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

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,427 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive
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  • The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family
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  • 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 1,427 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Being an adult who was battered as a child I am very interested in reading mamoirs of others who were abused. Who are they? What did they go through? What did they do? How are they doing now? These are some of the questions which interest me. But I never wanted to read this book. To me any book on child abuse which is on a general best seller list for even one week must be there for its entertainment value. I finally read this book out of curiosity more than anything else. This must be one of the oddest books put out by a US publishing house since THE AWFUL DISCLOSURES OF MARIA MONK in the 1830's. Here is not the minutiae of a life lived but the headlong rush from one horror to the next of the Penny Dreadful. The author, like a magician, forced to pull from his hat ever larger rabbits. The marketing ploys used to promote this book are even more disturbing. I don't think courage has any part in surviving child abuse. One simply does it. Survival is instinctual. Are all the children who didn't survive or who committed suicide cowards? And this business about the third most abused child in California history. Is this child abuse as contest? As competition? Do the people who voted (if anyone did) realize the potential for harm they have created for thousands of battered children? If you were a battered child who made it to adulthood and are looking for a therapist find one who has lots of experience with POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDERS. If anyone recommends this book--- run like Hell.
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By A Customer on Nov. 4 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
This book tells the unforgettable story of a child of severe abuse. One of the worst cases probabably within the U.S. Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable mother, relates the story of his life. This is the first in a set of works written by Mr. Pelzer about his life. He relates to you even more about his life in his works "Lost Boy". You wonder how anyone could possibly come out of such abuse,let alone to become a respected author.
As a fan of memoirs, this is one of the most emotional books I have read. You will feel the anger and sadness...the feel of hopelessness as you read what this child had to endure. But, you also rally behind him-and await Mr. Pelzer's next books to see this courageous man overcome. Long after you have read this work, you will not be able to forget.
Along the lines of this book, "A Child Called It" and along with his other book that i have read "Lost Boy", you will also want to read "Nightmares Echo" and "Sickened". As each offers to you different perspectives of children that must endure the unbelievable and yet survive and inspire us with their works.
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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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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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