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August 02, 2010

Review: A Child Called "IT" By Dave Pelzer

A Child called "It" is the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played torturous, unpredictable games- games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him her son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it".

Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He was nothing, and had no one to turn to. But his dreams kept him alive- dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son. Through each struggle you'll find yourself enduring his pain, comforting his loneliness and fighting for his will to survive. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse- and the ability we have to make a difference.

This is a book about an unbelievable case of inhumane child abuse. This book was a difficult book to read especially since I'm a mom of a handsome, brilliant, smart autistic child. I would never DREAM of treating my son with such brutality and cruelty, it's disgusting. So in this book this little boy started off with a loving mom, dad & brothers. Then one day his mother started treating him with disgust and cruelty. When he turned to his dad for help, his dad would tell him to be a good boy for his mommy and not to make her mad. His own father was scared of his mother. But his mother didn't treat her other kids the way she treated "Dave" that way. It didn't matter what he did because he became her punching bag, her slave, her maid. She had him doing all the household chores. And he did them all in a timely fashion with hopes that his mother will reward him with food. FOOD! This little boy was starved and beaten every single day. He would steal food to feed himself and when his mother became suspicious of him stealing, she would stick her fingers in his mouth and make him throw up his own food. Then to make it worse, she'd make him eat it!

I can't even let my son go to bed without eating dinner, and on days he doesn't eat dinner I have him eat some snacks. But to starve him for being a "Bad Boy", I could never. This book was an emotional book to read. This little boy should have been given a proper life with a loving family but instead he received nothing but hell to live with. I personally wish his mother pays for all she did to him. I give this book 5 stars and it's definitely a Good Choice for Reading.


  1. I remember reading this book in high school..really opens ones eyes!

  2. It defintely does. That was beyond child abuse. It was inhumane. That woman should have been given the gas chamber herself!

  3. I've read this numerous times over the years, and it never gets any easier. I read somewhere that his mom eventually died of liver failure due to her alcoholism. I've also read that she had a stroke, and also a heart attack. Who knows what happened to her, or if she's even dead. But if the book is true (I believe it is, but you never know for sure) I honestly hope her death was painful. That's a horrible thing to wish on someone, I understand that, but I can't think anything better for someone who would do those things to a child.

  4. I read this book when I was in sixth grade, and I really agree with you about this being a difficult read. I can honestly say that it was one of the most horribly good books that I've ever read. If that makes sense.

  5. I never read this book, but I remember seeing Dave on a talk show years ago. No person should ever have to go through what he went through. But I like your review, good to see it through the eyes of a mother's prospective.

  6. I read this book and cried so much! What really bothered me the most was that we never really understand, if there is understanding to be learned, why she has chosen this son to be so cruel to. I grew up with a father who was a paranoid schizophrenic and sometimes was very accusatory, but not violent. Tried to wrap my mind around why this woman would do this to her son. Make sure you read the other books, also. Thanks for the great review and the great reminder of a book that was read, and could probably be read again.

  7. I don't think I have the heart to read this book. I hear so many stories already on the news about parents killing their kids or harming them and I want to cry. Seeing my little boys I could never even think of hurting them.

    Wanda I give you kudos for having the heart to read such an emotional book.

  8. I read this book on the recommendation of a friend, and I really wanted to rip through the book and beat that mother.

    (I was wondering when the Crescendo contest winner will be announced?)

  9. Sometime today Wulfluva we will announce the winner for crescendo! :-)

  10. @Amanda, I sure hope it was as painful as possible...Did anyone read the sequel called "The Lost Boy", well I'm reading now and the mother doesn't stop! That crazy b*tch keeps trying to ruin him some more! @Joanne, I don't know why she picked him out of all her other kids to be that way too. Not that it would have made a difference. Abuse is abuse regardless of who it is, doesn't matter if it's a homeless person or an animal. Everything that needs oxygen to breathe deserves the right to be treated with respect. Anyway so I'm reading the second book to the trilogy and I'll post it up. I heard somewhere that the brothers are saying he's making some of this stuff up, which I don't believe. I would LOOOOVEEE to interview the Dave, but that's unlikely.

  11. I read this book and the sequels. It was difficult when I read it and I imagine it would be even more so now that I have a young daughter of my own.

    It is beyond my comprehension how these monsters can treat a living being this way. The mom got off way too easy by dying.

    Unfortunately, cases such as these are all too common.

  12. Great review! I read this book a while ago and want to read it again because I don't remember it very well. It is definitely horrible what she did to him :(

  13. I had heard a lot about this book when it had just come out but then I was too young to read it. You have reminded me that I had wanted to read it but never did. I loved Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott and this sounds a lot like it, not plot-wise but the inhumanity.Great review. I'll definitely check this out.

  14. This one definitely sounds like a powerful read. The aching-heart-mommy side of me warns me not to read this book, for fear of what I may learn, but really, how do you not read a story like this? Or, at the very least, research the case? Simply pretending these types of things don't exist, just so we can feel better about ourselves, is a true tragedy.
    Tracy Awalt Juliano


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