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A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive Library Binding – 29 May 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 879 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
£15.96 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Library Binding
  • Publisher: Paw Prints 2008-05-29; Reprint edition (29 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435235630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435235632
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (879 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,550,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon 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 but not to David, her son, 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.--Christine Buttery --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A harrowing, yet inspiring true story of a young boy's abusive childhood, written and read by internationally bestselling author Dave Pelzer. Abridged edition --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio Cassette
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 the tragedy of it all but very much focuses on his determination to survive. I was unable to put this book down and rushed out to buy the other two books in the series. I would very much recommend his accounts of his time through foster care and adulthood in 'The lost boy' and 'A man named Dave'
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Format: Paperback
Im a 24 year old male. and am not into reading books, infact this is the first book ive read since school. - On a recent night out i got chatting to some old friends and while we were drunk they told me about Dave Palzer amazing story, i was so intruged i bought the book. I started reading it and couldnt put it down till i finished. Dave Palzer (the innocent victim ) is a model for any human being and goes to show anyone can triumph over any bad experiance. How his mother could go from been a normal person to an evil monster is anyones guess, but it is truly remarkable how Dave Palzer could manage to find the will to stay alive and not take the easy way out and kill himself is a lesson for everyone. I will be buying his follow up books asap. Dave - Wherever you are now, i salute you. you are a true hero.
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Format: Paperback
I initially borrowed this book from my brother-in-law, who warned me that it would be hard reading, but worth it.
He was not wrong. At the start of the book, Mr Pelzer apologises for using graphic detail and somewhat childlike descriptions during his prose. He need not have bothered apologising, the description of events were written in the style of the young child he was whilst suffering (and surviving) what can only be dscribed as harrowing conditions.
I had the luxury of spending the entire day alone reading this book, something I heartily recommend. There were often times that I put the book down, picked it back up, put it down again, searched for tissues and then read until I finished the book. It was not easy, it was amazing, harrowing, painful and astounding... how such a young child could survive using only his wits in such conditions, how a parent can change so dramatically... and how little was done to help change the situation.
I have seen the adverts on the television about childhood abuse, but reading this book brought it home to me in a clear and concise manner.
Do not be confused, this is not a "poor me, look what happened to me" book, this is an exceptionally strong book, written by a man who has not only survived a difficult childhood, but has come through it to become an exceptional parent in his own right. This is a story of survival and a testimony to David Pelzer.
If I could shake that man's hand I would, gladly.
P.S. I bought the book, and the others in the series, The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave. The story goes on... and it must never happen again.
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Format: Paperback
Because I already know what the human species is like, much of the story rang frighteningly true, and I soon found myself half way through the book. Ever tried reading and cooking at the same time? I found out I can!
I started reading this book after lunch yesterday, and by 2am I had finished the second book "The Lost Boy" as well. I should finish the third sometime tonight, though it is a heck of a lot longer than the other two.
Excellent reading for anyone who thinks they had a rough deal growing up. Even my own issues and problems seemed so insignificant in relation to his early beginnings.
Dave Pelzer has opened my eyes a little wider than I expected, and made me realise that for all the great things the human species does, there are things that smack us straight back to the reality of our frailty. To understand human nature, we need to understand every aspect of it - form the most pleasant through to the most evil. I hasten to add that there must be more evil than pleasantry, or our species would not act the way it does.
Had I been in his shoes, I know I would most likely have given up the will to live and succeed. Okay, what happened to me was bad, but it didn't last more than a few months at the most, and wasn't regular. To go through four or five years of this daily ritual abuse must have been unbearable, and I wonder at the questions he must have asked himself all the way through it.
Finding someone to talk to about what's happening is the hardest thing to do, and I am sick and tired of people asking me why I didn't tell ... why I had a list of excuses for things. In the book, Dave talks about the signs ... signs like a lack of concentration, a lack of personal hygiene and a lack of self esteem.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Has a book ever made you feel so many things at once that you felt like rocking back and forth in a dark corner? That’s how I felt while reading A Child Called It.

This book was gifted to me by a friend of my boyfriend. She had this pensive look on her face while she was handing it over, which confused me at first but is completely understandable now.

My copy is old and a bit battered which is incredibly fitting considering the subject matter.

The first few pages of A Child Called It were so horrific that I had go online to confirm that this book was a memoir and not a work of fiction.

The contrast in the early years of Dave’s life is almost unbelievable. They had an idyllic family life. They type that would make most people jealous. Camping trips and magical Christmases a plenty.

It seems that his mother went through a major depressive episode but the details surrounding her personality flip are rather vague. What was so harrowing was the more she abused him the more he tried to please her and in turn the harder he tried, than angrier she became.

The father doesn’t seem to feature much. He isn’t physically abusive but his lack of action leads me to place as much of the blame on him. I don’t understand how he could sit back and watch all this happening. How could you be so devoid of emotion? If I saw someone kicking a dog in the street I’d try and stop them. This is your child and you act like all this is just a mere inconvenience!

Things get so bad for Dave that he resorts to stealing food from the garbage bins in his own house. He manages to just about scrape by until “mother” catches him and secretly starts sprinkling ammonia in with the food which makes him violently ill.
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