopefully this book will save at least one other child that is a victim of abuse.

10:16:59 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Shaylynn80

Imagine going through the young impressionable years of your life without any love, attention or positive reinforcement. Imagine kneeling outside on a bed of rocks or sleeping in a cold, damp basement every night.

Are you thinking?

Now imagine having your own mother… The woman who is supposed to love you unconditionally call you "It" or "The Boy". Never having an identity of your own. Being a young child and having your own mother stab you or make you drink ammonia.

If you think that this could never happen then you are completely wrong. This is just some of the horrifying things that are documented in Dave Pelzer's book "A Child Called It".

I purchased this book after seeing Mr. Pelzer on the Oprah show. His courage and determination under such circumstances in absolutely incredible.

As soon as you pick up this book you will not be able to put it down until you are done. I cried through most of it. I was in shock that a little boy would have to deal with such things. Nobody should EVER have to experience anything like little Dave Pelzer had to.

Although this book details the beginning or Dave's life and all the horrible things that occured, it also shows Dave as a hopeful child. One who for the most part knew that there was a better life… If he could just manage to find it.

This book makes me cry just thinking about it. It has touched me so deeply as I'm sure it will touch you. This book has definately brought the public's awareness of child abuse to a whole other level.

"A Child Called It" is part of a trilogy about Dave Pelzer. The other 2 books are "The Lost Boy" and "A Man Named Dave". Both are also definately worth reading.

Before you go to bed tonight just be thankful for everything you have… As I'm sure Dave does now.

10:18:25 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: roger69

I first picked up this book after it was mentioned in one of my psychology classes. I was AMAZED. The things that this man went through as a boy are unbelievable!! That a mother could do that to her own son and the father just stands by and lets it happen makes me SICK!!! I wanted to find this mother and put her through all the torture that she put this boy through. Just one example is that she wouldn't let him eat. He stayed in the basement and sometimes, after dinner, she would let him eat some of the garbage that no one else wanted. A few times, he snuck some frozen hot dogs at school and ate them. She found out somehow or suspected it and made him throw up until he could throw up no more. It's disgusting. And that's actually one of the tamer things she makes him do. It's a real eye opener to realize that child abuse does not just encompass spanking or neglect--it can involve TORTURE. It's hard to even comment on the writing style here. In reading a review at amazon.com, the author's writing style was said to be weak. But in reading this book, you're not really paying attention to the style because your mind is so busy processing these gross pictures in your mind. After reading this book, I suggest you read his two 'sequels.' I'm in the middle of the second one and it's almost as good as the first!

10:20:18 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: laurakg

I read Dave Pelzer's trilogy in three days, beginning with the first book, "A Child Called "It."
In this book, the author tells the chilling tale of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his sick, alcoholic mother. In the beginning of the book he explains how, as a small child, he and his brothers were treated like gold by their parents. Gradually, his mother begins to drink more and more and eventually singles him out as the target of her rage, torturing him both physically and mentally. To make matters worse, his father, who as the book progresses becomes more and more spineless, does nothing to end his suffering
This is a rather short book, and while it is clear that the author is not an experienced writer, he does make the reader aware, in very harsh, brutally honest accounts, of the horrors of child abuse and the triumph of the human spirit against seemingly impossible odds.
However, there were a few things I found a bit disturbing.
There are several things that do not match up with his later accounts in the second, third and fourth books. For example, in the first book, he wrote that his mother was pregnant with his younger brother when he was in the second grade. Since he was held back a year, this would make him eight or nine when his brother was born. Yet in another chapter, which describes a particularly horrible event that took place when he was ten, he describes his younger brother as being four or five. In the second book, he gives the account of running into his brother when he was thirteen or fourteen. He describes his brother as being an older kid, but he wouldn't have been older than six at the time.
In the first book, when he went to the doctor after his mother popped his arm, he says that he could tell that the doctor knew it was no accident. Yet in the fourth book, he says that the same doctor laughed and smiled with his mother, and he describes the feeling of defeat he felt that no one could help him since everyone thought his mother was so nice.
I'm not trying to nit pick, but it seems odd to me that the story changes throughout the series. I'm not suggesting that Dave Pelzer wasn't abused, I just have a hard time with the accounts that don't match up.
Still, this book, and the others that follow, complete the task of making the public more aware of child abuse on a personal level, so much that you feel obligated to intercede in any way you can.
And who can argue with a message like that?

10:21:23 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: ncaagirl

It has been almost 6 months since I finished "A Child Called It", and it has rarely left my thoughts since. This book touched and angered me to the point where I wanted to go knock on every door in my neighborhood and demand to see people's children, to make sure that they were being treated well, to do something, anything, to keep this sort of hurt from happening to another child. Books often change me, but rarely do they affect me in the deep, emotional way that this book did. This book is a story of child abuse more frightening and evil than anything I could have ever imagined. Dave Pelzer writes with an honesty and openness that draws you completely into his story. This is not a fun read, or a happy read, a good book to curl up with on a rainy day, but this book is one of the most profound I have ever read. I highly recommend "A Child Called It" to anyone who thinks that they have too many obstacles in life to overcome. I also recommend buying the entire trilogy at once, because once you begin to read about this amazing man's life, you will want to read the whole story. This is the true story about perseverance of the human spirit.

10:22:17 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: madison87

I was referred to this book by a young friend of mine. The subject matter intrigued me, but I was surprised by how many levels this book actually touched me on.

Dave Pelzer is the author, and also the subject of the story. The book is the first in a trilogy, and chronicles the first 12 years of his life. What starts out to be an idyllic childhood, soon changes to a life of abuse and neglect of unimaginable proportion at the hands of his mother.

David tells his story in such a way that you are able to feel his pain… it is a gut wrenching and enlightening experience. When David endures humiliation, you cringe with him; when he is beaten, you cry for him; and on the few occasions he beats his mother at her own game, you cheer for him.

There is one aspect that I feel this book touched on, and it is the same reason I feel it should be read by everyone. (In fact, I have made it required reading for my 3 children.) The isolation and loneliness that David experienced was not only inflicted upon by his mother, but by his classmates. Because his mother would not allow him to eat, he was forced to steal classmates lunches. This action would not only get him into trouble at home, but turned him into an outcast, an object of ridicule. Because him mother would not allow him to change clothes or bathe, he was teased and tormented by his classmates. This broke my heart more I think than the actual abuse perpetrated by his mother. This poor kid had no-one to turn to; he was, as pure as the definition could be, alone.

On a more positive note, this book illustrates how one can triumph over adversity. David has risen above his circumstance to become an accomplished author and has dedicated himself to helping other in similar situations.

10:23:25 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: jaclynmichelle

This short novel is the first of a trilogy written by David Pelzer about his life as an abuse survivor. It begins with him sharing the story of how the school and police finally rescue him from a life of hell. He then begins by telling the reader how it all began.

He had a loving family who loved holidays and traveling together. Then at a young age something happened. Though he never really makes it clear as to any one particular thing that occurred it is clear that his parents are alcoholics. His father is away working most of the time and his abuser is his mother. Ironically he is the only child to endure her wrath.

He depicts his life in detail at her mercy. She begins her tirade by placing him in front of the mirror and telling him how worthless he is. This included having him chant negative statements about himself ultimately trying to break his spirits. She then began using her fists as punishment and to relieve her aggressions. The first major physical battle concluded with her dislocating the small boy’s arm. She covered her tracts this time by telling him the next morning that he fell out of bed. This is part of her scheme to brainwash him and convince the rest of society that he is an unruly child.

The abuse escalates from telling David that he is a bad boy to treating him like a family slave. He was outcasted to outside and forced to live in a garage like a dog. He also became an outcast in school as well because he was often dirty and withdraw despite being a good student. His mother also withheld food from him forcing him to find it in other ways. One way he would find food was to steal it at school. When the thefts were reported to his mother she just escalated her “punishment”.

She dreamt up more ways to torture this little boy. Despite the father’s efforts to intervene, it became apparent to David that his mother had all the control. She even denied him treatment when she was drunk and accidentally, according to his own account, stabbed him. The only respite he got was when other family members from out of town were around or if social services inquired. However that did stop.

We know he is finally rescued by school and the authorities. When the book ends however we are left with David, or as his mother called him “It”, with hating everyone, God, and himself. I am not sure how it came about that his school finally noticed. I know they documented what they saw and had enough. There are gaps in the time line though. I hope the next book provides clarification.

10:25:05 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: littlemama6

A friend of mine picked this book up two days ago and read the entire thing in one sitting. I was intrigued, especially since she isn't much of a book reader. The next day, she borrowed the book to me and it took me 2 hours to read the entire book!

The story starts out with the child's rescue from his home environment, which after reading the story, I wish it had been at the end.

It is the story of a little boy who started his life in a warm, loving family and had very fond memories of his childhood with his brothers and parents. Then one day, his mother begins to turn on him and abuse him and refuse to feed him.

It is a story about a child's will to survive and drive and determination to not let his mother break his spirit.

I felt like I wanted to yell at the father to do something but the mother was so domineering, I think he was afraid of her! The brothers began ignoring him, making him feel that he truly didn't exist.

The mother does some horrific things to this child and yet he survives. The school began to take notice to his bruises and things and eventually turned the case over to the police department and social services.

The story ends as he is turned over to social services. It is a three part series and my friend is now reading the second book. She told me that it goes more into how he became known as It and so forth. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the book.

I could feel the pain and anger this poor child went through and what he had to do to survive. I felt complete anger toward the mother and total frustration toward the father. Thank God the school officials took notice on this poor child and basically saved his life.

After reading this book, I went upstairs to check on my sons and gave all six of them a little squeeze and a kiss on the cheek. Thank God they will never have to endure what David Pelzer had to!

10:26:14 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: stteardrop

I had heard about Dave Pelzer and saw him on the Montel Williams Show. I had some knowledge of what I was in for when I read this book and its sequel "The Lost Boy".

I picked it up because it is true. This is a book of the actual events of a child from ages 4-12 who endured much more than I could ever believe a child could or would. This is not a case of sexual abuses which we hear so much about these days, but physical and emotional abuses that takes place back in about 1966 to 1973. The book opens with the forewarning that this is not a book in which you will find big words, intellectual explanations, or things such as these. It is written through the perspective of a child and what he is feeling and enduring in the most nightmarish home.

One thing I found inhyperly interesting is the question Dave Pelzer raised. If there is a God, why is he not answering my prayers, rescuing me from this hell? In Dave's words, "During all the years when I had prayed to God, He answered me only once."

Fortunately, I have a strong Bible-trained fund of knowledge and reasoning, and I understand the answer to this question. But, I have to admit, that for a period of time while reading this book, I wondered the same thing.

This is a book about alcoholic parents, bizarre mental illness in which a mother singles out one child for abuse, and the ability of that child to endure and survive. I highly recommend this book for everyone. When you're finished, you will surely have some personal questions about his life after abuse. You can find some of the most common answers in the web site under his name, Dave Pelzer dot com.

I grew up in a home with mental illness and some of the remnants of child abuse that Dave was left with, I can understand. The effects of a child without training and nuturing who is ill-equipped to be an adult in the world. How a young adult must learn what his peers have already learned a long time ago and how those same peers don't understand why you don't know these things already.

If you like true stories of endurance - I highly recommend this book.

10:27:22 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: JHershey

It is difficult to fathom a child going through the kind of abuse the David Pelzer went through and surviving it…let alone having the courage to go ahead and write about his experiences. When a fellow student of mine in my intro to education class shared this book with the class, you could see the look of disgust on the face of the girl as she was retelling some of the stories from it. Some in the class even looked on the verge of tears from just hearing about the horrific tale of a young boy named David, that got into a situation which no human should ever have to encounter.

The story that this book is based upon is the tale of a young boy and an abusive alcoholic mother that not only manipulates David, but also his spineless father as well. The psychological games that take place between David and his mother is over shadowed by the way in which his mother acts as the pupeteer towards his father who eventually walks out on the family. David's father, his ownly source of hope, diserts David to attempt to deal with the mother on his own. The aspect of the book that I enjoy the most, is the way that it begins. The beginning of the book takes you through the rescue process of David and how his school eventually stepped in and contacted the police in an attempt to save this boy before his mother ended his life.

Many of the things that happen to this unfortunate boy I would not wish on the worst human being and would even put a person in jail for doing to their pet. Swallowing ammonia, going without meals, being stabbed and left to bleed, and even wearing the same smelly, ragged, clothes to school every day are just a few things that take place through out this very difficult read. Although the book is at times very difficult, and I actually felt myself on the verge of tears on many occasions it is a relatively quick read. However, the ease and quickness of this reading also depends on whether or not you can sit through the whole thing.

This book is one of a trilogy. The second and third books are in the process of being published, and I think that the second book has actually already come out. More information about David Pelzer's amazing life can be found at; http://www.davidpelzer.com

10:28:34 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: randallc


Scanning through the various books in my schools library I brushed against the thin paperback, I did not think much of it, well mainly because I usually read three hundred page books.

I pull it out momentarily and flip through it when a kid walks by and recomends the book, so I am intrigued and I grab onto it. After checking it out I settle into my chair and begin flipping through the pages……

Fun and Games

The book starts out telling briefly of David Pelzers struggles through childhood, very brief. It than goes onto to explain a bit of his punishments and how the cops finally help him out.

I was thinking, 'Wow, over already'. I was wrong. It than goes into his happy childhood. As a matter of fact I thought he had it good, a loving family, trips to the park, great christmases and the whole nine yards.

This is where the book takes a painful turn…

You little $h!t

The book suddenly turns into a living h*** for David Pelzer. Little is explained about why his mother suddenly turned, though Alcohalism is briefly mentioned.

So you basically take an emotional roller coaster ride through this book as you read how he fights to survive, feigning off deadly torture.

Help me dad!

Throughout the book the father is mentioned as the Saint that will soon save his son. He knows all along about the torture and abuse yet seems powerless to do a thing.

At first David looks to his dad for help knowing somehow some way he will come to help him. Like in one incident where David is stabbed in the stomach by his mom and can barely move.

David hobbles to his dad for help but finds none. You know who the dominating spouse is now.

Emotional Impaired Do Not Read

I had a hard time trying to stop myself from strangling that mean old mother that made David suffer…it just scares me so bad. Throughout the book I was emotionally aptivated, balling my fists in rage and so on. A definate book to pick up.

10:29:43 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: cheerio77

"A Child Called It" is a *must* for anyone who works with or plans to work with children. As a social work major, this book not only gave me a glimpse into the pain, confusion, and loneliness felt by an abused child, but helped me truly empathize with the littliest soldiers of a war with no cause.

David Peltzer writes the book in a very simple easy-to-read style. Although it is probably written on an eighth-grade level, its content is so disturbing it is probably only to be read by the mature reader. Mr. Peltzer is very clear, concise and graphic. He is descriptive, vivid, and "talks" to the reader. I read the book in one sitting (I was on a long car ride) and you'll probably do the same.

The end left me "hanging" a little, but I soon read the sequel, "The Lost Boy."

10:31:39 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: anavrin27

I picked up this small book from my mother's house. It came highly recommended by her. I was a little reluctant given my mother's penchant for Lifetime movies and their novel counterparts, but I decided to give it a whirl.

The book is a non-fiction work, detailing the childhood story of David Peltzer. The boy was horribly abused by his seemingly insane mother. He was confined to the garage to live, forced to do massive amounts of chores, locked in the bathroom with bleach and cleansers burning his eyes and nose, among other horrible atrocities. I don't want to mention to much and spoil the book, but suffice it to say some of the things this woman does to her son are unforgiveable.

The story keeps your attention, only because you are rooting for someone to save David. Other than that, the book is lacking. Mr. Peltzer is not the greatest writer. His storytelling is sparse and he fails to explain things that should be major details. Like, why was his mother so insane? What led her to this? Chemical abuse or imbalance? Was SHE abused as a child. Why didn't she abuse David's brothers?

Another irritating thing about the book, beyond the author's control, is David's father. Throughout the whole book you just want to scream to him "DO SOMETHING! BE A MAN!". It's annoying, to say the least.

All in all it's a sad story. If you can get past the some what elementary writing style it's worthy of your Oprah's Picks shelf, right next to Dr.Phil's book and Toxic People.

It's just one of them books. It makes you wonder why we use stories of other people's abuse as, well, entertainment. There isn't much to really learn from the book except for maybe perserverance? Don't abuse your kids, yadda yadda. You could learn just as much from an episode of Montel.

10:33:30 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: brau0204

this book is so sad. the things that david went through with his psychotic mom are so horrible. as a victim of child abuse myself, but not to this degree, i wonder what david's mother would have to say for herself now? would she show remorse? where is this woman, would she say she was not worng to do what she did?

this book really hits home for me personally as a survivor of abuse. I think too much people who were abused either live there lives trying to avoid those memories and feelings or else wollowing in the pain of them. David is an inspiration because he uses the freudian psychoanalytic technique Catharsis to relive the past trauma. He gets in there like it was only yesterday he tells us the smells the sights and who was in the room. he tells us the feelings, the attitudes of survival mode he was forced to develop. we watch a young child go from innocent to endangered and sit helplessly reading line after line. It seems as though everyone I've met said this book was addictive. You can't set it down. Not the voyearistic obsession that captivates us to hold people magazine addictively, but a different kind of addiction. We are addicted to david's pain as we read we feel it like he felt it. THis is a book that will cause emotion to any reader. Be it memories of pain, reactions of digust, or acknowledgement's of the sheer horror that happened in his home on a day to day basis.

and what a sad thing it is that this all happens in homes across america on a day to day basis. everyday choldren are abused like david but where? where does it take place? children like david have no place in hollywood, no movie shows a child subjected to torture by there own parent. Monsters ball show's halle berry abusing her overweight son verbally and physically but that was an independent film. what about television? the networks won't touch it. Theose producers will not go there. Youv'e always got lifetime but hey we don't get cable. The media, and the entertainment industry convey a powerful message that there is no place for the david's of the world. where is he to find support.

the bible says you are your brother's keeper. Davids own family takes no responsibility for him but weren't there other's who saw what was going on? I know i can recall back to my elementary school days children more misfortunate than me, like david. There was a boy with brown hair i can't recall his name. he was always missing school because his mom would have abusive boyfriends and he would get beat up. it happened until he was finally gone for good. i don't know what happened but this went on for three years. Where were the neighbors the teacher's. when are we going to open our eyes as a society and stop allowing this kind of thing to continue? maybe that boy was david?

10:35:15 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: dejata

In March 1993 I lost my beloved only son. He was shaken and slammed so hard it left him permantley disabled until he passed on when he was 5 years old.He was only 7 months old when she slammed him.

Oh course the devastation of losing him was nearly unbearable. I went to support groups and read many books on child abuse. Trying to figure out why people adults could take a child and abuse them. I was given this Book Called " A Child Called It" and could not put it down. I could not believe the suffering this poor child went through. He was chained to his sink like a dog, made to eat feces and was beat regularly. The book describes the pain this child felt and the anger that brewed in his soul.

This man has fought to become someone with dignity and pride. He helps to bring child abuse to the surface. Speaking on how we need to educate children as well, as those who are the abusers. This is a graphic true reality of a home of an abused child. This abuse needs to stop and it starts with us. It can happen to anyone. Parents are not always the abuser.

10:36:39 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: bperreault

This book sits there on my dresser for a week. I can't bring myself to start it. I know what's in there. I know it will be hard to read. I took the plunge.

A Child Called "It" is the true story of a child's unimaginable abuse from the age of 7 to 12. David Pelzer"s own mother was the creator of such unspeakable torture. Other reviewers have recounted many of these horrific acts by a mentally ill mother. To say he was the family slave doesn't come close to painting the picture.

People say, "I couldn't put the book down." I had to put it down. It was too hard to read. I wanted to jump into the pages and help.

I left the book with questions. What made the mother suddenly change from a loving mother to a monster. I wonder if David's brothers were taught to continue the cycle of child abuse as adults. One may wonder why the school didn't see the signs earlier. This took place in the 70's, and schools weren't aware and trained enough to see the signs.

I need to read David's next 2 books, The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave, to maybe feel his triumphs and lift my spirits

10:38:26 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: say-say

I was first introduced to this book when I was taking a class in Mental Health. People told me that this was a book you just had to read and could not put down once you did.

They also told me what it was about. That is why it took me a good 3 years to buy this book and another couple months to actually read it.

This is a memoir of a child who was abused/tortured by the hands of his mother while his family stood by and watched. It is a very gruesome story. It shocked and amazed me what happened to this little boy. I cried, I got angry and I read in amazement. I was so enthralled by this book, I read it in a couple of sittings.

I won't get into the kinds of abuse that is retold in this story. If you are interested, you will just have to read about it yourself. But, it is told in a non-accusing manner. Even as this adult man writes about his horrendous childhood, he doesn't blame, bash or point fingers. It is irritating and astonishing at the same time.

In this book you will catch a glimpse into the mind of a severely abused child. That's really about all you get. Unfortunately, you don't get any information about the sick mother. I was dying to know what made her tick, what happened to her later in life… but, you don't get that information. You never find out why she turned on him , or treated him the way she did.

In the second book (The Lost Boy : A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family)you never find out any more information, either. You follow David into the life of a foster child. It's semi-interesting, but not enough (at least for me) to read the third (A Man Named Dave : A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness) installment.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading the first book. It sparked my interest enough to read the second one. But more because:
1.) I wanted to know that David was alright.
2.) I wanted to find out more about the mom.

The second book satisfied my first question, but not my second. That was enough of a disappointment for me.

So, bottom line, read the book. It's unique enough that I haven't come across any other story like it. (which is fortunate considering) Maybe read the second one, too. But, definitely read the first.

10:41:15 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: emilie87

I was first drawn to this book because I had read a lot of inspiring reviews on the trilogy, and the amount of book lists that had this book at the very top, was so amazing that I felt I had to read it.

It is a story told through the eyes of himself (David Pelzer) as a young boy.

Once I had read the first opening chapter, I could not put this book down, because of its gripping content and factual descriptions, that really came alive.

It's very hard to put forward this book, and make others read it, because the content is so factual and inhyper that it is hard to explain without either worrying the reader, or putting them off! But this book is about the fight for survival of a young boy, in a house where nobody loves him, and his mother treats him as a slave, not as the human child he deserves to be!
He lives in a different part of the house to the rest of the family, (the garage), and his younger brothers all live a life, in a happy home , upstairs, with their mum and dad.
The only person who cares, is his father, but can not show this, for fear of his wife.
She beats, burns and tortures her child, through her perverse, mental, undignified pleasure.
She plays little power games, on her son, and tortures him mentally and physically, through brainwashing him into thinking that he is a 'bad boy' and deserves everything he gets.

One of her favourite ways to torture him, is to play the 'gas chamber' game, of which consists of locking him in a bathroom, with a bucket full of ammonia and Clorox (cleaning solutions), and making him meet a time deadline, of when he was to finish his cleaning chores in the bathroom. During this time he would breath in the toxic fumes, and have trouble with, not only his breathing, but his sight as well, and his mother would wait until he had finished cleaning the bathroom from top to bottom, before she let him out. She knew exactly what she was doing to him.
This quote is a very distressing and unnerving part to a section in chapter 6.:-
"I curled up on the opposite corner of the bathroom, with my cleaning rag over my mouth, nose and eyes before covering my face, I wet the rag in the toilet. I didn't dare turn on the water in the sink for fear of mother hearing it. Breathing through the cloth , I watched the mist inch its way closer to the floor."

On the other hand this story is an amazing fight between the emotions of David, his mother, and the reader.
David, the boy, tries to control his emotions, when his mother is beating him, so that he feels that he has shown her his strength, and how she can't hurt him, even though she makes his life a living hell, and it does hurt him, inside he is a nervous wreck, and you see this through the resentment that he shows towards his mother, when talking to himself.

One thing that kept my attention on the book was the fact that David, despite his terrible, and torturous living conditions, he still managed to pray, and keep God close to him!

I think that everyone should read this book, because it reflects on how are world is today, and that how ever bad our circumstances are, whether it be through war,or injustice, we know that what ever life throws at us, we can get through it………

10:41:59 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: mattrhodes

A Child Called It is a biography written by David Pelzer of the 3rd worst child abuse case recorded in the state of California. Throughout the biography, Pelzer gives extremely vivid details that will, at times, make you put the book down (in an attempt to regain your composure), frustrate you, or turn your eyes into a waterfall of tears.

Sentences throughout the biography flow easy, and is a pleasure to the eyes. Longer words are rarely used, yet using the simple words that he does, Pelzer still manages to create a world of horrifying images that will continue to haunt you in your dreams. Several times throughout the biography, I needed to put the book down and distract myself in an attempt to remove the thoughts of the gruesome tortures that were detailed so well. The vocabulary and tone, as Pelzer mentions in the foreword, reflect those of a child at that time, making the book all the more enjoyable.

However, despite this detail, after a period of time many of the same descriptions were being used for the different insistences of abuse, leaving less of an effect on the reader. I would go into further detail about this particular feature of the book, but that would rob it of the surprise it will cause you should you decide to read the book.

Also, the ending of the biography leaves much to be desired. If you wish to hear about Pelzer's life between the years of 12 and 18, yet another book ("The Lost Boy") must be purchased. It could have been easily fit into one single book, as the book itself is only roughly 150 pages long (the text is large) with roughly 30 pages of notes and other material by his former teachers, social workers, and those who research child abuse.

10:42:57 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: twoluckyforu

Child Abuse, even though its one of the most despicable acts against human kind, it also needs to be faced. In this autobiographical book "A Child Called it" by Dave Pelzer, it faces this type of truth. The next time anyone sees a bruise or suspects abuse think about that child, that wife, those people who are being beaten and are afraid to stand up for themselves or to admit what's happening to them.

Abuse comes in all types of forms and in this book it affected a young boy. He survived one of the worst experiences alive, and lived to tell his story. He was betrayed by his own mother and was basically a slave in his own house. He was ignored by everyone, and when he needed help he did not recieve it until he ranaway from home.

He was locked up in the closet isolated from his own family. His own brothers would not even stand up for him. It is depressing to know that this situation actually happened, but it's even more depressing to know that the exact same thing is happening to a child around the world.

After I put down this book, I came away with so many emotions. I was happy that Dave had gotten away and is now living a happy life with a wonderful family. I was also sad that this kind of abuse is happening, especially here. I was also afraid for the children out there who are facing situations exactly like this. This book was a learning experience. I first read this book after seeing an interview with Dave Pelzer on Oprah. This book is short, but you will put it down and wonder how this even happened. And the answer to that is Ignorance.


10:43:36 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: MHowe12730

A Child Called "It" is a very well written book. David Pelzer makes you feel as though you are living through his abuse with him. Many a night I put down the book with tears in my eyes, and worry in my heart.

David's recounting of the torture he suffered at the hands of his own mother is remarkable. What is even more remarkable is that he was able to live through all of this to write about it.

This book is a page turner. It draws very vivid pictures in one's mind of what is actually happening. This book is NOT for the weak stomach. This is a true story, and very graphic, very horrible things are described.

A Child Called It also makes one stop and think about the children around them. It makes you want to reach out and help a child in need if you happen to meet one. It makes you consider the one of the most rewarding jobs you could choose…foster parenting. After reading this book, I would gladly open my home to any abused child seeking shelter (not that I wouldn't have before reading it). It brings awareness to the horrible reality that child abuse, severe child abuse does exist in our own back yards.

This book is a thought provoking must read.

I am now on to the sequel to this book, The Lost Boy. From what I read in the first book, David Pelzer was writing a third book also, called A Man Named Dave. All three books depict his life.

If you can stand the tears, the turning stomach, and the feeling of helplessness, A Child Called It is for you. Though the above characteristics do not sound very appealing, they do make a great book.

10:44:54 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: joanne_kay

Dave Pelzer, reveals his secret of survival in this, horrifing, excellently wrote novel. I was reccommended this book by many people, and being somebody who is not a fond reader of books, i suprised myself of how hard it was to put this book down and how i read it in two days.

From start to end, Dave Pelzer elucidates the meaning of survival. This story puts all other problems into perspective. A young boy is faced with verbal and physical abuse in the worst posible way. His mother is a perfect specimen of how evil somebody can be and menatally ill or not, nobody could ever have even imagined how cruel a mother could be to her own flesh and blood. This compelling story leaves you wondering, why this little, innocent boy deserved to be treated in such a bad way.

You will fall into the trap and get wrapped in with the story and feel sympathy for this boy. Dave Pelzer shows acts of intelligence of how he manages to survive starvation, hatred, lonliness and pain. How would you survive,put in a situation as an 8 year old boy whos daily food consists of the dogs left-overs? Stealing food comes to mind, but what would you do when your own mother makes you feel like a criminal and makes you vomit all the food and then swallow it again? Soon, his only meens of food is forced down him - the babys nappy rubbish. He is put in a room full of harmful chemicals such as ammonia, humiliated in front of his brothers friends, lying on burning hot stoves and he is so lonley as nobody is there for him. His teachers, class and other parents all think he is bad news and soon he begins to believe he is the bad guy in all of this.

and do you know what makes it so much worse? this is a true story
it makes you realise we do not live in this perfect world we take for granted sometimes.

Reading this detailed account of his survival sets all the wrong emotions, it will make you cry and you will feel his pain

i would reccomend this for everyone as it is a novel not to be ignored.

It is an inspiration to persuade us not to give up and that some people have worse problems than us.

10:46:56 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: madaer

This book is an eye opener. It is a true story about the writer, Dave Pelzer, and the severe mental and physical torture he endured at the hands of his own mother. It is a difficult book to read, not because of complex terminology, or deep, thought provoking dialogue- it is hard to read (at least for me) because as I read it, I thought about all of the children who are living like that right now. But it is a story that needed to be told, and Dave Pelzer told it well.

It is a sad story. Dave Pelzer writes about being made to stand outside soaking wet in the shade when it's cold out, being forced to drink bleach, being stabbed by his own mother (even after being stabbed, he was not saved by anyone), he was forced to sleep in the basement with no blanket. He was starved, and not allowed to play outside. He was forced to do all of the housework. And his father ignored it.

But after all of that abuse, starvation, and torture, Dave pelzer grew up to be a pretty put together man. If you choose to read "A Child Called It", I also recommend that you read "The Lost Boy", and "A Man Named Dave", all written by Dave Pelzer. His childhood was sad, but his whole story is inspirational.

10:49:30 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Writerip

A Boy Called It will have you experiencing a plethora of emotions throughout the entire book. From tearful sadness and dull emptiness through raging hatred and disgust, this book leaves no emotions unused.

The true account of the author's young life of horrid abuse on behalf of his mother, obviously a very sick woman, is heartwrenching to read. The fact that it is a nonfiction account makes it sickening.

A Boy Called It also raises questions about the Foster Care system in our country. Often children are put into foster care and are abused there, too. It must seem for the children to be a never-ending circle of hideous people and actions.

In this book the reader experiences the need for escape from abuse that this boy felt. It is an unusual individual who would walk away from such a book unchanged. It has changed my concept of abuse, abusers, and the system that supposedly works to protect children from such atrocities,
It makes me eternally grateful that my children live in a loving home, and I have become more aware of hints that abuse may be taking place in the lives of other children.

One cannot help watching a little better and listening a little closer to the things children say, after reading of this child's abuse.

Yes, this book is a disturbing dose of reality. Yet there is nothing to be fantasized in the world of child abuse.

If more citizens would read this one child's story, I believe more hands would reach out to those needing escape and healing from abuse. What a blessing that would be!

10:50:28 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: kimberlyk

The life story of David Pelzer's childhood is no less than unbelievable! I read this book about 6 months ago and the images it left on my mind still haunt me to this day. This is the horrific true story of a little boy who was terribly abused by his mother. This book will take you into places you never though you'd see in your lifetime.

The author, David Pelzer, gives a thorough account of his own personal abuse as a child. He basically becomes a prisoner in his own home. His mother abuses him physically, mentally and emotionally on a daily basis, yet David survives and continues to retaliate.

Page after page, you will learn about David's struggles and how he copes with the beatings, starvation and mental torture. It will absolutely break your heart.

Child abuse is one of those subjects that people sometimes shy away from, but the reality is that it is out there. The book is very unsettling, as it should be. Child abuse is an unthinkable crime and it is people like Mr. Pelzer who fight for the lives of these children every day. By him writing this book, he brings this issue to the forefront and gives his readers a look into this nightmare of a world.

I don't want to give too much of the story away so I will continue by saying that this is one book that will stay with you forever. Although in the end David does persevere, the journey he takes to get there is amazing! If you have considered reading this book then don't wait. It puts a mark on your heart that will never go away.

10:51:31 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: rangerlover2

While I was reading this poignant book by David Pelzer I was left with a feeling of disbelief and horror that a mother could do this to her child. I felt simply sick to my stomach for days afterward.

Imagine if you will: being starved each day sometimes for as long as 10 days in a row? Shocking but it gets worse. Now think about your mother who is supposed to be your protector and caregiver force-feeing you amonia, clorox and spoiled food and trying to make you eat feces from diaper. All this happened to David and MORE. He was stabbed, beaten and forced to be the family slave. And while looking to his Dad to be his hero/savior this man just stood by and watched it happen. He assuaged his guilt with alcohol.

That Mr. Pelzer is even alive to write this book is a testament to his endurance and will to live. One has to wish him peace and happiness with his son in his future life.

This book should be read by anyone and everyone who thinks that child abuse doesn't happen or doesn't occur with this severity. It is a learning tool for us all. It is not for the faint of heart as it is graphic and upsetting.

10:53:07 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Social14

Imagine being a child who thinks that life is being singled out, beaten and tortured by your mother, ignored by your father, and laughed at by your mother. This is the childhood Dave Pelzer, the author, lived. "A Child Called It" is the first of three books that is about his life. This one focuses on the abuse he faced before entering the foster care system.

Dave's life began much the same way that our lives began - he was born and raised by a mother who loved him. But his mother snapped, and began to treat Dave horribly. She singled him out, had him do chores, and eventually made him live in the cold basement. Meals were a reward, and eventually came to mean only scraps left by his other brother if he was lucky.

This little boy found himself often beaten and starved. He had an unkempt appearance, and usually was not clean. Gradually his mother stopped calling him Dave, and instead, referring to him as "the boy". Then she moved to just referring to him as "It". She enjoyed torturing him with "games". She would leave him in a cold water bathtub for hours, make him clean a bathroom with toxic fumes around, and put his hands in flame. One night in her rage she stabbed him in the stomach.

Eventually the school decided to do something about it and Dave was taken out of the home for good. This story ends here, but begins in the next book of the trillogy called "A Boy Named Dave" where he is in the foster care system.

This book was required for one of my Social Work classes here at school, but I first read it while I was in high school. It is definitely an eye-opener as it awakens the reader to a world that many of us have not lived in - a world full of hatred and abuse. Several parts are graphic and grusome - so much so that I had to put it down several times. But it was such a good book that I recommend it to anyone who has a heart for children. It will definitely change your heart.

10:55:01 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: arbaro

My mom was a strict disciplinarian when she was raising me, and I received my fair share of spankings and angry tirades. Sometimes it seems like it was more than my fair share. But one look at this book, and I knew, it could have been worse. Much worse.

I happened across this book while waiting at my pastor's house, and just happened to leaf through it. Just one look at the first chapter caught my attention and didn't let go. In half an hour's time I was already through three chapters, and I didn't want to put that book down. It was like witnessing a severe car accident…you can't look at it, but you can't look away either.

A Child Called "It" is NOT a fictionalized account. Not only is it a true story, it is an autobiographical account of Dave Pelzer's own ordeal with child abuse at the hands of his mentally unstable mother. In a few short years, discipline turned into punishment gone horribly awry, and Dave was a slave in his own home. Stripped of his name and his humanity. Even getting the necessary food to eat became a major ordeal, which meant that often he had to steal food just to get the necessary nutrition denied him.

No child should have to go through what Dave Pelzer went through. He had to endure repeated beatings, starvation, burning, having to eat feces from his baby brother's diaper, being made to swallow ammonia and dishwasher soap, even being stabbed in the chest and having to endure the infected wound. (Do not read this book while you are eating…I made that mistake and lost my appetite very quickly.)

The greatest tragedy is that his family was powerless against any of this, especially his policeman father who on one hand tried to help his son, but on the other hand could not prevent the atrocities that were being committed. You could just imagine the strain that was placed on him, as he had to endure seeing his son abused day after day until finally he had no choice but to leave.

I was a former middle school teacher, and I don't doubt for a minute that this ordeal is an extreme case of what some of my students had to endure on a daily basis. If someone says that child abuse is not a serious problem in this country, tell them about this book. I can probably guarantee that they will change their tune very quickly.

I look forward to reading the next installment in the series.

10:55:40 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: lady39

I am not an avid reader. I can read very well, but for some reason every time I've ever picked up a novel or book, it puts me to sleep with in minutes. This book however was totally different. I borrowed this book from a co worker after reading the back of the book.

I brought it home with me, and after I was ready for bed, I decided to start reading it. It was totally unbelivable. It made me cry almost non stop. I could not put it down. I read the entire book before I fell asleep. It took me about 3-4 hours, only because the words were blurry at times from my eyes full of tears. I even told my son about each chapter as I read them. How horrible and unconceivable.

I'm surprised this author Mr. Dave Pelzer was even able to recount the memories of his child hood and write this book. I wont go into a lot of detail, I wont even ask you to try to imagine your worse night mare, because it couldn't compare to the mental and physical abuse Dave Pelzer's mother subjected him to as a child.

All the beatings, torture, broken bones, starvation and a father watching it all happen and doing nothing to help his son from his cruel mother. I can't even imagine how he managed to survive.

This author opened a lot of doors and resources for abused children in our society.

Through his public speaking at schools all across the country, he is helping children to become aware of help that is available to them if they are being abused.

I showed my son the book, and he told me that a few years ago when we lived in Florida that Mr. Pelzer came to his school and talked about child abuse and how children could get help.

Mr. Pelzer is a remarkable man for being able to re tell his horrible childhood and help children in our society. I only wish there was help for every single abused child, because I know some of them still go unnoticed, and I still read in the local news paper of babies and children being abused and even killed by unstable parent or parents.

My heart goes out to Mr. Pelzer and every child.

10:56:32 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: jaywalk99

I saw this book on the shelf and the little boy on the front caught my eye. I stopped to read what it was about and could not leave without it. Once I began to read this book I did nothing but cry. This book tells you the life of an abused little boy. This is a biography of Dave Pelzer the author. It tells of all the abuse he had to endure with no explanation as to why. I cannot imagine doing to an innocent child some of the things that this mother does to this child. It is very heartbreaking and sad. I have began to think about all the abused children that live in our world and what they go through. This gentleman was just kind enough to share it with us in his book. It tells of the help he tried to receive and the dead end streets he ended up on. I recommend this book to anyone who has a caring heart for children. It makes you want to reach out to each and everyone of them and to just get your hands on the parents who do it.
This is not a very long book. It will not take the average reader more than two days to read it. If you are like me you cannot put it down except to get a tissue and dry your eyes. He also has a sequel to the book called "The Lost Boy". If you take the time to read this book you will most definitely have to read the sequel to help you learn more. I believe he has another one after "The Lost Boy" But I have not yet read it.

10:57:37 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: PsiQueue

Oh my God. Never have I EVER wanted to find a character in a book and kill them, as much I as I did when reading this book.

This is the story of one man's survival through the worst case of child abuse I have ever heard of or read about. (As a person who works with troubled children and teens in a psychiatric setting, I have heard some horror stories).

Dave is an innocent, happy little boy, who loves his mommy and daddy and enjoys going to the Russian River with his family. Until suddenly, one day, mommy turns into Mother and the beginning of years of physical and emotional abuse begins. Over the next several years, young David is starved half to death, made to perform daily, backbreaking chores, and suffer unimaginable beatings and abuse if he shows any emotion or fails to meet every demand of his mother. Meanwhile, while almost everyone is aware of what is happening to this child, from his almost absent father to a school system that couldn't care less, no one feels the need to take the first step in trying to save this child until it is almost to late.

Every couple of years, I discover a book that makes me feel something, either good or bad. I think the last time this happened to me was when I read "All I really needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten". (With that book, I felt good inside.) After reading this book, I was motivated to try to be a better person, and someday, a better father. For now, though, I have come to develop some empathy and understanding of what kids who are abuse feel, about themselves and about the adults around them.

10:58:36 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: rmhagan61

What this man went through as a child, and the lessons he learned and shared about survival and overcoming the odds is truly inspirational. As an adult who also overcame child abuse, I still have haunting memories myself, though the abuse I suffered is nothing compared to the abuse the author endured. Dave, you helped me understand that no matter what we go through, there are others far worse off than ourselves…I only hope that no child ever has to go through abuse to any extent in this day and age! I loved the books and recommend that anyone with children/grandchildren, teachers, EVERYONE should read these books. The story is powerful,you just don't want to put the book down…you feel somehow that in order to help this child, YOU MUST KEEP READING! I cried as if I was watching the abuse happen in front of me, and I felt his terror, his humiliation, and most of all HIS STRENGTH! Dave Pelzer is a talented author who deserves the highest recognition and praise for telling his story in such a way that makes people feel what the abused child feels. My "circle of abuse" was broken by myself, before I had my own children. I ,long ago, even as an abused child, decided MY children would NEVER feel MY PAIN. But so much of the time, abused children grow up to be abusive parents, full of rage and hatred, perhaps these books will help formerly abused children break the "circle" in their own families. Even if you've not been abused, and you're not being an abuser…these books will help you understand the terror abused children live everyday…if you suspect abuse, maybe you'll have the courage to speak up and help a child, before their precious life is taken away. To Dave: You are truly an inspiration…thank you for bringing up the ugliness of child abuse and for sharing your strength and encouragement with others. Your mother will have to stand in judgement one day for what she put you through, and what she continues to put you through…all I can say is may God have mercy on her soul, for she had no mercy when it came to you.

10:59:53 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Dee_Dee

My mother bought this book, along with the two that follow, THE LOST BOY, AND A MAN CALLED DAVE, and they had to be the most interesting books I have ever read.

I started this book, and literally finished it in a half a day. I could not put it down. I have never been that "into" a book in my life.

I have to say that if you are the sort of person that can't really handle the sadness in a book, you will not like this one. From cover to cover, it will have you in tears.

I have twin sons, and NEVER in my wildest dreams could imagine any of the things that happened to Dave, EVER happening to my own boys, especially by me, one of the only people in this world that they trust. This book has explicit details on some of the incidences, and the ones that are not so explicit will have you wondering for hours about it.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves true stories, and anyone who is the slightest bit interested in child abuse.

It will defiantly make you wonder. I have since looked at children and thought to myself, "you know, it could just as easily be that child".

Just remember, this is a very graphic book, as are the two that follow.

11:00:51 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Cybernary

So many children are abused at the hands of their own parents. Yet so few survive the amount of abuse David Pelzer suffers from his own mother. He is a survivor.
From the first page to the last, this autobiography can make anyone feel such a range of emotion, from sadness for David, to anger for his ruthless, selfish mother.
How can anyone be so heartless? I feel bad enough when I don't have milk for my children to drink. This woman would starve her child on purpose! The scary thing is how scared he was of her. He was so scared his own mother would kill him that he suffered in silence.
The worst part is when his mother would make him sit on the bottom step of the stairs and watch everyone else eat dinner, make him wash the dishes and clean up the table, then he could eat, if she felt like it.
But, the scene that stands out the most in my mind is when she stabbed him in the stomach with a knife because he wasn't doing his chores fast enough. He ran to his father and told him what had happened. His father helped him bandage up the wound as best he could, then told him to hurry up and finish, or they would both be in trouble.
Just thinking of how cruel this woman was to her own son makes me shudder.
I think it is great how David has grown up to be a healthy adult despite the cruelty he suffered as a child. But, no child should have to experience what he has.

11:01:59 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: judypetley

"A Child Called "IT"" by David Pelzer is a book that I would recommend everyone reading. This book is a true story of a young boy who was Physically and Mentally abused by his mother. It was a sad but inspirational book that my kids gave me to read. I was taken back with my own childhood horrors with this story. I was unable to put the book down until I read it in its entirety. I was impressed with how David dealt with all the torture he had to endure from his own mother. I was so glad to finally read a book that made me feel good about myself and that whatever you go through as a child no matter how horrible it might have been you can still become a good parent. I was so disgusted by David's father. I was bad enough his mother was treating him horribly but to be deceived by his own father is unspeakable. I was so surprised that David turned out to be such a good father. Statistics state that he should be the same way or even worse. I myself applaud his courage and strength to live through such a childhood. It make you think twice about stepping in and helping out when you know something is not right. I was so heartbroken that not one person came to David's rescue when he repeatedly gave signs and even spoke up. It makes you wonder sometimes how a mother could be so cruel to her own child. I as a mother myself of 4 beautiful children could not even imagine doing the thing his mother did to him. This book was a good book for me to read and I have recommended this book to friends and I even had my kids read it and then we talked about what they had read. The strength David's showed in his writing was in my opinion truly inspirational. I commend him for writing a book like this to help others who have been abuse or those who are being abused now. It gives you someone to turn to and see that you are not the only one who is going through something like this or have gone through something like that. At the end of this book David has put an address that you can write to for help. Since he endured such a horrible event he is now touring the country telling people of his own personal success he has gained from overcoming his torturous life. He will never be the same because of this but he is speaking out in order to help save others from the same hell he endured.

I would not recommend this book to young children.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has gone through a horrible childhood like his and to those you may be going through such horrors and he has. This is a good book to help you feel good about yourself and just because you went through such a hard childhood you do not have to turn into the same kind of monster that commits unspeakable acts.

David is supposed to be coming out with part 2 to this book and I can't wait until I can get to read what he has done to deal with all the nightmares and how his other brother and sisters are doing.

So if you haven't read this book yet I suggest you get to your Public library and check it out and read it for yourself.

11:02:57 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: hodis

I read this last fall and I almost went numb. I was so hard to believe that someone (and someone so young) could live through such horrid abuse year after year. The most amazing part is that not only did he live through it…he somehow overcame it to become a better person.

The point of view was from a young boy who was surviving the most horrendous acts…from his mother. The author's writing style forces the reader to see things from the child's point of view.

I believe the author must be an amazing person to be able to live and maintain an even somewhat normal life now. I admire the fact that he had the strength to become "human" again and raise a new family of his own.

I think the author shows how life is only 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. What I mean by that is that a lot of people have horrible things happen to them. Too many children in this world are abused (sexually, physically, or emotionally) every single day. It is horrible, almost unforgivable, for any person to do harm to a child…and sadly, by saying that you must realize that 1 in 5 children have suffered some sort of abuse.

I doubt many will disagree when I say that the human soul is the most sacred part of a person. If you allow that portion to become damaged…then what good can your life be. The author, although physically and emotionally abused, never let his inner soul become hurt. He survived and he is telling the reader that no matter what has happened in your lives, you can and must overcome and use that situation to grow into something better.

11:03:55 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: toni2002toni

The first time i read this book was about 2 years ago when i was round at my sisters and she had just finished reading it and she told me i just had to read it.So i took the book home and sat down in my comfy armchair and began to read.

No sooner had i got past the first chapter and i was half way through chapter 2, this book is so addictive, i just couldn't put it down until i had read the whole thing.

It is about a young boy named Dave Pelzer (who is by the way the author aswell so this is like his autobiography) trying to survive his childhood.

His emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother brutally beat him and starved him all the time, and she liked to play tortuous and unpredictable games that very nearly left one of her sons dead.

She didnt even consider Dave to be a boy or a human being even, she looked at him as a slave and an IT.
He used to sleep in an old army cot in the basement and his clothes were all smelly and torn.

When his mother was in a really good mood she used to let him have the luxury of food but it was only the scraps from the dog bowl.

Dave spent his time dreaming about finding a family who might love him and call him their son.

This book only covers the early years of his life there are also 2 more books after this one one called "The Lost Boy" and one called "A Man Called Dave" these will cover the next parts of his life.

If you have read this book then good on you, and oh isnt it sad ?

11:05:04 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: localgod18

I was interested in purchasing this book to read, after seeing the actual Dave Pelzer on a talk show. I heard his story on television, and wanted to hear more about what this courageous man went through as a child. I thought it would help me realize how good my life was growing up.
When I read this book, it really teaches you not to take things for granted. The story was an incredible story about a young boy who is emotionally, and physically abused growing up. His mother treated him worse than a slave, and put so much fear into such an innocent child, for no reason. He was a very good kid, and very brave for what he went through.
The story tells how he survived his mother's torture, and how he got help. It also shows how he became the great man he is today.
Reading this story actually brought tears to my eyes. It was one of those books, that when it ends it's just not good enough for you because you want to know more about what happens. But, luckily there are two more sequels to this story you can go out and buy when you're done with this one. Dave's story will go on forever in the heart of every abused child in this world.

11:05:44 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: LisaRyder

A child called it is a tragic story from beginning to end of one of the worst child abuse cases in California. A perfect, loving mother gone terribly wrong in a child's eyes. The abuse , humility, and courage that you witness from this child will leave you with a million thoughts on how you yourself can make a difference. This child suffers through repeated beatings, burns, home "gas chambers" and any other inhuman thing his mother can think of. David starves not only from lack of food but lack of human attention. He strives to make things right with his mother. After all the abuse, prayers to God, and mental exhaustion, David is still standing, he still has a remarkable will to live. Not to mention a remarkable will to gain his mothers love back. This story will break your heart. Set aside a good few hours because you won't want to put this one down! If you want to stare down the cold hard facts of child abuse through a child's eyes, don't waste another minute. This story will change your life!

11:06:33 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: foodoo

Dave Pelzer is hands down the most extraordinary person I've ever heard or read about.

While watching reruns of Montel Williams not too long ago, I caught a show that featured people who were brutally abused by their parents. The one guest, Dave Pelzer in the person who stuck out in my mind. Montel said he had written a book, so I logged onto the net and ordered it.

I just started reading this book last night, and I couldn't put it down. I finished it short of 2 hours later. The style of writing in this book is that of a child. This specific book is the first installment of the author's trilogy.

I was shocked, sickened, repulsed and saddened by what this child had to go through. Without any explanation, he was labeled "IT", the bad child. He was punished, abused, tortured, starved and pretty much left for dead. It's absolutely amazing to me that he survived his childhood and made himself into a normal, functioning adult.

This book will make you mad. It will make your heart break. It will make you cry. It made me feel emotions I never felt before.

I would recommend this book to everybody. I think this book makes us more fortunate people realize just how lucky we are in life. I am so thankful to have the parents that I have and thankful I was raised how I was raised.

This book is definitely an eye-opener. And the saddest part of all is that this book is 100% true. I don't think that any fiction writer could even go this far to make up a tale this horrific.

Add this book to your must read list. It's definitely a book I will remember forever.

11:07:35 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: thadsensei

I just got done reading this New York Times Bestseller, and I must say that I have mixed emotions about this book. Let me explain…
The author, Dave Pelzer, does a marvelous job taking the reader into the mind of a child who is being abused. This book describes both the realities of child abuse and the hardships that children being abused endure. There is no doubt in my mind that after reading what Dave retells about his childhood that even the toughest of men would not be touched.

As a teacher, I am very glad to have read this book. I was very touched by this easy-to-read book and hope that it will make me more aware of child abuse. I feel as though this book has given me extra strength to stand up for the protection of any child showing signs of child abuse in and outside of my classroom.

I also really enjoyed the perspectives on child abuse that came at the end of the book. It was a nice way to end the book as well as good food for thought.
I especially enjoyed the epilogue. "I am free." -a great way to end the book. I must say that I totally agree with the back cover commentary that this book is inspiring. I love the overall message that we all have power and can choose whether or not to be a victim.

Having said all of that, I do not want to forget to mention how well the book is written. It is very easy to read and understand. It flows well. It is organized well, and his style of writing is almost interactive. I like the way he describes certain scenes without having to directly describe what is happening. It is almost as though this child being abused is trying to protect the reader from having to read about such unthinkable things. -how sincere.

What angers me about this book is that it leaves me wanting to know so much more. How did things turn out? What will happen next? When the police officer drives away with him and tells him that he is free, what will happen next? I know that some people like it when books leave them wanting to know more, but I can not help but think that Dave Pelzer left a little too much to wonder about. I realize that this book is part of a trilogy, but I can not help but feel that more should have been said. I will definitely go out and buy the second part of the trilogy, and I hope after reading the second part that I will come to understand why Mr. Pelzer decided to organize his story into a trilogy instead of making it all just one big book. I guess I am hoping that he is not turning his tragic, yet inspiring story into a money-maker. If this were true, it would only cheapen his story and lessen the inspiration.

11:08:25 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Itsmyopinion

One day I was watching Oprah and the show was about children who had suffer the worst types of abuse a human being could experience.
On one of her segments she introduced Dave Pelzer and thats how I found out about his life and how awful his life has been.
Just by looking or listening to him one wouldnt think what this person has gone through.
I decided to get the book and read more about it and I just couldnt put it down. I was so moved and devasted about what the small child had gone through and all the physical and mental abused he suffered.
How could someone do something like this to an innocent child? Most of all his own parents.
Its amazing how his will to survive pulled him through and finally decided to talk.
He lived life day by day in the dark and alone.
This is the worst case of child abuse and neglect the State of California has ever experienced and its such a shame that it had last too long.

This is the story of a child who survived horrendous treatment from the poeple who are suppose to love him the most. His will and determination to survive and win over his (so called) mother's abuse help him to become the man he is today and get his life back together and his name is no longer "it" its David.
Just like in the Bible David defeating the giant: Dave defeated his mothers against all odds.

11:09:50 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Yoshi-64

The book, A Child Called It, is the chilling account of the worst child abuse case in California's history, told by the victim himself. Dave Pelzer is a young boy with a terrible secret, that his mother has been abusing him sence he way very young. The story begins in Daly City, California in 1973. The author tells exactly who he felt when his mother abused him. Dave used strength and courage to get through each day; he found ways to ignore he was getting put through.

Dave demonstrated definite perseverance throughout his life. He faced many situations where his mother could have killed him, but he used good judgment and was able to get ot of those situations. Every day he was faced with his mother, who tortured him constantly, and it took all his power not to be defeated by her.

I found this book interesting, because it tells the horrors of child abuse in a story-like manner. This book gave me many new insights about child abuse and how awful it really can be. This explains the gruesome details of child abuse and how the child perceives what happening to him. While reading the book, it is hard to remember that it is non-fiction, because it does'nt seem as tough something so awful could really happen. I definitely have stronger opinions about child abuse, and how necessary it is to prevent after reading this book.

11:10:37 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: drag0ngirl

This book was easy to read, very short and simple. It should've been at least 10 times longer and complex, considering the subject matter. Sure, it was about 200 pages long, but the font was at least 14! It's not a challenging book to read. This was meant to be a motivational book and should be taken lightly as such.
It was recommended to me by a co-worker who claimed it to be one of her favorite books.
The author, David Pelzer, chronicles the abuse he went through as a child and ends the story abruptly, with no insight on his mother's actions, her health, or logic. He doesn't write about how his childhood had impacted his adolescent or adult life and aside from the gruesome details, there isn't much else to the book that captures your attention. Honestly, this book seemed to be written for shock value more than anything else.
Pelzer comes across as a very inexperienced writer. He reports the facts…this is what happened first, second, and last…but doesn't seem to care or bother to ask, why? Being able to survive such abuse as a child is incredible but hopefully the author has his own reflections on his experiences, which weren't fully expressed in the book.
The sudden ending to the story conveniently opens the door to sequels and more royalties.

11:11:52 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: recipelu

I first heard about this book when the author was being interviewed on a talk show quite a few years ago.

Disturbed by the thought that this type of abuse really happens I was spurred on to purchase the book and get more information.

This is a chilling story of unbelievable abuse. It's shocking that human beings can inflict this kind of pain on others, never mind a child.

The story itself is so horrific it's spellbinding, and I found that I simply could not put the book down. Well written, although graphic, I found myself overwhelmed with disbelief that such an attrocity can occur.

If nothing else, this book make one introspective, it made me realize that we must all do our part, give something back and protect the innocent, our young and the helpless.

Awareness and intervention from others is the only was to stop the abuse. We must first acknowledge the situation and then get involved. Looking the other way is not an option… read the book, you'll see what I mean.

11:12:41 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: aparker1975

I had always wanted to read this book,ever since Dave Pelzer was featured on Oprah…I kept avoiding though,because I thought it would just be too sad to read…The one thing that finally changed my mind was that if this man had written this book,there had to be a light at the end of the tunnel…

This was a great book…Yes, it is heartbreaking to read the story of a child who was savagely abused by the very person entrusted with his life…There were times when I didn't want to read one more page because the anger and disgust overwhelmed me…

I was so happy to see that this book,tells not just of the tragedy this beautiful child had to live with…But it also tells the story of his Victory over abuse…It is such an inspiration to see someone that had all the odds stacked against him,come out on top…

DAvid Pelzer has done a great service by writing these books…He has not only shared a painful story,but he has shared a story of triumph that is sure to be inspirational to anyone who reads it…

11:14:02 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Dionne25

Imagine being told to eat excrement, or being locked into a bathroom without any ventilation and forced to inhale ammonia. Imagine living in your own home and being treated like a slave, or your hand placed over a burning stove. Now imagine that you're a young boy going through this and this is being done by your mother?!?!?!?!?!?! Hard to believe, but Dave Pelzer was victim to the worst kind of child abuse any child should encounter.

I first saw Pelzer on Montel Williams and as he spoke of what he went through, I cried…no, I bawled. After reading this book, I had to tip my hat to Dave. His mom threatened him so many times if he told, but one day, he told his teacher and was free. Personally, I don't know if I would've survived.

What killed me the most was the fact that Dave's own father would NOT help him. There was one point when Dave's arm was broken (further abuse from his mom), and his father says something to the effect of Dave better be careful not to get any blood on the carpet or his mom would get upset. I wanted to scream at his father and say, "THIS IS YOUR SON FOR CRYING OUT LOUD…HE'S HURT!!!" Furthermore, I wanted to kill his mother. How could any mother be so cruel to their child? What's worse, is Dave is NOT an only child…he has two other brothers, but he was the only one who was abused.

I gave this book to my mom to read, and it was very hard for her to grasp. We'd speak about this constantly and to this day; she still can't understand how a mother could do such things to their child. All mothers I spoken to who have read this book cannot fathom doing anything so cruel to their child.

I read the follow-up "The Lost Boy" and his life as a foster child, and this was a good read as well. Right now, my mom is reading "A Man Named Dave", so once she's done with that, I'll read that. "A Child Called IT" was excellent, and I applaud Dave Pelzer for sharing his experience with the world.

11:16:02 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Poodi

It has been several years since I read this book, yet the impact is still forceful and unforgettable. I had to read it twice to truly absorb all the lurid details of this boy's life and the abuse he suffered at the hands of the ones he should have been able to trust most. It was difficult to determine what monster was more responsible, the obviously demented mother or the cowardly father. Either were never punished enough for their role in harming David.
I have to admit that my personal perspective is somewhat jaded as I would never be able to understand forgiveness for these people. What sticks in my mind most was when the court sessions were finally at an end, after David's mother would reach out only to viscously and with malice, push him away, he still sought her love and approval. At no time did she redeem herself. How David was able to discover the fortitude and hope within himself was an attestation to his strength of character.
One cannot imagine a mother who would find the compassion for the dog or other children, yet deliberately attack this one particular boy, her son. We are talking abuse that surpassed the physical level and demonstrated the truly diabolical side of man.In my mind, this woman's deliberate and methodical cruelty garnered her a reserved spot in hell. David stands as a testament that good can triumph over evil.

11:16:52 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: xena927

I first saw David Pelzer on the Montel Williams show. I was instantly intrigued by this man's bravery to come on national television and tell his story. I, too, survived abuse, and wanted desperately to know that I wasn't alone.

David began to describe what his childhood had been like, and I was glued to the screen. After the show was over, I wrote down the title to his book, A Child Called It, and headed for the bookstore.

I read the book within a few hours, and was appalled at the cruelty he had survived. Dogs were treated better than "The Boy" was. I, too, was enraged, and wanted to get my hands on his mother for perpetrating the abuse, and his father for turning a blind eye to it. Instead, I went back to the bookstore a few days later and bought his sequel, The Lost Boy.

The sequel answered a lot of questions I was left with at the end of A Child Called It. However, it left me with more questions, questions yet to be answered in A Man Named Dave, which I have yet to read.

Dave Pelzer is truly a brave man, and his story needed to be told. There is a "however." However, survivors reading this book need to take care to stay safe while reading. The book can be a serious trigger, because Dave goes into such detail describing the hell that was his childhood. I recommend that survivors have someone safe and trusted to talk to after they finish the book.

11:17:40 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: rock2

I just finished reading a Child Called "It", a book I could not put down once I had started it. I have to give Dave Pelzer a lot of respect, he is a survivor. My heart went out to this little boy, a little boy who to me seems like a little boy every mother dreams of having. I lost alot of respect for his father-someone who should have helped him but did not. Why would any parent allow this kind of treatment to his child to go on without doing something about it. Where were his grandparents through all of this, and his teachers, why did it take so long for this child to get help. My sons are the most important things I have and if anyone ever tried to hurt them in any way they would have to go through me first. I would not care if that person was a stranger or my spouse-they would not hurt my child.

If you have not read the book yet I highly recommend reading it, and after you finish that one I know you will go out and buy Dave's second book The Lost Boy. I just finished reading it yesterday, two books in less then a week and no I am not getting much sleep. I am going out today to find a Man Named Dave, a third book on his life and how he turned. out.

I thank every foster parent out there who opens their home to these children and gives them the love that they deserve.

11:18:22 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Poketlynnt

I picked up this book out of boredom and did not put it down until I was finished.

The title alone is enough to make anyone wince, referring to a child as "it".

We read the true story of a helpless boy, Dave, who lives his entire childhood in fear of a mother he loves, despiute the constant torture she inflicts upon him.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about such cases, or even people who have lived through such abuse, as it is an example of someone who can live through hell and survive and rise above it.

While the book is painful to read, I think learning about Dave and his story has made me more aware of child abuse problems. This book really illustrates the reality of child abuse and the circumstances surrounding it.

11:19:34 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: riapj

"A Child Called IT" is the first book in a series of three written by Dave Pelzer. In this book he opens up his past and shares his childhood experiences from ages 4-12.
You will feel horrible for this poor boy who is being abused by his alcoholic mother while his father lets it happen. Young Dave was beaten, starved, stabbed,and burned by his mother. He was sent to school in dirty clothes, unbathed, and starving. He resorted to taking food out of the other children's lunch bags knowing that when he got caught he would suffer the consequences.
I hated his mother for doing these horrible things to him. I hated his father for being such a wimp and not standing up to this horrible woman. I hated him for telling Dave "be good so you can keep your mother happy," knowing that when he left the house, his child was in great danger.
I think that everyone should read this book, especially parents and teachers. It may open your eyes to someone who is being abused and give you the courage to help that child.
The details of this boy's torment made me absolutely sick to my stomach. Knowing that he was being hurt by his own mother and kept it a secret, for fear of his life and at the same time fear of losing her, broke my heart. He was being hurt not only physically, but mentally. He knew that his mother did not love him, yet he tried to protect her.
I was so relieved when his teachers finally stepped in and stopped this abuse. They called the police and had him removed from his mother's "care". Thank God for those people who risked their careers to help this boy.
I read this book in about 4 hours with a few interruptions. I had to wipe away my tears quite often realizing what was happening to this boy.
I think that Dave is one the most courageous people that I have ever seen or read about. He decided at a very young age that he was a survivor and was not going to let his mother win. He put his faith in God and learned to play her game. He won his life.
After reading this book, I thank God every day for my parents. I thank him for the fact that I was given a good life and a good home. I pray to him that he protects those who were not blessed with my good fortune.
Please read this book. It is a total wake up call and you never know, it could help you save a child's life.

11:20:49 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Tomasu

A friend of mine recommended this book to me so I went out tonight and bought it. I already finished it. I seriously had a hard time putting it down. Partly because I just wanted to get through it so I didn't have to read anymore on what Dave went through and partly because I was fascinated that he had the will and spirit to keep going. My husband asked why, if I didn't want to read what Dave had to go through, I didn't just stop reading it. That is a hard question to answer, I think I was looking for what gave him the strength to go on and take the abuse he was getting.

A Child Called "IT" is such a sad story. To read what that poor child had to go through is just horrible, but seeing how he survived it and went on with his life is so inspirational. I honestly don't think that I could have been as strong as Dave was.
I did think that the book was going to be way more graphic then it was, but trust me, it is plenty graphic as it is.
I don't understand how a mother could do to their child what this woman did to hers. I don't see how anyone could do the things she did to him to a complete stranger. How could she look at him and not be overcome with love for her child? A child that she carried inside her for 9 months and that she brought into this world.
If you haven't read this book yet, go out and get it. You will be amazed at what the human spirit can do!

11:21:40 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: hibroil

I never read a book as descriptive as this one is. The story can be about just any child. This little boy endured more than his share of injustice and indignity that any one person should ever have to endure. The Author Is so descriptive in his detailed description of the punishment "It" received, and how it was handled by him.

He took everything thrown at him and seemed to make it work for himself.

I felt as if I wanted to reach into the pages of the book and grab that little boy and hug so tight and tell him that it will all be O.K. soon.

I was also shocked that nobody seemed to notice that he was so unhappy.

I recommend this book, for come children to read who think that their life is terrible.

11:22:35 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: heather_taylor

I love this book so much, and reccomend that anyone with a heart for others read this book. The author is so descriptive about incidents and makes you feel like you are there with the boy who is being abused. This book kept me reading at every moment that I had to do anything.

The Book is about a young boy who grows up in a house where he is abused by his mom. It would get worse my the day and it went on till he was a young teenager. She would practically try to kill her son. The other two older boys were not abused, and did not try to help at all for fear that she would hurt them to.

It is a very moving and brings out all the emotions you have almost all at once. You will not put this one down, even I couldn't, and I usually just read to help me sleep at night. Get this book!

11:23:55 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: ajb1994

Where to even begin on such a riviting book as this one. First of all, this book was written extremely well. The author is Dave Pelzer. A remarkable man that suffered through more in the 12 years that he lived in that house than the majority of people do in there whole lives. He was physically abused as a child by his own "mother" and mentally abused ny his father from the age of 4 unitl the age of 12. He lived in his home with his "mother" father and brothers. For some reason his "mother" chose him to be the brunt of her alcoholic tantrums. He was beaten on a daily basis for no reason at all. He was responsible for all the chores in the house while his brothers got to be kids. He was burnt, stabbed, poisened, and starved on a daily, more like weekely basis by his evil "mother" The many times that he suffered serious injuries, he was never taken to the hospital or to see doctor at any time. He was left to suffer with the pain unitl his feeble body healed as best it could on it's own. He was sent to school each and everyday where he wore the same clothing which was another sick game played by his "mother" to torture him. I could go on and on about this book, but then there would be no reason for anyone who reads this review to read the book. I can gaurantee you this, it is the best book you will ever read. Once you finish this, you must go on to read the other 2 books in this series. The second is "The Lost Boy" Another excellent read. Finally "A Man Named Dave". Let me tell you, this final book will answer all your questions from the first two. In closing, this is an excellent book in an excellent series. Gauranteed to make you cry.

11:24:53 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: lmm07750

In his childhood autobiography, Dave Pelzer tells the frightening story of living under his mothers roof. From the age of four, she had abused him physically and mentally, telling him he wasn't worth anything, that he was crap. She wouldn't feed him but maybe a few crumbs everyday. She wouldn't even call him by his name. She called him "it", henceforth, the title was created. His father sat around and watched her abuse him, gave little effort into talking to his wife about it; to tell her to stop. Dave wasn't an only child, either. He had other brothers and sisters who were treated normally. It was just him, for some reason, that his mother hated. This book goes into very graphic detail about what his mother would do to him. And there are so many unanswered questions left at the end, like, why did his mother hate him so much? Or, why didn't his father do more to stop her from hurting him? But all those will be answered in due time in the last two books in the series. So yes, I definitely recommend this book to others.

11:26:43 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: ChimeTLC

I know many of us wouldn't dream of hurting a child but this book shows us all how cruel and awful some people can be. When a mother hurts a child it is so much harder to understand.

This book does not answer the why of child abuse instead it shows the child's pain. The boy is put through tortures of all sorts. He is starved, cut, burned, and fed chemicals. And who would or could do that? His own mother. What a mind blowing concept. Yet we here of such things weekly on the news. Here we can see it from the inside.

You can't help but feel when you read this book. Everything from anger at the mother to happiness when he is finally free. While it is an easy read, you will not put it down because you will want to see what comes next.

This author has at least two other books that follow this subject. I find this one to be the best but feel you should look into the others.

11:27:49 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: tfielding

This book is not an easy read solely because of it's content. It's hard to believe that in modern society that the awful experiences of the child in this book could have been overlooked. It's hard to believe but unfortunately true. The book does give hope to those who have or are experiencing such awful things. It shows that there is hope out there that someone, someday will reach out a loving hand of kindness and concern to help pull them out of the extreme circumstances that they have or are enduring.

The book is a very well written book. Makes you feel the pain and turmoil that this small child must live through on a daily basis. This could make hard for someone who has lived through the same types of things to read it without reliving the things. The triumphant ending makes it worth that though. To know a happy well adjusted man came from a scared, hurt child.

11:28:43 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: hiyahguy

Author David Pelzer's first book, "A Child Called It", details his early years of child abuse that he received at the hands of his downright evil mother. I read this book completely, from cover to cover, without stopping. This is a definite page- turner that will keep your attention from beginning to end.

Pelzer suffered extreme abuse, like no other account I have ever read. Be prepared for some very graphic, disgusting stories and be equally prepared for the emotional roller coaster ride that awaits you. You will experience sadness, frustration, grief, anger, sympathy, etc. Pelzer was forced to sleep on the floor, covered only in newspapers; forced to eat his younger brothers' feces; forced to drink ammonia and bleach; and forced to perform a host of other degrading, dangerous, and repulsive acts.

11:29:34 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: svali

I dare anyone to read this book and not feel both tremendous compassion for the author,and admiration at his courage in overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles and inhuman treatment.

Dave Pelzer, the author, also happens to have an extremely engaging writing style which added to my pleasure when reading this phenomenal book. In a day and age when child abuse is still frequently ignored, it encourages me to see such an outspoken advocate for the children who tremble each day, shrinking at the hands of harsh adults who were meant to protect and nurture them. Pelzer is not only an advocate, he is vulnerable and real in sharing his autobiography. His style lacks self pity as he recounts calmly the details of his horrific childhood, and also shares the ways he learned to cope with it.

The only weakness? It was too short, and I am glad that he has a sequel in which he discusses his later years. His grammar is good (or else he had fantastic editors), he pulls the reader in, and keeps them engaged throughout. He has a natural gift for narration that shows throughout, with enough descriptive detail to paint the picture of a bleak, hopeless childhood. Mr. Pelzer has my greatest admiration and I enjoyed his book thoroughly. If you haven't read this inspirational book, please do so as soon as possible. You won't be the same after reading it.

11:30:44 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: OscarsMom

This book is a perfect example of how people can overcome their circumstances. In a time when people are always blaming someone else, it's nice to see an example of someone succeeding IN SPITE of the way he was treated.

Dave Pelzer's childhood was awful - and that is an understatement. In spite of this, he became a very successful person and was honored by two presidents as well as receiving other achievements.

I liked that Dave's parents were portrayed honestly rather than being "monsterfied". Although there is no excuse for the way his mother treated him, or the fact that his father allowed it to happen, they are both portrayed honestly. The author doesn't attempt to explain, he simply states what happened. At times, his story is somewhat emotionless. The facts are there but he doesn't entirely tell you how he felt. I would imagine that would be pretty painful though and it doesn't take away from the story at all.

The sequel - Lost Boy - goes into a more emotional side. The author tells how he felt inside. He relates the confusion he felt and the mixed emotions…but that's another epinion…

11:31:56 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Ashlie-Perry

This by far was a very emotional book for me. A very riveting story of a horrific child abuse victim. Dave Pelzer wrote this book from his own experience with child abuse.

In this book you will learn just how bad it is for some children, and how they just get caught up in the system.

Dave was one of three boys living with his mother and father. His mom was a very emotionally unstable alcoholic. She loved to torture and play games with him. Sometimes she nearly left him for dead. He was forced to go without food, wear filthy clothes to school, and do an ungodly amount of work to even get food. The meals he did manage to get were usually spoiled table scrapes. Dave resorted to stealing for a decent meal.

This book was one that you just can't put down. It shows just how much courage children have to live, and make it. It will defiantly make you want to get more involved in child abuse situations. I know when I finished this book after 2 days and a box of Kleenex I held my son tighter than I ever have before.

11:32:53 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: irishgurl1979

Dave Pelzer is such an inspiration. The first time I ever encountered his books was after I saw him speak. I read "A Child Called 'It'" and thought this was a terrible story. Terrible, in the fact that someone could abuse their child to the point of nearing them to death (if he didn't die several times emotionally). Dave's mother, Catherine, abused Dave after she had succumbed to alcoholism. She, also, had mental problems. It's a shame that the neighbors were in such denial, that they didn't want to see what was going on in the Pelzer house.

What is even sadder is that Dave Pelzer's case was the second worst incidence of child abuse reported to the California authorities, during that time. Makes you wonder what ever happened to the worst case in California. His mother and father were never charged. And his mother never spent a night in jail. Nor, did she lose custody of David's brothers.

If you have the chance, go see him speak. I saw him speak once. He appears to be really very tiny in stature on stage. He uses comedy and humor to talk about the many problems he faced in life.

11:33:45 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: ExoAngel

This is one of the best non-fiction books that I have ever read. I can not imagine what Dave had to go through as a child. This is one book that once you pick it up, you won't be able to lay it down. But here is fair warning, have your tissues ready. I cried through the whole book.
"A Child Called "It" gives very good descriptive details of Dave Pelzers life at a young age. You can really get a mental picture of what this poor child had to go through. I can't imagine having to life a life of pure terror of your mother. A mother is suposed to be there to protect her child, but in this book, you see the "other" side of things. I had chills down my back when reading about him having to sleep in the basement, getting his arm burned on the kitchen stove, having to be shut in a small bathroom with chemicals etc. I cried through it all. I have loaned my book out many times to friends of mine who call a few hours later and say that they have finished it because it was so good and so thought provoking. This book is not for the weak of stomach though. It gives horrific details and also has some vulgar language in it. But over all, this is the best book I've ever read and would recomend it to anyone!

11:34:22 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: erood1

I thought that A Child Called "It" was a fantastic book. It was well written and descriptive about a child being abused, physically and mentally, by his mother. I was totally engrossed with this book, I read it in less than two days. I was so suprised how good it was. The book gives descriptive imagery and although it can be disturbing at times is a great book. I was so interested with A Child Called "It" that I went right out and bought the sequel! I would recommend this book for 13-adult, and anyone interested in this subject. I also recommend the sequel it is a must if you read A Child Called "It".

11:35:07 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: fabaquarius

"A Child Called It" was a book I had seen in various book stores for the past couple of years but I never actually decided to buy it until I joined a book club. I expected the book to be about gloom and doom and just plain depressing. Boy was I in for a surprise!
Mr. Pelzer authored a book that not only made me thank my lucky stars for the loving and supportive family that I have, but it also made me more aware of the plight of some of the most vulnerable members of our society - children. The book actually made me cry not only for the abuse and torture suffered by the author, but also for the amazing will to survive such trauma. It got me to thinking, would I have been so courageous?
I have read another book surrounding the issue of child abuse and its title is "Ten Thousand Sorrows" by Elizabeth Kim. Both books center on the extraordinary will of small children to survive seemingly insurmountalbe odds inflicted upon them by those who should care for them the most.
I recommend "A Child Called It" to anyone who ever feels the need to give up. This inspiring account will most likely give the reader a reason to persevere no matter what the obstacle may be.

11:37:14 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: auntbabe

I will admit I bought this book because I sow the author on Oprah and I was hypnotized by his story. Having children and grandchildren myself I just could not believe I was hearing correctly all the horror and abuse this man had gone thru was real. So as a true Amercan skeptic I got the book with not exactly the best frame of mind…Then I started to see that the the way this man told his story and how honestly he put his life out for all of us to see it had to be real. No one would subject themselves to that unless they were publicity hounds or insane and I believer his intentions were quite the oposite… He was trying to educated people on what is happening to children right next door.

I have to say the FIRST time I read this I skipped pages because I found it very hard to read all the abuse and pain he was subjected to. I have not idea how a mother could do the things she did and still look in a mirror. The scars this boy will carry with him are beyond comprehension and to me he should be considered a hero for suffering a prisoners worst torture at a time in his life when it should have been nothing but joy, and he survived to help us all try understand it what is really going on in some homes.

11:38:28 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: DerekLyon

The book, "A child called 'it'" is on my favorite book list because I have never read a true story of a boy surviving the worst thing possible: A life without love. It is a book you wont want to put down, because you wan to see what happens next. His life starts out with the nicest, perfect, mother who has a husband who is a firefighter, and many kids. Soon, she turns on little David. She's starting to drink too much, and what's in store for David? A good novel about a child who pulls through to adulthood from the worst possible life. I recommend it for children nine and up, because there is a lot of swearing, and it is very sad. Soon, David's only defender from "The mother", his father, leaves, and David is all alone with The mother… A must read for someone who feels like a good book.

11:39:07 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Kristin622

This book is based on a true story of the the worst child abuse case ever. David Peltzer endured years of abuse at the hands of his evil mother. Peltzer took this opportunity to tell his story to the public. He vividly details the humiliation and torture he suffered before he was finally rescued by social services. This tale is told in hopes that this book will help people to understand the reality of abused children everywhere and work harder at making a difference for other children like him. Reading this book as a social worker, provided me with insight as to how these children think and feel. This book is heartbreaking and not for the easily disturbed. The abuse that Pelzer suffered in unimaginable and very disturbing. It's frustrating to read about how long it took social services to remove him.

Peltzer has gone on to use his experiences to help other including writing this book and speaking publicly. This book is number one in a series. The second book is called Lost Boy… it is good as well!

11:40:23 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: bigtones21

This must be the best book I have ever read. I usually don’t read books like this but I saw it on the NY Times Best Seller List so I decided to read it. Dave Pelzer the author of this book must have been thinking about how people would react to reading such a book when he wrote the book. The book starts out with "the rescue" telling about how he was saved from his drunken abusive mother. Knowing that he was alright must have been what got me through this book. I’m not really a very sensitive person and people who know me would say the same but this book got to me. It was so sad but I’m glad that I did read this book. This book you may not think would be good for younger people to read but I think that it is one of the best books a young person should read. I think that if more people are knowledgeable about child abuse when they are young could help to bring down the number of cases in the future. When people are young if they are exposed to what the real world is like before they venture in to it than the world could become a better place of everyone. everyone starts out being good and then people become more corrupt if they are aware of what happens when they are good they will usually want to stay good making our world a better place. this book should be read by everyone because it deals with very important issues. I would definitely recommend buying it and if you don’t want to buy it you should still read it go to your local library or something. Great book I love it and I know that you wont be disappointed. Remember that this deals with strong issues so don’t breeze through the book like many people do I think that it is good to reflect on it. recommended for all ages.

11:41:30 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: fairygoddess

I would literaly kill her. I mean, that is so sickening that a boy that young…no that ANYONE, would have to go through something that harsh. I mean, just imagine the pain he went through when his mom beat,starved,and tortured him. Imagine the rejection he felt because his mom wouldn't except him for who he was, yet she loved her other sons. When I start thinking of that, I get sick to my stomach.
How could his dad just stand by and watch? He's just as bad for not trying to even stop her!
This book sent me on a ride of emotional feelings. One minute I was crying for the pain he went through, the next I was seething angry at his parents. I finished this book in early January, and I was ready to go get the sequel, yet something stopped me from running out and getting it. Maybe I was wondering if I was ready to go back on the ride, and feel as though I was actually in the book, watching from the sidelines.

11:43:28 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: ruggie

To start with, Dave Pelzer is an amazing man. To read his story and then to realize that this man has made it through his life with his spirit intact is nothing short of unbelievable. I salute him, applaud him and praise God for giving him the strength to make it.

A Child Called "It" is a shocking story of the horrors of child abuse. It is the worst case I have ever heard of. Sadly enough, I know that it is not unique. My stomach was turning as I read Dave's story. Worse yet, was how Dave's father, his teachers, neighbors and friends did nothing. I do not place blame on anyone but this poor child's parents, but this lack of action is clearly a lesson to us all.

Someone must protect children from sick, warped individuals like Dave's mother. Dave's story of her ability to hide the abuse and convince the outside world that she is normal is sickening.

This story is a wake up call for all of us nestled in our safe homes hoping that this reality never comes calling. Its here and its ugly. If we dont help kids like Dave, who will? Thats what this book does…it wakes the reader up. It is in your face. It is right there. It is the truth about one little boy's life…and it cuts…right to our core.

11:44:17 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: KimmyP

When I first saw David Pelzer on a talk show, I was immediately interested in his story. After reading this book, I now know why I felt so intrigued by his tale. This is a true, and graphic at times, story about how a child can endure an incredible amount abuse and still become a positive adult. The book was written from a child's point of view, which made for me to think of as easy reading, in which I finished in about 3 hours. After finishing, I went out and bought the sequel "The Lost Boy", which is a continuation of his story.

11:44:57 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: karen730

Heart-wrenching yet magnetic describes this true account of David Pelzer's life as an abused child. Once one begins to read his story one is committed to learning the outcome. Written with graphic detail and lucid memory, David recounts his childhood until age 11 and allows the reader to feel his pain and experience his insufferable childhood.

The book educates us about the "secrets" associated with child abuse and emphasizes the continued need for social services for children.
The book is interesting and necessary, yet very sad. The particularly tenderhearted reader may find this book to be a difficult read. In general, however, the book is a worthwhile experience.

11:45:40 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: mommyginny

I read this book in just a little over a day. It really tugs at your heartstrings, and makes you so thankful for what you have.

This book is about an abused child who went through many horrible experiences under the hand of an abusive mother. The unimaginable things for anyone to go through, yet he grew up to be a successful adult.

I cried for this poor child, who was really richer than anyone in his family. He had faith, and came through terrible odds. It makes you want to hug your children a little tighter, and thank god for them.

It's so hard to understand how a mother could be so cruel. It really puts an awareness about child abuse.

I would recommend this book to anyone.

11:46:51 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: jkerm

Keep a box of tissues handy, you'll need it. If ever there was a story which needed to be told, Dave Pelzer's life was one. In your worst nightmare, you couldn't have imagined that such torment and cruelty exists. But I am sure it still does.

Pelzer's story reminded me of a book I read a few years ago, The Autobiography of Fredrick Douglass. It was the first time I was sickened by the inhumane treatment of another human being. Douglass's mistreatment was as a slave child during the pre-civil war period and I couldn't believe the horror and pain inflicted upon children during that time. Then I read Pelzer's book and was struck by another kind of cruelty, parental cruelty.

What was missing in the two books? Bitterness. In both cases I was stunned by the lack of bitterness. Both men had the right to be angry at the world, at their oppressors, at everyone. But they weren't. I think if they can go on in life and make something of their lives, then why should anyone be bitter or angry or resentful?

"A Boy Called It" should be a wake-up call for all of us to recognize the signs of child abuse. And it should be a wake-up call to compassion and understanding. But mostly it should remind us of how wonderful our own lives have been because we were so fortunate to have the parents and life we were born into.

11:48:09 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: shelbyw

a few months ago my mother told me to go buy this book called A child called "it", I did so thinking that this would just be another book that I would read a few pages and then it would just sit on the shelf collecting dust like most of my other books!
From the 1st page, I knew that I would not be able to put this book down, I have never done this before with a book, I felt that I was there watching everything that was happening to this boy, and how I wanted so much to help him. As a mother, I still don't understand how a parent could have done this to her child less, anyone. How ruthless and all the hate she had for him! The things she did to him and made him do, you could not wish on anyone. He tells his life so several years how people tried to help him and that it got him no where for the longest time, how he blamed himself that this was all his doing that he was the bad boy and deserved all this form his mother.
This book puts you there, you will not put this book down until the finish and you will want to go and buy the next book which is called The lost boy, it cont. about his life with his mother and as he gets older. You hate, you cry, and your heart will break……………

11:48:55 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: TickleTheBunny

David Peltzer's "A Child Called It" is literally the best book I have ever read. This true account of an abused boy's life is unthinkable, and yet, it was true. David (the author) recalls his early memories of childhood, in which his sadistic, alcoholic and unstable mother abused and tortured this poor boy, while his neglectful father failed to save him from the horrors he had to undergo. This book is a definite read--for anybody. David Peltzer followed up with two other books, "The Lost Boy" and "A Man Named Dave" which have gone on to sell several copies. The two books further document David's life and how he escaped his sordid past and went on to a brighter future, filled with oppertunity, just like everyone's life should.

11:49:42 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: jennjenn99

I hate to admit this, but I very rarely read. I picked up this book in order to pass time while taking the train to school…and I am very glad that I did! Before reading it I was unaware that such awful acts of child abuse actually existed in this country. Also, when you DO hear of things along these lines it usually comes from accounts of people who knew the victim or overheard comments…this is written by the victim in his own words (also in easy to understand language). It does contain graphic depictions of what Dave (the author) actually went through, but they are necessary in conveying the complete story. After reading it, however, you will find yourself taking a look at your own life and being thankful for all that you have. This book is a true survival story…with a very happy ending!! (Keep in mind as you read this book that the case it involves is not even the WORST case in California…very frightening) I highly suggest "A Child Called `It"

11:50:21 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: umcpgirl98

Reading A Child Called It by David Pelzer was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. I had never realized that child abuse could go so far and never be dealt with. The tales that David recalls about his childhood will haunt me for the rest of my life. This book makes me want to be a better parent once I have children. David's recollections of his abusive relationship with his mother are well told and allow you to imagine the terror that he must have felt. I highly recommend this book for anyone who needs reassurance that no matter how your life starts, there is always something that you can do to make sure that it ends up better. I also highly recommend David's second book in the series about his life, The Lost Boy. This second book looks farther into David's life and follows him as he tries to get on with his life without letting his past hinder him. Both books are extremely uplifting and I highly recommend both.

11:51:03 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: netfreek

A interesting book by all means full of descriptive writing and an interesting paragraph formation this book most definetly hold good wit and by all means is a good read anytime.
The story tells of a boys experience with abuse and his life coping and accepting it and then succesfully overcoming it.
Aboo.co.uk gives a thumbs up to this book with a touching and gripping story line.
Not many a author puts forward a subject such as abuse well but this one most definatly hits the spot without de-railing from the true facts of this subject.
We hope that all readers can enjoy this book that includes sufferers of the same abuse as this book touches and deepens all aspects that one would feel being in the same cercumstances.
Daniel Morgan

11:52:24 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: JetersGirl

A Child Called "IT" was one of the best books I have read. It is a true story about the struggle a child had to survive. As a psychology major it was of great interest to me to see how someone could endure such a life and starting at such a young age. It makes your life not seem so bad. Every one of us one time or another thought our life was bad, and sometimes because of very petty things.

Dave Pelzer lived a life that not many of us could ever imagine. It gives the big picture of what it is like to live in an abusive home. It's a true story that gives excellent detail of what his life was like as a young boy. I have to give so much credit to Mr. Pelzer to be able to put his story in print, no doubt it must have been very difficult for him to do so. To relive his past in such a detailed way, although, I am sure that it was not something that he could easily forget, although there were times where he may have wanted to do just that.

This book is an excellent read from beginning to end, and once you pick it up, I guarantee it will be hard for you to put it down, I read it in one night because I was just so into this book. I highly recommend it.

11:53:20 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: tazzytammysue

This book will keep you on your toes, you will NEVER want to put this book down. This book is horryifing. it will make you cry, it wil make you sick. You image how any mother could do this to her own child. The mother takes everything out on her son "David" known through the book only as "It" I read this book because it was reccommended to me and I couldn't put it down. I also had to go buy the other 2 stories that followed. If you care about children you have to read this book, it goes from child abuse and nothing being done about it, to saving a childs life. Thanks to all his teachers and his social worker.
To bad david still felt guilty after the whole thing was over and even after his mother passed along in the 3rd book. This book I would reccommend to anyone. This is probably the best set of books I have ever read, and the fastest. LOL

11:54:27 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: Mikalyn

I first looked at this book in my favorite book store. I was curious as to the title and so picked it up. After reading the back cover, I just had no choice but to buy it. I was hooked! The fact that the book is a true story about David's life makes this a difficult book to read at times. How can anyone possibly do any of these abuses to their flesh and blood is beyond me!! The depriving of food on a daily basis makes you glad to have food in your tummy, the forced purging is enough to make you purge yourself. I could almost smell the toxic fumes that he had to endure, as well as the burns and stabbing. You need to read this book as well as the follow up, "A child no one wanted". You will hug your kids that night, and then call your parents and thank them for not abusing you.

11:55:13 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: dcarver

This book is an autobiography written by a man who was a victim of child abuse. It is non-fiction and contains graphic content.
The author is successful in helping his readers re-live his abusive childhood by telling the story in his own voice. The content was so descriptive and vivid that there were times I had to put the book down just to regain my composure. You struggle with the author through many difficult moments, and share what went on in his mind's eye as he suffered through the torture of living in an abusive situation, and although much of the book is dark in content, the author provides hope throughout the entire journey, which makes you hungry to read on. It is the first book in a trilogy written by the author, and I recommend reading all three.

11:56:04 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: lttlchk

This book by Dave Pelzer is a remarkable piece of writing. How someone as young as he was can endure such hardships as he did is simply remarkable and incredibly lucky to have survived such an ordeal. Though at times it was incredibly difficult to read because of the content it was well worth it because it was a tale of courage and of how precious life is.

11:56:45 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: lwolke05

This book is a very good book. It is very touching and it makes you feel sorry for the boy who is being abused. The book tells about the many different ways his mother abused him and how he struggled to survive. This is a great story of survival and how the child could over come some of the things done to him.

11:57:42 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: RGzanzibar

I read this book from cover to cover when I first purchased it. Now I have everyone at work hooked on reading the series. This story is so horrible, so gut wrenching, you just want to reach out and sweep David off his feet and take care of him. I read in other posts that this book is incomplete, that the story hangs on the end. Well DUH! Its a SERIES and apparently people don't understand that when a book is part of a series, there has to be a lure to read the next book. Its an amazing story that everyone should read, from young to old. It makes you realize that your problems are inconsequential when you look at how David was abused mentally, physically and emotionally by his mother for years.

11:58:19 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: wonderful_me

This is the story of a young child's life growing up in a family where all he knew was abuse. His drunken mother treated him so badly he was close to death on many different ocassions. This is the first book of his, and it goes into very detailed descriptions of some of the things that he had to go through as a child. It is very detailed and is an easy read.

11:59:08 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: meehan18

This book is a heart-wrenching true story of a little boy who was not even treated as human. Abused and tortured by his mother, he writes about the horrors of his childhood. I read this book in high school and it gave me a new found appreciation for those horrible parents of mine. It's truly inspirational how this little boy survived the torture he was put through by his own mother. I would recommend this book to anyone.

11:59:50 Tue
Mar 9 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: angeldropsqt

The book had an excellent view point, allowing the reader to personally relate with the writer, feeling all the pain, anguish, and disgust. Even if you haven't experienced a situation this inhyper, each of us has a small part of our childhood we can relate to this self-help book, whether abuse, alcohol, or divorce. This book allows the reader to become empowered and find there own path to self-discovery and recovery.

11:57:13 Wed
Mar 10 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
This is unbelievable!! :ugone2far: Even saying that this "mother" - and I use that term very loosely - is extremely cruel and evil would still be an understatment. How anybody be so cruel? :ugone2far: Especially a mother to her own son!! I swear, I am not a violent person - but if I could get my hands on this "mother", grrrr!! :mad: This is so sickening and repulsive beyond belief!! :sick: Gee, how low can someone get? :ugone2far: And as if this wasn't baffling enough, how could she still be so loving towards her other children? :rolleyes: This "mother" is a monster!! Pure evil - with no ounce of compassion, pity, or remorse whatsoever!! Completely cold-blooded and heartless!! And extremely sadistic!! :mad:

Beating him up? Working him to death? Starving him? Making him eat feces and ammonia? Locking him in a bathroom with ammonia and clorax mixed? Making him sit in a cold tub? Making him go outside in the winter without a coat on? Burning him? Making him sleep in a cold garage without even a blanket? Need I go on? This is the sickest form of child abuse that I have ever heard of!! :mad: Poor David!! :sad:

And I cannot the school faculty had let this go on for such a long time. They must have noticed if David's "mother" made him wear the same smelly and torn clothes to school everyday!! :shocked: I don't know what the child abuse laws are in the States (and, no, I am not saying this to bash Americans - I think the American people are great, it's just some of their laws that makes me go "hmmm".) - but I am very certain that this would not have gone on so long here in Canada!!

Man, some people make me so sick!! :mad: I really feel for poor Davis Pelzer. :sad:


12:57:56 Wed
Mar 10 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
I briefly read through Page 1!

And really don't want to read this book! Where were this person's 4 other brothers?? and father?? when this was going on??
Where was the school system?? C'mon someone must have noticed what was going on??

Is it possible he is over dramatizing?

I suggest, April Wineo not read this topic!! She like me is very sensitive!

Cheers! :flowers:

17:46:27 Wed
Mar 10 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Well, I would like to believe that this stuff isn't true - simply because it's such a horrific thing to happen to anyone, especially from your own mother. I've heard of David Pelzer before - and it's not uncommon for there to be a few sceptics around. But there were other people - school faculty, social services, even relative - who seemed to confirm that the abuse did happen to him. So where I stand on this would be: as much I would like for this to not be true - it's also not fair to insinuate that he might be a liar, either. Simply because it would not be fair to him if it did happen. And I do admit that the American government does do a lot of things wrong - I can't deny that - but this might also have to do with the fact that this (supposedly?) happened in the late 60s/early 70s.

In a way, I should hope that things were better in Canada during the 60s and the 70s - because, admittedly, things were not all that great in the United States during that era. So it would actually be nice to think that things were not as bad during that era in other places, like Canada.

~ Sarah Jane

00:22:33 Thu
Mar 11 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
That sounds awful!! :sad: And I thought I had it bad. Well, my mom might have been emotionally abusive for awhile - but at least she never inflicted such torture on me as David's did on him. This woman is definitely a monster!! :mad:

23:07:13 Thu
Mar 11 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
This is very horrifying!! :shocked: I'm sure we all would like to believe that this stuff didn't really happen; but the unfortunate fact of the matter is, stuff like this does happen!! :whip: I agree that this father was a real wimp and should have taken a stand against his evil wife!! :mad: And as far as for the four brothers; I guess the evil mother had somehow managed to brainwash them into believing that David was "worthless". :ugone2far:

But, all things considered, I do tend to wonder many things myself, such as:
1. What did she teach the other four brothers in regards to how they should treat other people?
2. Did she just spoil the others rotton, or did she somehow manage to teach them moral values, even though she was evil at the core?

To name a few! :bouncered:

00:03:52 Sat
Mar 13 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"

I wasn't insinuating this person David is a liar… however,
you mean to tell his relatives etc… stood by and watched? and were aware of what was going on?

Man, right there, not only should they go after the mother but they should go after his family for not reporting this or try to put an end to this mother's abuse!

My thoughts

Cheers! :flowers:

16:02:02 Sat
Mar 13 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
They should!! :mad: That was horrible!! :babyblue:

01:36:51 Sun
Mar 14 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
People like David's "mother" should not even be allowed to exist!! :rasta:

20:06:40 Sun
Mar 14 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: AprilWineChick at 16:02:02 Sat Mar 13 2004

They should!! :mad: That was horrible!! :babyblue:

That's an understatement!

~ Sarah Jane

05:24:16 Mon
Mar 15 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
I've read this book before. It's not something that I really like to think about. But the sad fact of the matter is, stuff like this does happen. I have no idea of David's mother was able to be so cruel towards David but doting towards the others. I think the father is almost as bad as the mother for not standing up to her. He should have grabbed all the kids and left as soon as he noticed the abuse starting to happen.

Peace out.

07:33:04 Mon
Mar 15 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
I agree, Pyxi. I guess I can be grateful that at least my mom wasn't that bad. My mother is doing better, now. She should be discharged in a couple of months.

20:45:34 Sun
Jul 11 2004
Re: David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
Quote: SarahJane at 17:46:27 Wed Mar 10 2004

In a way, I should hope that things were better in Canada during the 60s and the 70s - because, admittedly, things were not all that great in the United States during that era. So it would actually be nice to think that things were not as bad during that era in other places, like Canada.

Hey, not to put down Canada - and yes, in some ways, Canada is better than the US - but I believe that child abuse is still very much of a problem here in Canada. John Derringer has been talking about it a lot on Q107. It's great that you guys love Canada and want to immigrate to Canada - but I just want to remind you things are not that perfect in Canada, either. Yes, both Canada and the US have had problems with child abuse cases that have gone on for too long - but both countries are also striving to make changes to the flaws in our (Canada and the US) government. Things probably never will be perfect with our respective governments - but we should be sure that consider ourself thankful that we can live in free countries.

Anyway, I've heard of David Pelzer - and I think it's very sad what this poor kid had to go through. :sad: I hope her sadistic monster of a 'mother' is burning in hell!! :mad: Sorry, I know I'm not supposed to talk like this - but people like her really piss me off!! :mad:


David Pelzer: A Child Called "It"
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