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


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What do you think about this book being fake?

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message 1: by Kendra (last edited Mar 05, 2012 06:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kendra I couldn't believe it when i heard it but yes this book is fake. and its not a rumor he said this on the oprah show


Tasha I've not heard anything about this book being fake. Where was this stated, and was there any actual proof that the story is fake?


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy Yes, I'd also be interested in seeing the source of this book being fake. If it is truly fake, I would be sickened by the fact the author would pretend this was his horror when so many children suffer real abuse every day.


message 4: by Melissa (last edited Feb 21, 2012 07:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melissa I've read speculations about the book being fake, but I've also read the book written by this guy's brother which backs up much of what is detailed in this book.

I don't believe it is fake unless you have compelling evidence.


Brenda I don't know what to think- depends what is 'fake'-
I certainly would not be sane, much less able to write a book about it if even half of it were true.


Tasha I've read the entire series and listened to several interviews given by Mr Pelzer. While I certainly don't profess to be a mindreader, I simply don't believe the accusations of those who report that this is false...especially since much of it is based on the "it doesn't sound right" theory. *shrug*


Isabella Tugman - Audiobook Narrator I don't think this is fake. Even if it were, as tragic and horrific as his childhood was, he's not alone. There are some really messed-up parents out there abusing their kids in similar ways.

Just the other day I saw a Dr. Phil episode where a little girl's parents had kept her locked in a pitch-black closet for 6 years, where she was regularly starved, sexually and physically abused, and covered in her own feces.

Fake or not, A Child Called It is an eye-opener into childhood abuse that is very real.


Ashley Gingell I do not believe this book is fake. The author was once on Oprah discussing his books and his childhood. I am not confused with the author of "A Million Pieces" I do know this his accounts were false. But yes I do believe this is a true account of an overly abused little boy.


Nicole It was not fake, it was backed up by others in his family and he also gives actual names of associations that finally came to his aid. It's too in depth of a story and you just can't make up some of the stuff that happens in this and his brothers books. The fact that people would believe that these books and his bro's books are fake and that they're lying is unbelievable to me. I'm thinking that the rumor of it being fake might have been started by his former abuser(s). The fact that he uses his real name should give people a clue that he doesn't feel he needs to hide anything because all he's doing is telling the story of his life to help others by telling them that they do have options to get help and shows how you can overcome almost anything.


Sarah If this book were to end up being fake, not that I would be surprised given the state of the world, it would be awful because I know a great deal of people inspired by this book along with its series.


Megan Collier I have heard the rumors about the book being fake but I don't believe them. He has way too much evidence to back up his claims and why would they have taken him out of the hoe if there wasn't a problem. Some of the things that he puts in the story are so real and detailed I can't help but believe them.


Tracy This is how horrific rumors get started. This book is not fake people!!!!


Angela Shrum Stupid rumors are stupid. Don't believe them. (:


Pamela Conley I have seen interviews with the author and in this day and age of fact checking I am pretty sure it would have come to light. There is a follow up book called 'A Man Named Dave'


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Does not surprise me. He was cashing in on the misery memoir.


Kendra Tasha wrote: "I've not heard anything about this book being fake. Where was this stated, and was there any actual proof that the story is fake?"

The author got on oprah and told her he made it up. a friend who watches it told me


Kendra Sarah wrote: "If this book were to end up being fake, not that I would be surprised given the state of the world, it would be awful because I know a great deal of people inspired by this book along with its series."

yeah that book was sad it makes me mad that he would do that.


message 18: by Nora aka Diva (last edited Mar 05, 2012 08:43AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nora aka Diva Kendra wrote: "The author got on oprah and told her he made it up. a friend who watches it told me ..."

Oddly enough that appears to be the ONLY interview Oprah has done that isn't on her website. Weird, huh.
I searched and can't find it anywhere on the internet. I'll believe he actually confessed it was fake when I see that interview myself.


message 19: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy Again, I'd like to see concrete proof of this. The author of A Million Pieces, an Oprah book, later admitted his book was fake, but I've never heard anything about this one being fake.


Christine Koehne It is not fake. Stop trolling. Read the others and his brother's books. I saw him on Oprah and he never said it was fake. I have read all of his and Richard's. Do you lack something to do so you troll for attention? Or are you sick and wish this was your childhood so you would have something to talk about other than the troll threads you started?


Christine Koehne Kendra wrote: "Tasha wrote: "I've not heard anything about this book being fake. Where was this stated, and was there any actual proof that the story is fake?"

The author got on oprah and told her he made it ..."


So you are trying to sell this story based on a rumor of your friend. He probably does not know the difference between Stephen King and James Patterson.


message 22: by Sarah (last edited Mar 05, 2012 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah Christine wrote: "It is not fake. Stop trolling. Read the others and his brother's books. I saw him on Oprah and he never said it was fake. I have read all of his and Richard's. Do you lack something to do so you..."

Wow. Please just chill. Yes, it can be real. Yes, it can be fake. Nothing is ever 100%. The topic is what do you think about this book being fake. Not "It's a fake and I'm trolling just cause". No need to attack people who aren't truly up to date on books as you. Plus you aren't perfect. You've proabably made at least one mistake in your life. And if you haven't, well, I pity you because mistakes are supposedly what makes us human. The starter of this thread simply may of misunderstood as well as you could of misunderstood.

Once more:
Chill Pill.


Christine Koehne Sarah wrote: "Christine wrote: "It is not fake. Stop trolling. Read the others and his brother's books. I saw him on Oprah and he never said it was fake. I have read all of his and Richard's. Do you lack some..."

No. Read the thread again. It says that it is definitely fake and what do you think about that? In her message replying to her own post it says she heard it from a friend who watches Oprah. So she sells us a story based on a rumor with no evidence as if it has factual info instead of saying it may be fake what do you think. And yes I make mistakes but I speak of what I know and ask of what I don't. I don't hear a rumor from anyone and believe it. I Google and search until I find my answer with evidence.


Kelly Robson I also heard that the book was made up but to be honest I can't imagine that to be true, I mean it would take a seriously sick person to make up something like that and the story his brother wrote backs up the childhood happenings that they suffered.


Christine Koehne Joanna wrote: "Does not surprise me. He was cashing in on the misery memoir."

A child called it was published first. And depending on the person wiki said the misery memoirs were written cashing in on pelzers success. You are basing knowledge on a rumor that her friend told her and she believes. Find this interview she speaks of because I can not find any truth to it. All I find is that this is a true autobiography. Google for facts instead of believing false rumors that can not be proven as true.


message 26: by J.W. (last edited Mar 11, 2012 01:28PM) (new)

J.W. Griebel After his marketing schemes, buying copies of his own book to boost it to the bestseller's lists, his own family speaking out against him then suddenly "hushing up" (wonder how much their pockets grew), and his brother writing a book and cashing in on the idea as well...

Pretty sure the guy was full of it.

Turning "tragedy" into a trilogy? Come on, really?

It also doesn't help that he submitted his own book for a Pulitzer, then claimed it had been a "Pulitzer nominee" on his site (the quote was taken down soon after due to legal issues).

Writing a book like this would be no different than writing a book like "The End of Alice." In the case of "The End of Alice" there was actual talent involved. This book was so inconsistent that I still can't get over how people buy into it. Especially after hearing about the guy's mean streak and aggressiveness.

Remember: just because Oprah said it, doesn't mean it's true.

And also, Wikipedia is written by you, me, and every other Joe-Schmo, so don't take that too seriously either.


If there were truths to this story, don't you think the psychological effects would have been absurdly traumatic, leading to such things as regression and trauma-induced psychosis?

Seems to me the guy would be at about Genie the feral child's mental capacity, or a little beyond, if this book was true. At the age it had "happened" to him, his development should have been severely damaged, or at the very least augmented to some degree.


Jeremy i really want to believe that this book isn't a fake, i hate being duped but... read this...
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/28/mag...


message 28: by Alli (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alli Merrill If indeed it is fake I would be horrified to think someone has the nerve to say imagine such horrible things and to profit off a very real reality for thousands of children.


Tracy Alli wrote: "If indeed it is fake I would be horrified to think someone has the nerve to say imagine such horrible things and to profit off a very real reality for thousands of children."

I really don't think it is fake. But if it is he should be subject to the tortures he wrote about....for the thousands of kids subjected to that kind of treatment everyday.


message 30: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori I read all three books. I hope it is not fake.


message 31: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield I think it's not fake


Hannah (Vamp of Savannah) Tasha wrote: "I've not heard anything about this book being fake. Where was this stated, and was there any actual proof that the story is fake?"

It's probably a better idea to ask "What about this story can be proven with fact?"

Where are the teachers that supposedly helped him? Where were the foster parents? If all of this really happened why did the mother not do jail time after her son was taken away? Why did Child Protective Services only take David out of the home? Would they really leave the other children in a house where their sibling had been so brutally abused? Where is the police report?

I'm not saying its all lies, but I would like to see some hard evidence. So much of this story just doesn't add up...


message 33: by Jabberwocky (last edited Mar 13, 2012 05:15PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jabberwocky Jeremy wrote: "i really want to believe that this book isn't a fake, i hate being duped but... read this...
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/28/mag..."


I read the article, and while granted, it does paint him in a pretty terrible light, I dont think that necessarily means its a fake. You have to remember that most of the things people say can be taken out of context and twisted to make it sound pretty much any way they want.
That being said... Why post a thread like this without being absolutely sure? I really don't get the logic behind that...


Hannah (Vamp of Savannah) Sarah wrote: "Christine wrote: "It is not fake. Stop trolling. Read the others and his brother's books. I saw him on Oprah and he never said it was fake. I have read all of his and Richard's. Do you lack some..."

I'm right there with you. It's not like this has happened before...*cough* A Million Tiny Pieces (cough cough*


Tracy Jabberwocky wrote: "Jeremy wrote: "i really want to believe that this book isn't a fake, i hate being duped but... read this...
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/28/mag......"


I agree!


message 36: by Melissa (last edited Mar 13, 2012 07:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melissa Hannah wrote: Where are the teachers that supposedly helped him? Where were the foster parents? If all of this really happened why did the mother not do jail time after her son was taken away? Why did Child Protective Services only take David out of the home? Would they really leave the other children in a house where their sibling had been so brutally abused? Where is the police report?
"


What you don't realize is that things were much different in the days that this abuse alledgedly took place. Back then, teachers and law enforcement believed the parents over the kids. It wasn't like it is today. Today they remove the kids from the home then begin an investigation. They didn't do that back then. Back then, they rarely investigated, and when they did, they would just ask the parents a few questions then, if they didn't seem abusive, they left them alone.

I'm close to the same age as the man who wrote this book and had several friends who reported abuse to the school and were told they were lying even when there were bruises and other evidence of abuse. Unfortunately, it was quite common for abuse to be ignored back then.


message 37: by Raeann (new) - added it

Raeann This book is not fake. The author was on Oprah many years ago with teachers,school nurses and the actual CPS agent to back up his claims. His siblings are accusing him of fabricating this book.


message 38: by J.W. (last edited Mar 14, 2012 06:23AM) (new)

J.W. Griebel It's also funny how in books two and three, he suddenly "remembers" further "torments" that he was subjected to.


And no, there were no people on that Oprah episode beside Pelzer himself, and like all cases with him, he nearly wiped the tracks clean so that there is no refutable evidence. But again, that is something that works both for and against him, because no one has ever outright backed his claims; it starts off that they say he's a liar, then magically, months later, admit he isn't.

So in short, money exchanges hands or legal threats are made, and because of the funds he has to back them, vuala, no one to go against his word yet again.

He also claims to have interviewed his mother, that she said "I never meant to stab 'it'," but again there are no records to authenticate it, and contrary to that claim he had made claims that he didn't know anything about her, even in regards to her physical appearance.

And that "she made me drink ammonia" claim?

For those of you who do not know, ammonia is a corrosive. If the interior walls of the body (or in Pelzer's case the throat) were exposed to such a chemical, the effects would be very similar to that of the flesh-eating bacteria, only occurring from within and spreading outward--in essence the direct opposite of the way the bacteria spreads. In small quantities, such as the amount in tap water, the liquid dilutes it and, for all intents and purposes, cancels out these properties with hydrogen. The quantities he claims to have been forced to drink of that chemical, undiluted as he says, would have eaten through the tissues of his throat and would have subsequently led to a very, very painful death.

Yet another fact that goes to show how full of it this guy is.

You can't say someone is truthful just because you feel terrible about their claims. Morality obviously isn't in this guy's spectrum, and it just goes to show because all of the claims he made can easily be proven false and fantastical with a sliver of practical knowledge and rationality.


message 39: by Jabberwocky (last edited Mar 14, 2012 06:32AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jabberwocky Jesse wrote: "It's also funny how in books two and three, he suddenly "remembers" further "torments" that he was subjected to.


And no, there were no people on that Oprah episode beside Pelzer himself, and like..."


Personally, I do somewhat agree with you. I do think the fact that there is no one there to back it up, and that some of the facts dont add up right (You can't remeber what the woman who did this to you looked like, but you can remember everything else?)Does lead to some doubt. However, I don't want to belive that humankind has sunk so low that this is entirely fictional. I do belive some abuse had to occur in Dave's childhood, but some of it does sound enhanced and embellished.
As for family members refuting the claim... If this wretch of a woman was your mother/sister/cousin/aunt/neice, would YOU want everyone in the free world to know? Of course a few people will say it didn't happen. That comes with the territiory. Yes, he probably paid them off, yes that's a pretty s***y thing to do.
Even if it is entirely fictional and he's hocking his wares like some snake charmer (NY times article)... does it matter? There will inevibably be people like that in the world. and look at how many people this book has inspired. Imagine how many abused children found hope and strength in this book. Fiction or reality, that has to count for something.


Jabberwocky Oh, and as for this whole Oprah deal, I'll readily admit I have no earthly idea what Oprah-the-Great did or did not say, do, or interview. Don't care.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

i think its 100 percent real! i dont under stand where people get its fake?


message 42: by J.W. (new)

J.W. Griebel Jabberwocky wrote: "Jesse wrote: "It's also funny how in books two and three, he suddenly "remembers" further "torments" that he was subjected to.


And no, there were no people on that Oprah episode beside Pelzer ..."


I agree. I hate Oprah, personally, but every woman thirty-five and older seems to think he's telling the truth just because Oprah had him on her show.


message 43: by Jason (last edited Mar 14, 2012 10:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jason Lilly Real or fake, this book changed my life and opened my eyes, as it did the same for many of my colleagues, friends, and students. That should be enough. No offense to Mr. Pelzer, but I did not spend most of the book feeling sorry for him. I spent most of the book feeling hurt and sad that there are children abused like this every day all over the world, that there are parents who seem to be okay with mistreating, neglecting, and nearly killing their children. Whether this book is real or fake, Pelzer pulled away the curtain and showed his readers a sad and painful truth for kids all over the world.


message 44: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield I think this book is real


Tracy Jason wrote: "Real or fake, this book changed my life and opened my eyes, as it did the same for many of my colleagues, friends, and students. That should be enough. No offense to Mr. Pelzer, but I did not spend..."

It made me hug my babies a little tighter!


message 46: by Dana (last edited Mar 14, 2012 06:55PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dana Kendra, I believe you are thinking of a different author, book..maybe "A Million Tiny
Pieces"? That book was a fraud, and he said so on Oprah. I've seen this man speak for a group of about 300. He is a wonderful, inspiring, individual. If I had the opportunity to see him again, I would.


message 47: by Sara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sara Niles I remember reading a section of this story in a California newspaper many years ago and here is a quote of Pelzer having been honored by presidents:
"Dave has won many awards and personal commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush. In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans. In 1994, he became one of the only United State's citizens to be awarded as the Outstanding Young Persons of the World, for his efforts in teaching about child abuse and it's prevention. Dave is also the author of The Lost Boy, A Man Named Dave, The Privilege of Youth, Help Yourself, and Help Yourself for Teens."
Link: http://adoption.about.com/od/guiderev...

I feel that most of the story is true-children's perceptions, enhanced by fear, MAY or may not lead to to some selective exaggeration in memory-but I would not question the story as Dave remembered it-it was no doubt awful enough no matter what details were accurate or not.

I just read an article of a mother burning her three year old son in an oven (killed him)...so pathological mothers are definitely out there.

Sara Niles


message 48: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Lohsl I am taking Psychology / social work our teacher said it was a true story. She also suggested that anyone going into this field should read this book.


message 49: by Christine (new)

Christine Hatfield I think it's true too


Jennifer I think some people are confusing Pelzer with that Frey guy who wrote 'A million little pieces'. After writing the book and having it become a bestseller (thanks to Oprah and her bookclub), he subsequently went on her show and admitted the whole thing was a lie. Well, he said it did contain pieces of truth, but was overall just fiction. Do your research, people!


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