Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Story” as Want to Read:
My Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

My Story

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  6,550 ratings  ·  484 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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.
Sabrina Robinson
Sep 02, 2007 Sabrina Robinson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Yusra Zainab Laghari
Jan 24, 2010 Yusra Zainab Laghari rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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 arised several question
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
Barbara Kinsky
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!!
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.
Tracy L.
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.
irish camela
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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.
Lovie Taylor
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.:-(
Linda Johnson
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.
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.
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!!!
Khizer hussain
A year ago i saw my sister reading this book on a sofa i requested what she was reading. she told me she was reading this book named MY STORY by Dave Pelzer in which he has deliberated how hard he spent his lifetime till then he wrote his book. He writes about his alcoholic mother who ill-treated her every additional day in his life. i thought the book would be stimulating I wanted to read how evil can a mother be to her child who she gives birth after having hard 9 months. After a few weeks whe ...more
I'm sorry...child abuse is a very serious issue and I'm glad the author is bringing it to light by writing this book, but there are several things that just don't sit well with me. My gut tells me that this is untrue. I read this once before several years ago and I became very emotional, but I wanted to give it another read and a second opinion. I'm not saying it doesn't sit well with me because it's's extremely disturbing and an awful account of terrible abuse, but the entire ti ...more
Noelle Ortegel
Noelle Ortegel
Ms. Rogal
Strategic Reading
18 November 2008
“A child named it”
By: Dave Pelzer

I believe that Dave Pelzer wrote the book “A child Named It” to let people know that ever day there is some child in this world getting emotionally, mentally, or physically abused. In this story there is a little boy who all he wants is to be loved by his mother, but yet she don’t love him she treats him like dirt, he is her slave. She’s drunk hurting him inside and out. Dave Pelzer intended this book for p
I'm not sure how indept this one book get's into the horrible childhood of this man and his brother's, but I got a very thourough read in the first print's of it, in three book's. This was one of the worste child abuse case's in California history and possibly US history, that we know of anyway. It really makes you wonder if the boy's mother wasn't merely an unstable alcoholic. Look's to me that she may very well have also been manic or bi-polar of some extreme kind. Their father was a fireman ( ...more
A Boy Called It-I never got around to reading the other two books of his,but I decided I wanted to do that so I re-read the first one. Wow. I forgot how amazing this book was. I read it cover to cover today without putting it down once and I almost never do that. It was amazing and heart retching and terrifying to think that things like that really go on. An excellent book that EVERYONE should read and it's a really simple short read too.
The Lost Boy-This was just as good as the first. It expla
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

I can't put it into words. I had to re-read sections and chapters. It was hard to believe that the system was so broken and that he survived when you read his story. It shows me that good will always triumph over evil and there is evil in this world. I kept waiting for him to fall down that hole and make excuses but it did not happen. He was able to see beyond it and learn from it. If only everyone could see things that way. It should be a read for students in middle school, high school and coll ...more
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
An amazing story of a man who suffered at the hands of his abusive, violent alcoholic mother, but was able to survive and overcome his situation through his own strength of will and with the help of teachers, social workers, and foster parents. He may have to deal with the emotional and psychological scars everyday, but he is strong enough to still find a way to live a meaningful and happy life. He shows that children who have experienced such horrendous abuse and travel through the foster care ...more
A Boy Called It-I never got around to reading the other two books of his,but I decided I wanted to do that so I re-read the first one. Wow. I forgot how amazing this book was. I read it cover to cover today without putting it down once and I almost never do that. It was amazing and heart retching and terrifying to think that things like that really go on. An excellent book that EVERYONE should read and it's a really simple short read too.

The Lost Boy-This was just as good as the first. It explai
My sister recommended me this book and I wish she never did. Not because it is a boring book, but because it is so so sad. I cannot believe someone went through so much pain and abuse and came out the other side a better and stronger person.

Reading the pain this person went through was so unbearable. I cannot believe someone can inflict so much pain and sadness on their own child. Although so many people visited the household no one opened there eyes and investigated enough so see what was truly
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Wrong page count 1 9 Nov 23, 2012 06:04AM  
  • A Teenager's Journey
  • Ugly
  • Betrayed
  • The Kid
  • Behind Closed Doors: A True Story of Abuse, Neglect and Survival Against the Odds
  • Abandoned
  • Child C: Surviving a Foster Mother's Reign of Terror
  • Please, Daddy, No
  • Don't Tell Mummy: A True Story of the Ultimate Betrayal
  • Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Is a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Murphy's Boy
  • Don't Ever Tell: Kathy's Story: A True Tale of a Childhood Destroyed by Neglect and Fear
  • The Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
  • True Tales of Animal Heroes
  • The Little Prisoner
  • Broken
  • Mummy Told Me Not to Tell
  • Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed by Those They Trusted
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...
A Child Called "It" The Lost Boy A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness The Privilege of Youth: A Teenager's Story Dave Pelzer 3 Book Set~A Child Called It/The Lost Boy/A Man Named Dave

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“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.” 16 likes
More quotes…