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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic but heartbreaking
Dave's account of his early years was probably the most horrific but inspirational book I have ever read. He suffered physical and emotional abuse in the highest degree but somehow maintained the strength of character to survive. To imagine a mother stabbing, burning and forcing a child to eat his own vomit is mind blowing. Dave's account however is not one that dwells on...
Published on 27 Aug 2001 by Mrs. Julia Pare

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Not that unusual memoir of 'A Child Called It '
A Child Called It - I was looking forward to reading a good uniuqe memoir, but all I got was - I'm sorry to say was, NOT that unusual. Its a bit of his story of abuse and mental/physical torment from a alcoholic mother and a weak/pathetic father who did nothing to stop the abuse but infact coerced with her. I have listened to a lot of life storys myself while being in...
Published on 20 Aug 2001


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching story, true and brutally honest, 5 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Child Called 'It ' (Hardcover)
I was given this book on Christmas day 2000, and I finished it by 8.30pm on the same day. Two days later I bought the 2nd part of the trilogy The Lost Boy. What a book. I honestly could not leave it down till I read the last page. This poor child went through hell and back during his young years.. Some of the things his mother had him do was pure cruel and deliberate. There was so much mental and physical abuse in this young child's life. How could a mother treat one of her children like that. The sad part is that by the end of the book David still did not know what he had done to deserve such treatment. This book gave a graphic account of his early years living in hell. But thought all the torture his mother put him through, he still loved and respected her. All he tried to do was please her and make her love him like the rest of the children. H the more he tried to please, the more he was punished. He would not eat for days, and then he would only get the leftovers from his brother's plates. His poor father was worn down by the mother. He partly understood how David was feeling but blocked it out with booze. This book gave the feeling that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it takes someone else to lend us a hand to get there. I hope this book has encouraged other people in a similar situation to seek help. Well done David for coming through it all a find upstanding man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a thunder-bolt of a book......, 12 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Child Called It (Paperback)
Dave Pelzer's account of his early life is incredibly harrowing and yet I could not put the book down. It jolted me into a much clearer understanding of the reality and tragedy of child abuse that is so epidemic. His style of writing bears an innate sense of optimism and determination to survive the horrors that he endured at the hands of his "mother"; the passive standing back of other family members and the alienation and ridicule that plagued him at school. I was grateful to have my eyes truly opened but also inspired by his positivity and the inner strength he has gained from his suffering. Like Andrea Ashworth's "Once in A House on Fire", this is the sort of book that should be placed in school libraries and made to be read by social workers everywhere; but really as many people as possible should read this. The more that people understand this kind of situation and recognise the signs, the greater the chance of putting an end to this kind of cruelty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 3 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Child Called It (Audio Cassette)
This is the first book in a trilogy of Dave Pelzers life and it is compelling reading. Dave describes his life from the age of 4 upto 12 years of age. I found this book quite disturbing, reading about what one woman could do to her own child. Dave describes in horrific detail just what she put him through and the difference in her treatment of him compared to his brothers. Dave had enormous inner strength and learnt how to stay alive by playing along with his evil mother, any weaker child would not have survived. This book shows the kind of society we used to live in when people turned a blind eye to child abuse but there were always people willing to stand up and question what was happening. Dave's teachers put their jobs at risk to try and save his life. I read this book within a day. I started it at night but couldn't sleep until I had finished it. The other two books in the series are just as compelling and I urge everyone to read them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking but inspirational, 27 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Child Called It (Paperback)
I read this book in 2 hours yesterday afternoon, i got so involved in it I just couldnt put it down til i finished it. It felt like my heart was breaking as i read of the torture Dave was put through by his mother. I find it truly amazing that he had the strength of will to carry on and not let his will to survive be beaten from him. I intend to read the other 2 books in the series as soon as i can so i can find out exactly how he put this part of his life behind him to become the wonderful loving father I know he is now. This book should be compulsory reading for every adult, only by learning about child abuse can we ever hope to prevent it happening and help children for whom it is already too late. Dave, I wish you happiness in everything you do, you have opened my eyes, I promise not to forget, I promise to help in any way i can.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dictionary definition of courage should read "David Pelzer", 30 Jun 2000
This review is from: A Child Called 'It ' (Hardcover)
This book is an inspiring, moving story of courage, and the power of the human will to survive in the face of unbelievable suffering. Throughout the book you have to keep reminding yourself that these are the real experiences of a child, not at the hands of some fictional monster, but his own mother. It is remarkable to know that David has survived and prospered despite this cruelty, but you can't help wondering what became of his parents? How can society effectively punish those who commit such cruelty in a way that can ever be commensurate with the evil that they have inflicted on their children? Is David's father not as 'guilty' as his mother, because if you're not part of the solution, are you not part of the problem?
A thought provoking read that has left me eagerly awaiting publication of "The Lost Boy".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most harrowing and un-put-downable book I've ever read, 4 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Child Called It (Paperback)
As a prospective adoptive parent, I bought this book hoping for some insight as it is a sad fact that my children will most likely come from a background of abuse and neglect. Never did I expect to come face to face with such a grim reality. My tears started at about page 5 and continued until 2 hours later when I finished the book. It is an emotional rollercoaster of a book that jolts you out of your safe secure world and gives you a horrifying glimpse of a nightmare no child should ever have to endure. After I had finished reading I cried for Dave and for all the children out there who are trapped in a similar terrifying world. To Dave I want to say thank you for opening my eyes, you have my utmost admiration for your courage and determination to survive. I pray to God that I can be the sort of parent a child like this deserves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Tale, 22 Sep 2005
By 
AndyBSG "A. Graham" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Child Called It (Paperback)
Having come from an abusive background myself, I can only admire Dave Pelzer, not only for what he has achieved in his life, but also for having the strength to re-visit such traumatic memories to bring us this novel.
This is the true story of a young boy who spent most of his early years suffering indescribable abuse at the hands of his mother. It goes on to explain how he escaped what was happening to him and how, later in life, he went on to achieve things most people would never have though possible given his background.
The book is well written and is a real page turner that is hard to put down until you reach the conclusion. It's impossible to read this book and not have it affect your emotions in a strong way.
There are those who view this as shocking and disturbing and frown on the literary comment as a result, seeing it almost as the book worlds equivalent 'Shock TV'. Personally, I find this attitude offensive and demeaning towards the author.
In this day and age, it is a fact that child abuse occurs frequently and that we all know children who are suffering from it. The sad fact is that this is quite a taboo area and, in the UK at least, there is almost a sense of apathy regarding it and the feeling that you should not interfere in other peoples affairs. As a result of this, many children suffer a lot longer than they should.
Yes, the book does shock and it does revolt but the manner it is done in is not simple sensationalism. However, if reading this book will make people more aware of the quiet child who always seems to have bruises and take that extra little step that may help them, then I fail to see how anyone can criticise the book as a result.
Most people who have suffered these sort of early abuses tend to bury their early memories and never truly face up to or deal with them due to the pain reliving them causes. To actually spend time reliving each event and documenting it in this book is truly a mark of how strong the author's character is and this is one of the few books that I call a 'must read'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most disturbing book I have read in a very long time., 4 Aug 2000
This review is from: A Child Called 'It ' (Hardcover)
I read this book in my lunch hour at work. I just could not put this book down, I had to finish it. I think it was just the sheer misery and isolation that this poor child was suffering, that spurned me on to complete it without a break. Once I had finished, I locked myself in the bathroom & I cried violently.
I find it difficult to understand how a woman, a mother, could inflict such pain & misery on her child. It's a hard read, as it is just so graphic & so upsetting, but child abuse is real, it happens & Dave Pelzer is a very, very brave man to have had the courage to write this book. EVERYBODY should read this book. I shall insist that everyone I know, buys a copy.
I will read 'The Lost Boy'at home where I can cry openly & seek comfort from my husband and friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Child Called It-The best read ever, 22 Oct 2003
By 
Rebecca (Altrincham England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Child Called It (Paperback)
I am 14 years old and ‘A Child Called It’ is one of the best books I have read for ages. It is about a boy called Dave Pelzer. As a child he was brutally beaten by his mother she played tortuous and unpredictable games that left one of her sons nearly dead. He was no longer considered a son but a slave: no longer a boy but an it. He slept in an old army cot in the basement. His clothes were torn and smelly. When he is allowed food it is from the dogs’ bowl.
Dave has three brother Stan, Ron and Russell. Dave dad, a fire fighter, working in the heart of San Francisco, and His Mum, a housewife. At the beginning of the book Dave tries to paint a picture of what his ‘perfect family’ used to be like before his parents became alcoholics, but she changes. She starts beating him. As the story progresses the beatings get worse and worse.
One summer, when the family were on holiday. Ron, Stan and his dad were out, Dave was left with his mum. She smeared his younger brothers nappies on his face and make him eat it. That is just one of the many disturbing games she played on him. She would put him in a room with chemicals reacting causing him to collapse.
I don’t know about you but I can’t believe anyone would do this to her son.
I would strongly recommend this book to everyone
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Child Called it, 15 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: A Child Called It (Paperback)
This is probably the most depressing yet the most inspiring book I've ever read. The abuse this brave little child endured at the hands of his own mother was so far beyond belief that I actually thought it was fiction.

This is thought-provoking, anger-inducing and truly heartbreaking.

I encourage everybody to read it at once.
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A Child Called It
A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer (Paperback - 16 April 2009)
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