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A Brother's Journey: Surviving a Childhood of Abuse

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  4,842 Ratings  ·  236 Reviews
Mom has no one like David around to beat on anymore. I am more afraid of her than ever...I get in more trouble for anything I do or say. Now I find that I'm always in trouble and I don't know why. Now that David is gone, I'm afraid that she will try to kill me, like she tried to kill him. I'm afraid that she will treat me like an animal like she did him. I'm afraid that no ...more
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Published January 1st 2005 by Grand Central Publishing (first published September 5th 2000)
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Apr 05, 2010 MissSusie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
If you've read A Child Called It you should read this book. It is told from the perspective of David's younger brother Richard who was his mother's "Little Nazi" when David was in the home and after David was taken away he became It.
The things that went on in this home just boggle the mind I hope that something like this would not be able to happen in this day and age, that they took one child away and left the rest in the “care” of this insane woman is just unfathomable.
This story will break yo
Dec 12, 2007 Kewpie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This might be a good suggestion for readers who can't get enough of Dave Pelzer's stories. This book retells the Child Called It story and continues afterwards. Richard Pelzer discusses witnessing the abuse of his brother and then having the abuse turned towards himself. The pace is slower and it is not as well written. It still offers an interesting perspective.
Jen Donnelly
Aug 13, 2007 Jen Donnelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, read2007
Dave's books were really good, and this just...wasn't. Richard seemed to repeat himself over and over. I hate that he went through so much, but I had pretty much heard all about it in Dave's books.
Liza Fireman
Apr 13, 2016 Liza Fireman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is such a waste of time. I read it to get the brother's perspective of the situation and story in A Child Called "It", written by Dave Pelzer, the brother of the author.
Richard doesn't even talk about the abuse of David, he is very busy being angry at him, because he is now in the that position and he needs to face his mother. He was the tattle-taler before, and now he is angry because the victim has disappeared.
Richard seemed to repeat himself over and over. And his story is not that
Jan 13, 2009 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked Dave Pelzer books
After reading A Boy called IT, A Man Named Dave, and The Lost Boy I had a lot of questions that were left unanswered. For example why did Dave's mother only abuse Dave? I found this book by Richard Pelzer and it was like a continuation of where Dave left off. Unfortunately, once Dave was removed from the home his mother turned the abuse on to another child - Richard. This book explains from Richard's point of view what he went through as a child and what his mother did to him.

I read the book in
Aug 06, 2009 Karla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Richard B. Pelzer is the younger brother of David Pelzer, author of the incredibly inspirational story of survival detailed in his personal memoirs, beginning with "A Child Called It".

Richard's memoir is a must read for anyone who has been moved by the story of his brother David, as it provides an important point of view in this story of horrific abuse--that of a sibling who first participated in the family's abuse of David, and then after David was removed from his abuse environment, as the ne
Jun 15, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't help but notice some of the glaring contradictions to his brother's book. It seems to me as if this is a sort of 'hey, don't forget about me! I was abused too!' book. While he admits that his brother had it MUCH worse than he ever did, it seems to me that he wrote this in hopes of convincing others, and mainly himself, that he isn't a bad person for instigating and adding to the abuse of his brother. I don't know how I feel about him, but I certainly hate the mother even more now. I h ...more
Jul 28, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Another view from Davids brother Richard on what went on in that abusive home with their mother/monster. A captivating story on childhood abuse that went on for years with more than one child involved. Sad but reminds people that reading such a story makes it real and instils in one to help stop this sort of parental abuse on their children whom they are supposed to protect. A very good read. Contination saga of this poor family.
Mar 11, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a sequel of a sort to A Child Called It A Child Called "It" One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer. A Child Called It follows the true story of David Pelzer as he survives the abuse at the hands of his mentally ill, alcoholic mother. David is moved from his home at age 12. A Brother's Journey follows David's brother Richard. Richard becomes the new scapegoat for the mother's abusive rages after David is removed from the home. This story is particularly interesting because Richard offers a glimpse of the twisted role siblings can play in a ...more
Renee Watson

This story gives a heartbreaking personal look into child abuse during a time when no one stepped in to help. The ending w Aaron s disappointing though..I wanted to know the rest of the story(that's all I'm saying to prevent spoilers). I read all of his brother's(Dave Pelzer) accounts of what happened to him, and I was always curious about what happened to Dave's brothers when the was finally taken away,and this novel answered many of the questions for me; however, the needing
Apr 13, 2014 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was difficult to read, the writing was not the best, he could have used a good editor, I have some doubts as to the legitimacy, and at times I literally had to put the book down and take a few deep breaths for fear of being sick. Still, his details and descriptions are vague or underdeveloped at times, leaving the reader to wonder what is he talking about, what really happened, or what happened next? Richard frequently repeats himself, and at times I got the feeling that he was trying ...more
Jan 13, 2011 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard is one of David's older brother's. Richard was used by their mother to get at oportunities to abuse her youngest even more. Richard and the other brother (as so unamed) did do much that they made sure Dave got blamed for as children, if for no other reason to protect themselves, this is the story through much of their childood with their mother. After David got removed by child services, Richard and the remaining son became the sole point of torture, neglect and abuse by their mother. Sh ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
This is the book that David Pelzer's brother, Richard, wrote about his ordeal after David left home. When David was there, Richard functioned as Mother's Nazi." He tattled about every little thing Richard did and often lied to get him in trouble. Several years younger, his mother groomed him from the time he could talk.

After David left, Richard became the outcast and as he became more and more abused, he felt terrible about the part he played in his brother's life. Eventually, he became "The boy
Nov 04, 2009 Gwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-read, memoir
A Brother's Journey is a sequel-esque book, following up in an abusive household that A Child Called It (David) was able to escape when he was 12. The book is told from the younger brother's viewpoint: how he treated his older brother and what happened after his brother left. This book was not as visually/emotionally engaging for me as A Child Called IT. When I read that book I ached in knowing what type of horrible child abuse happened within the household of an alcoholic, possible mental illne ...more

This book tells more about the abuse suffered by the Pelzer boys at the hands of their Mother. This time the tale is told by David’s younger brother Richard. It once again horrified me that their mother was able to act, unstopped by the authorities in such a drunken, violent and mentally unstable manner. Especially as it sounds from what Richard has to say that they lived in a respectable suburb of San Francisco and the neighbours were well aware of what w
Nov 03, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
After reading A Child Called It, I thought it couldn't get any worse. I was wrong. The Pelzer's mother continues her torture and abuse upon her son Richard once David is removed from the home. The abuse is often different than what David suffered, but horrific nonetheless. Some details may be difficult to read for some. Similar to A Child Called It, you see how Richard developed coping mechanisms to live under the torture his mother inflicted upon him. The book is written with the insight Mr. Pe ...more
Oct 28, 2007 Dayna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was some controversy about David's account - some siblings said that he had exaggerated and was lying in order to get attention and make a career out of his suffering. This book confirms David's story, as his brother saw events the same way. David was abused by his mother and also by his other siblings.

This book also shows how people in similar situations can have very different views on life. David doesn't believe in God. He believes that God never helped out of his abuse (it was David's
Jul 22, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing,the will to survive these children had. Richard B. Pelzer is the younger brother of David, who wrote, " A child named it", "Lost Boy" and a "Man Name Dave." Richard went from the position in the family of their mothers little partner in crime taunting " IT" ( David) to "IT" himself after David was finally removed by Social Services after years of hanis abuse was endured. Richard became the focus of her attacts as a result of untreated mental illness and alchol abuse. Although three other ...more
Vanessa Sanchez
Mar 13, 2015 Vanessa Sanchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really did like this book. I don't read at all but this book opened up my eyes. I just have to find the right subject and I’ll click to it. I liked this book because Richard told us what he went through and he was so strong to write about it and publish it out to the world to read. Letting others know what you’ve been through in the past is very hard and also very emotional. He did very well on explaining hes feeling. The way he clarified his feelings it made me feel like I was there going thr ...more
Nov 29, 2009 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These books about life in the Pelzer household are difficult to read. It is hard to imagine the type of abuse that went on. Having read Dave Pelzer's books, I found it that much more interesting to read Richard's explanation of why he treated his brother the way he did--and the guilt and struggles he had when David left and his mother began to abuse him instead. I "remembered" a lot of the incidents in this book..some from Dave's point of view, but I also think I may have read this one when it c ...more
Jan 13, 2010 Shaylynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Child Named It was a huge book during my high school years, I never read it but I came across this book. Oh it crushed me, it tells the story of David's brother. I won't go into too much detail. It left me with a huge desire to change the world, and want to go out and find any child who is suffering abuse by a parent. 5 Stars for the fact that this made lived to tell his tale, and find some way to find a way to move on.
Jul 24, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by the brother of Dave Pelzer, Richard tells the story of his betrayal to his brother by becoming a "Little Nazi" often making up lies to his mother so that David would get more beatings. Though this was a matter of survival in a house full of unspeakable abuse, Richard has never truly forgiven himself. Once David was removed, Richard became the prime candidate to receive regular beatings, believing it was punishment for his treatment of David. This is a very personal book.
Aug 09, 2011 Ema rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading A Child Called It, I had lots of questions that went unanswered. While Pelzer's story isn't as horrific as his brothers, he provides insight into his mother's mind better than David did. It was like a continuation of where David left off, showing how the "little Nazi" became his mother's next victim.

Maggie Goodwin
Feb 19, 2011 Maggie Goodwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As daft as it sounds, it took me a long time to actually read this book, after reading the Boy called it collection I was so angry I couldn't bring myself to read his brothers book. However I'm glad I did, I think you forget sometimes what it's like to be a child & the things we see as so obviously wrong now, seem so different when you're a child.
Cathy Schnabel
Sep 24, 2010 Cathy Schnabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very difficult to ready. It is an amazing story of survival in the most horrid of circumstances. I recommend anyone who works with children, should read this book. I would especially recommend this for teachers and law enforcement officials. It just helps all of us to be aware of circumstances and the need to stand up for children.
Not as well written as his brother's memoir A Child Called It, but for those who liked A Child Called It, you should read this one as well. I know that some think Richard capitalized on his brother David's success with A Child Called It, but Richard's story is worth reading. I'm amazed at the popularity of these books with teen readers.
Aug 27, 2010 Mick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good... It was good. I guess not as gripping as 'a child called it.' It was neat as a sort of further story of the family. Like his brother's books, they end suddenly and leave most of your questions unanswered, but since it's a story of real life, I guess that's how life is sometimes.
Feb 09, 2017 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was very depressing and unsettling but well-written. I remembered reading Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It and this book I just read is from his younger brother Richard Pelzer. Yes, Pelzer repeated some parts about his brother's abuse but I think his experience from his own abuse from his mother is different from David's. If I remember correctly, David had no support from his brothers or neighborhood, but his school and dad supported him and pulled him away from his mother. Whereas Richard Pel ...more
Jan 19, 2017 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brothers Journey was a very good and well written book it was made by Richard Pelzer, a brother of David Pelzer who wrote a book shortly before about his expeirience living with child abuse. Richard wrote about the story from his eyes and what it as like when David went to foster cae, he showed his fear that the mother was going to hurt them like she did David, this book had me on the edge of my seat and just like the child called it I certanly cried.
Feb 14, 2017 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not quite sure why I read this. It was quite disjointed and didn't really seem to have a point, other than describing the horrific abuse the author endured.
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“The value of just one soul is greater than any single thing upon this earth. For there can be nothing greater than raising a child in preparation for that journey back to where he came from, a place where his immortal father lives, a place known as heaven, a place called home.” 0 likes
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