Book Review: A Child Called It (Dave Pelzer #1) by Dave Pelzer

Summary: 
This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it."

Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.


Release Date: September 1, 1995
Age Group: Adult
Publisher: Health Communications
Source: Borrowed

Review:
A Child Called It is such a powerful book.  I'd heard of it before, and always meant to read it "someday", but when Natalie included it in my latest stack of books to be read---yes, Natalie brings me books to read first and tell her if she'll like them---I knew I had to read it now.  And I'm so glad I did.


The only book I've ever read about child abuse is April Maley's I Will Not Be Silent (read my review here).  And I Will Not Be Silent told April's entire life story, from childhood to adulthood.  A Child Called It is written from David's perspective as a child.  The book chronicles his life from age four to age 12.  The prose reflects his thinking as a child, and serves to make the story more poignant.

I expected to sob my way through A Child Called It, and I was so surprised that I did not cry until the very end.  I think that I was too horrified to cry.  Just when I thought that things could not get any worse for David, they did.  I felt so badly for him and just wanted to reach through the book and hug him.

I loved how the book ends with a letter from David, telling you what his life is like now, as an adult.  I needed the reassurance that he grows up and makes a good life for himself 

I would recommend this book to anyone. It is excellent, moving, and makes you want to stand up and do something for abuse victims.  I plan to read the next two books by David, The Lost Boy, and A Man Named Dave.


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