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My Story: "A Child Called It", "The Lost Boy", "A Man Named Dave"

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  8,164 ratings  ·  539 reviews
Dave Pelzer's remarkable journey from a child who lived in terror of his unstable, violently unpredictable mother's every move, to his emergence as an inspiration the world over is a remarkable tale of survival and the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

Dave Pelzer's three volumes of memoirs - A Child Called 'It', The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave - brought this st
Paperback, 437 pages
Published 2002 by Orion Books (first published 1995)
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Krison Tan I am using it for my 7th graders. The language is accessible and themes are relevant for their age group.
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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
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
Yusra Zainab Laghari
Jan 24, 2010 Yusra Zainab Laghari rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
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
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!!
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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.
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.
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.
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
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

May 08, 2012 Kuan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Oct 23, 2011 Lissa added it
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
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
Amanda Dowell

A Child Called It: One Child's courage to survive is a nonfiction drama autobiography about a child named Dave Pelzer who gets physically and mentally abused since the age of four. He is the second child out of five siblings. Dave is the only child that gets abused at home. At the very beginning of the book, Officer Smith comes to his school and takes him out of class to take him to a better home and tell him that he is now "free" from his mother. While they are talking, Dave looks back at his t
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.
The memoir, A Child a Called "It" by Dave Pezler takes place in the 1960's. The main characters are Dave, the mom, the dad, amd the two brothers. The setting of this book is mostly at Dave's house. Dave is only about 7 years old when he first starts to get abused by his mother. He had a perfect life until his mother started to become an alcoholic. Dave has two brothers but he is the only one that gets abused. My opioion of this book is that is was very interesting because it shows that not ever ...more
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.:-(
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.
Eric Parr
This three book set is captivatingly honest as Dave tells of his horrific yet true tale of physical abuse, and the journey he too to overcome the personal emotional, physical, and psychological barriers created from his experiences. A "read-again" for sure.
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!!!
Johnson Hsieh
"A child called it"
Dave Pelzer
I think when there's domestic violence, everyone should talk to police or teacher as soon as possible.Domestic violence is very serious.There are some of the examples that children died.So this is very important.
This book was a little bit violent when Dave got burned.
I recommend teens to read this book.This story is kind of talking about the stage of teens.Although some parts are inappropriate, some other parts are even better.Maybe most of the children will like th
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
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Wrong page count 1 9 Nov 23, 2012 06:04AM  
  • A Teenager's Journey
  • Betrayed
  • Ugly
  • The Kid
  • Broken
  • Please, Daddy, No
  • Don't Tell Mummy: A True Story of the Ultimate Betrayal
  • The Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
  • The Little Prisoner
  • Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Is a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Murphy's Boy
  • Questions and Answers on Death and Dying: A Companion Volume to On Death and Dying
  • Child C: Surviving a Foster Mother's Reign of Terror
  • Abandoned
  • Behind Closed Doors: A True Story of Abuse, Neglect and Survival Against the Odds
  • Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed by Those They Trusted
  • Suffer the Child
  • Cry Silent Tears: The Heartbreaking Survival Story of a Small Mute Boy Who Overcame Unbearable Suffering and Found His Voice Again
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.
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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.” 17 likes
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