A Child Called "It" (Dave Pelzer, #1) A Child Called "It" discussion

Ann's review: A Child Called It

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Ann Porter Child abuse is sadly very prevalent in our society. Some parents or guardians do not think of their child as a person, but rather as their own personal property that they can discipline however they see fit. Those parents often have psychological or substance abuse issues and take out all of their inner frustrations on their child for no reason. That is how A Child Called “It”, an autobiography by Dave Pelzer, is. In this book, Pelzer tells his own story about growing up with an abusive, horrible mother and gives examples for some of the unnecessary punishments he endured.
Pelzer grew up with alcoholic parents and he was the target of his mother’s rage. He went without food for days and tried to steal from people at school or the store, he had to do chores in a ridiculously short amount of time, and he was inhumanly punished for everything he did wrong. Some of his punishments included throwing up the food he stole and then eating his own vomit, getting his baby brother’s soiled diaper smeared across his face, laying on his back on a flaming stove, and drinking bleach. His mother physically and emotionally abused him throughout the book, one time “accidentally” stabbing him with a kitchen knife.
This book tugged at my heart strings from the first to the last page. It was so sad to see what Pelzer went through and all of the punishments he endured. I felt sorry for him and was angry that neighbors and the school staff did not stop the terrible things that happened to him. The strengths in this book are the vivid imagery and detail of each scenario. Although it was difficult to read, the way he described what he went through was detailed and I could picture each one of his terrifying memories. Some people might find it a bit graphic, but I think the descriptive details provide the reader with a true sense of what he went through.
Dave Pelzer wrote a second book entitled The Lost Boy. This book tells how he got away from his mother and bounced around the foster care system. He was never in one place for very long and all through his adolescent years, he struggled with emotional issues. Dave Pelzer likes to write about his own life and try to inform people about the tortures of child abuse and try to bring a stop to it.
I thought this book was outstanding. It was difficult to read because of all of the pain he endured, but it brought to light how prevalent child abuse is. Also, he makes clear that if you are fortunate enough not to experience child abuse, you are lucky and should be grateful. I have recommended this book to my friends and parents. I think that everyone should be informed on the horrors of child abuse and try to work to eliminate it and protect children.

Jenna Farris I agree with you! This book was great for many reasons. Pelzer writes using many techniques that are helpful for the reader (imagery, word choice, description). Overall, he taught me a very important lesson that I would not have thought about before: Be grateful for what you have in life. This book really changed me, and I would recommend it to everyone.

Lorraine Cobcroft I found this book, and The Lost Boy, very difficult to read. My husband suffered cruel separation from his family, deprivation and abuse. I told his story in ''The Pencil Case: They Stole Us White Kids Too''. It was a very different story, but one with disturbing similarities.
The effects of abuse and deprivation of affection last a lifetime and pass down to the next generation. There is no escape from the psychological damage child abuse and deprivation of affection cause. That adult you admire for surviving is broken inside, and the break will never quite mend. Pelzer describes the suffering vividly, but he doesn't reveal much of the long-term effect it had on him. Clearly, he is a survivor, and one with admirable strength and courage - another of the many who keep the broken parts of themselves well hidden from public view, exposed only to those closest to them.
Pelzer's story was too close to home for comfort, but well-written. He is to be commended for having the courage to tell his story. I hope it is widely read, so that more people are made aware of the horrors of child abuse and the need to be ever vigilant and ready to step forward to protect any child who may be suffering.
It should be compulsory reading for every pregnant woman, every expectant father, every parent, and for everyone who works with children.

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