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A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive Paperback – Sep 1 1995


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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist


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A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive + The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family + A Man Named Dave
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: HCI; 1 edition (Sept. 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558743669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558743663
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,425 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturant to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school!--but mostly it was pure sadism. Inexplicably, his father didn't protect him; only an alert schoolteacher saved David. One wants to learn more about his ordeal and its aftermath, and now he's written a sequel, The Lost Boy, detailing his life in the foster-care system.

Though it's a grim story, A Child Called "It" is very much in the tradition of Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul and the many books in that upbeat series, whose author Pelzer thanks for helping get his book going. It's all about weathering adversity to find love, and Pelzer is an expert witness.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up?This autobiographical account charts the abuse of a young boy as his alcoholic mother first isolates him from the rest of the family; then torments him; and finally nearly kills him through starvation, poisoning, and one dramatic stabbing. Pelzer's portrayal of domestic tyranny and eventual escape is unforgettable, but falls short of providing understanding of extreme abuse or how he made his journey from "Victim to Victor." It takes some work to get past the poor writing and the self-aggrandizing back matter, but the book tries fervently to provide a much-needed perspective. One of the greater obstacles to healing for males is admitting that they have been victims, especially if their perpetrator is a woman. This author has overcome that obstacle and succeeded in life by such masculine norms as joining the Air Force and receiving awards for his volunteerism. However, while personal accounts of child maltreatment provide crucial information about the realities of childhood, youngsters need insight and hope in order to digest the raw material of abuse. James Deem's The 3 NBs of Julian Drew (Houghton, 1994) is a well-crafted, fictional work that effectively covers much of the same ground.?Carolyn Polese, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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5 March 1973, Daly City, California - I'm late. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15 2004
Format: Paperback
i am a 13 yaer old girl who was touched by the book. It breaks my heart to know that there are such crule people out in this world, not only a bad person in life but but in your family and to your own child. this boy has the heart of a lion and the courage to face it all out. To be able to survive such a misrible life such as his own takes a lot of bravery. As i read the book and looked back to some of the things that were writen and done to this boy put me in fear i mean what if your very own parents were to do that to you. Put yourself in his shoes and imagine what it would feel like to be treated with such disreaspect from your mother. I put myself in his shoes and felt the pain he must have been going through to be hit in the head and thrown against a wall every morning must have been very painful. I'm just glad to know that my parents are'nt like that. this book was touching and I'd read over a million times and would never stop feeling the pain he felt I recomend everybody to read this book because it is encouriging. It encouraged me to face out all my fears and the disapline my parents give me cause its nothing compared to his ........ so if he could face out all fear so can!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15 2004
Format: Paperback
David Pelzer,a troubled young boy, struggles to get through his hectic life. With his acholic,and abusive mother, who refers to him as an"it" his life story is filled aggonizing heartbreak, pain, and suffering. This book is a memoir of how this boy, David Pelzer, got through his life of hardship. He was stabbed, burned(by a gas stove), fed his brothers dirty diapers, and spoonfuls of ammonia. While this all is going on david's father stands by and watches this happen. David cannot believe this, so he developes a hate for his father. In the mean time his mother becomes more phyically and emotionally abusive. Then people start to notice, and David's mom gets mad at this. Luckly for David his teaher steps in to get him out of this mess. This story is told from the authors point of view. (he actually experienced this).
A Child Called It is an outstanding work of liturature, that revals the hardship of abused children. I felt as though I was in the story standing in the corner watching this happen to David.(almost like his dad perspective)Pelzer realistcally creates an emotion dialouge, and retells his story with so much detail.
A Child Called It is exciting, amotional, and moving. I recommend this outstanding work of lituature to anyone who likes to feel as if they were part of a story, as well as becoming attached to the characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam on April 12 2007
Format: Paperback
As a survivor of child abuse I found this book very emotional. This was a very good book that I think all adults need to read. Another really good book is This Can't Be Love! by Patricia Goins. That book had me glued to my seat, I couldn't put it down. As an adult with children I just don't understand how someone can hurt a defenseless child. Both of these books will take you into the world of an abused child.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J.Jones on Feb. 15 2005
Format: Paperback
This story A CHILD CALLED IT by David Pelzer is about one child's courage to survive. It takes place in 1973 in Daily City, California where there is a child being abused physically and mentally by his own mother. At first he lives a wonderful life with his whole family but one day all of that changed drastically. His mother beat him and actually told him that she hated him. Hate is a very strong word for a child seven or eight years old. As the story goes on in the book he tries to survive his mother's strong words and beatings. This story is sad but very inspirational to all. I recommend that all people should read this book because it shows a lot about parenting and childhood. If you're not deterred by child abuse and enjoyed such books as BARK OF THE DOGWOOD (Though that book is sometimes actually funny), then you'll like this Pelzer book.
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Format: Paperback
A CHILD CALLED IT was an amazing book about one child's courage to survive. This is one of the most brutal child abuse cases I have ever heard of. Throughout this book you see how the abuse starts and stops. The narrator/author lets you inside of his mind so you can experience how he felt and what he thought when his mother is causing him so much pain. The main character, Dave Pelzer, is incredibly brave for such a young person. He does things and uses his mind in ways that people my age may not think of. His mother is emotionally unstable and is an alcoholic. She brutally beats and starves Dave as a form of entertainment. These epic tales bring you into the lives of children who have to experience the horrific tragedy of abuse from those that are supposed to love and care for them. After reading this book, I know that child abuse continues to occur and it must be stopped. You must also read the books SYBIL and THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD to get completely different yet equally horrifying perspectives.
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Format: Paperback
A CHILD CALLED IT was an amazing book about one child's courage to survive. This is one of the most brutal child abuse cases I have ever heard of. Throughout this book you see how the abuse starts and stops. The narrator/author lets you inside of his mind so you can experience how he felt and what he thought when his mother is causing him so much pain. The main character, Dave Pelzer, is incredibly brave for such a young person. He does things and uses his mind in ways that people my age may not think of. His mother is emotionally unstable and is an alcoholic. She brutally beats and starves Dave as a form of entertainment. These epic tales bring you into the lives of children who have to experience the horrific tragedy of abuse from those that are supposed to love and care for them. After reading this book, I know that child abuse continues to occur and it must be stopped. You must also read the books SYBIL and THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD to get completely different yet equally horrifying perspectives.
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