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A CHILD CALLED ' IT '

PELZER , DAVE:

323,099 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0752832220 / ISBN 13: 9780752832227
Published by Ted Smart 11th Impression VG/VG edgewear 148pp 8 x 6 280g, 2000
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From Stortbooks (Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom)

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About this Item

The heart rendering story of Dave Pelzer's struggle to live through a childhood where he was beaten and neglected by his alchoholic mother , forced to live on scraps out of the garbage and known as "It". The sequels, The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave are also available. Bookseller Inventory # 23945

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A CHILD CALLED ' IT '

Publisher: Ted Smart 11th Impression VG/VG edgewear 148pp 8 x 6 280g

Publication Date: 2000

About this title

Synopsis:

Dave Pelzer's story is the story of a child brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games - games that left one of her three sons nearly dead. Dave had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy but an 'it'. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and smelly and when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dogs' bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors. But throughout Dave kept alive dreams of finding a family to love him, care for him, call him their son. It took many years of struggle, deprivation and despair to find his dream and then to make something of himself in the world. This book covers the early years of his life and is an affecting and inspirational look at the horrors of child abuse and the steadfast determination of one child to survive despite the odds.

Review:

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.

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