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My Story

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  9,161 Ratings  ·  588 Reviews
A CHILD CALLED 'IT' is Dave Pelzer's story of a child beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played torturous, unpredictable games that left one of her three sons nearly dead.

Dave was no longer considered a son, or a boy, but an 'it'. His bed was an old army cot in the basement and when he was allowed food it was scraps from the dog
Paperback, 437 pages
Published September 16th 2004 by Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) (first published 1995)
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Morgan Fisher It is about the same child yes but there are three books all together. I do believe A Child Called It is the first book, it is then proceeded by The…moreIt is about the same child yes but there are three books all together. I do believe A Child Called It is the first book, it is then proceeded by The Lost Boy and then A Man Named Dave(less)
Krison Tan I am using it for my 7th graders. The language is accessible and themes are relevant for their age group.

Community Reviews

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Sabrina Robinson
Sep 02, 2007 Sabrina Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: helping professionals
Shelves: non-fiction
Hardest thing I every had to read. The first time I read them by choice and since I did not have small children I was only appalled on the most basic level. Now with a five year old and having to read it again for class, I am tortured. I want to reach through the pages and choke the mom out. Also I am furious at the so-called "saviors" who finally after years at looking at evidence of the most heinous abuse finally decided to "risk" their jobs and call the police. Don't get me started. This book ...more
Jan 08, 2008 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this for work and I struggled my way through it. This was and still is the hardest book I've ever read. I wish it were a fiction. When I finished reading this mans story, I couldn't have it in my house anymore. I gave it to a friend of mine who is a teacher and asked her to pass it on when she was done. She told me she also struggled to get through it but felt that all teachers should read Dave's story. It's a sad and disgusting example of how so many people failed him.
Yusra Zainab Laghari
Jul 26, 2009 Yusra Zainab Laghari rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who think of quitting
It took a very long time for me to finish this book. Probably, because It was an exceedingly depressing book and the fact that it repeated a lot of things again and again. So much repetation made it hard for me to continue reading this book beyond 300 pages. I literally closed the book and didnot tough it for a month or so.
I have very mixed feelings for this book. No doubt, this book indeed helped in enhancing my knowledge and understanding of child abuse victims, but it arose several questions
Sep 16, 2013 Roudha_a_145506 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. But i think it was a hard book to read, not because of the words but because of the feelings that this book give you. I almost cried reading what horrible things the mother was doing to her child. She would force him to do everything. Not everything about his life was bad. At the beginning his mother was very nice to him she took care of him just like how she takes care of her children. The story was almost all about child abuse. The mother use to hit him with very sharp th ...more
Jun 27, 2009 Regan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Story is a book that you will not be able to put down. You will wake in the night, wanting to just read the next chapter (then the next, then the next!!). It is so tragic you can only wish that it weren't true. Anybody who has children will give them extra hugs while reading this book. It is the true story of a boy mentally and physically abused by his mother from the age of 4 until his rescue.

This is truly a story of bravery beyond imagination. It is hard to imagine a child going through thi
Barbara Kinsky
Aug 30, 2011 Barbara Kinsky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-biographies
Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!! If there is a book anybody should read it should be this one. Not for the faint-hearted though as some of the things this mother does to her child would be extremely sensitive to some readers as this book explicitly describes how she abuses her son. One cannot believe that somebody could be so cruel to their own child. This book does end on a very good note, though. A MUST read!!
Jun 27, 2012 Martine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dave's remarkable story both shocks and offers a message of hope. It is hard to believe that some people do the horrible things they do, especially to vulnerable children. What he went through as a child was worse than hell. What I remember is his lack of self-esteem, his feelings of guilt, which kept haunting him as an adult. He made it. That is an exceptional achievement.
Oct 06, 2010 Cris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tracy L.
Sep 19, 2011 Tracy L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Considering the topic, I really thought the book was well written. It gave the reader a good idea on how David felt as a child while he was being abused mentally and physically. Once I started reading the book, I could not put it down. This book makes you realize the importance of what we say and doo, and how others interpret those words.
Jan 02, 2014 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this years ago.

I cried my eyeballs out. Gut wrenching, heart wrenching and in the end, sweet triumph that still makes you cry. Since reading these 3 books there has never been any other series or single book that has made me cry as much as.

I often ponder about rereading these, but I can't bear the thought of the emotional tsunami that it would erupt.
Jenni Shaw-olsen
very sad story of a mother's betrayal to her son. but very inspiring how he turned it all around. very addictive read
Jul 21, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'My Story' by Dave Pelzer, particularly the first third of the book, is one hell of a harrowing read. It's three books that have been compiled into one volume: 'A Child Called It', 'The Lost Boy', and 'A Man Named Dave'; an apparently true account of a man's experience of extreme child abuse at the hands of his sadistic, psychotic alcoholic mother, who overcomes his experiences of trauma against all odds.

'A Child Called It', the first book in the series, is stomach churning and absolutely horrif
Apr 25, 2012 Kuan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This is not an easy book to read through. As I read this book, I can’t imagine how a mother could abuse her own flesh and blood to this extent. His mother never failed to shock me of the kind of “games” she could come up with, and the kind of lies she could come up with to cover up her sins whenever social worker and police officer checked on them. I am disappointed when his passive father chose to leave the family instead of stopping the abuse.

My heart goes out to the young David and I can’t im
Jan 23, 2012 Nhi rated it really liked it
This trilogy is such a powerful and gut wrenching tale of a man who had one of the most darkest childhoods in the U.S. We all know there are stories of children who have had it worse but just reading this one will actually break you down emotionally.

While reading this, I found it difficult to read continuously and just had to take a break just to escape the rawness of Dave's storytelling. I liked the breaks in the tales to represent the transition of growing up. As I finished the book, I am so

irish camela
Aug 23, 2011 irish camela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first part of the book is about the author’s misery, fear and how the abuse impacted on his life as he grew up, his struggle to develop meaningful relationships with his mother, father and siblings and for how many years he was misunderstood. (I had a hard time reading this book. I can’t believe that his mother can do such cruel act and badly abused him. I can’t believe that all has been told is true, that it really happened.) The second one highlights the trauma of and confusion of being pa ...more
This is another one of those books where I say it is difficult to like.

But this is for another reason.

I have no doubt that some of the things reported by the memoirist actually happened, but the focus on the first book is the torture, and the focus on the subsequent two books in this anthology is also the childhood torture even though the focus should be on the life he was living at the time as an adult.

Pelzer is a very savvy businessman and knows what sells. He also knows how to sell himself. H
Aug 28, 2011 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
I don't think I've ever been as angry and appalled as i was when I read this book. When I originally read this book I was still a minor living with my mom, and I could not fathom the pain this little boy went through at the hands of his mother. I wanted to find her and throttle her for what she did to him. I was also disgusted by the adults that came across him- his "saviors", and thought that they should be in jail for their stupidity. No child deserves this type of treatment! I would recommend ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read these while in middle and high school. They made my heart HURT! The author was later on Oprah, and the book sky-rocketed. I cannot say that this was a book I enjoyed reading, but it was sonething I feel as though had to be read. You cannot learn from the mistakes of the past, if you do not know what they are. Everyone deserves to tell their stories, unfortunately, some are more painful than others.

These books were hard to read emotional, but were written well. Full of description and fee
Jan 08, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with the previous review. This was on of the hardest books I had to read. Not because of the writting, but because of the content. The things this man had to go through as a child ripped at my heart. There was one point I actually had to stop reading for a while because I just felt awful for him.

While this isn't the regular type of book I read, I'm glad I did. While I may not run across a child in those circumstances to help, it makes me love and appreciate my son even more.
Amy Lau
Sep 13, 2010 Amy Lau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would highly recommend this book. It is a very depressing book that tells a story of a young boy that gets abused by his alcoholic mother. It was all about this author's childhood gone horrible with the extreme abuse, the torture and suffering. The author described everything he went through, all the pain he had to go through, how he felt and everything.This book was a hard one to read yet I couldn't put it down.
Zainab Alnazer
Jul 12, 2016 Zainab Alnazer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book brought tears to my eyes. Explaining child abuse in a way that I have never imagined before. I feel like it has to be spread and everybody has to read it so their voice reaches societies. And I found it inspiring how things have changed in his life, triumph after a long-hard battle with suffer and starve. Writer did good job making me feel what David has gone through as if it were me. I still have un-answered questions of why his mother would treat him the way she did.
Linda Johnson
Apr 18, 2010 Linda Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hard terrible story of survival by one small defenseless boy whom nobody seemed to notice being tortured and starved by his sick mother. The following books tell of his life subsequent to his horrific childhood and escape from his psychopathic mother.
Lovie Taylor
Jan 28, 2010 Lovie Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so sad. The boy gets abused too much. If you read this i think you would feel bad and start crying like i did. I personally reccommend this book to every one. And to think that this is real and there is a kid out there that is getting abused like this one.:-(
Pattie williams
Jul 17, 2009 Pattie williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a real life horror story that is told simply and straightforward. dave's childhood was "lost" . . .one can't help but compare their own relationship to their family as one reads this. i'm so very, very thankful that i had been blessed with loving parents.
Dec 11, 2011 Noni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shocking - violent but not angry. This story shows how a child can grow to adapt to the most sickening abuse, and then as an adult, embody the things he wished he saw in others growing up. Admirable - and without ego.
Kyla Corrigan
Such a compelling story as much as "The Mother"'s behaviour disgusted and revolted me, Dave's strength and determination inspired me. Many a time I was moved to tears throughout this book. Definitely a must read for anyone!!!
Jun 24, 2014 Marcy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished this trilogy. A very tough read, but could not put it down. It's hard to believe that a parent would treat a child like this & nog bed held responsible for it. Hopefully things have changed in the last 30 years. A very strong story of survival.
Dec 18, 2009 Constance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story! I read before I even had children and I was sobbing uncontrollably which made my husband ask why I kept reading, I just couldn't put it down. Hard to believe there are monsters like his mother out there!!!
Denise Campbell
Heart warming and touching. As a child from an abusive home it helped to me to see what others have gone through. As a school employee you see children daily and have no idea sometimes just what they endure. You may possibly be the only positive person they encounter.
Apr 09, 2009 Libby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobio
Sociopathic serial killers are created from less abuse than he endured...the fact that he actually dealt with the abuse, became an incredibly generous member of society and stopped the cycle of abuse is just incredible. Harrowing stuff indeed.
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An author best known for his 1995 memoir of childhood abuse, A Child Called It.

At the age of 12, Dave was removed from an abusive home and placed in a series of foster homes. In 1979, he joined the Air Force and later became an author of memoirs and self-improvement books.
More about Dave Pelzer...

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“That day I vowed to myself that I would never, ever again give that bitch the satisfaction of hearing me beg her to stop beating me.” 20 likes
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