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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive

Written by Dave Pelzer

Reviewed by Tatyanna D., BCCHS student

A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer is a compelling story about a young boy and his struggle to survive in the household he calls “horror.” A Child Called “It” is a biography that has 153 pages of a heartfelt story and 31 pages of Epilogue, Perspectives on Child Abuse, and Resources for Help with child abuse.

A Child Called “It” is the unforgettable story of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California. It is the story about David Pelzer being brutally beaten by his torturous, alcoholic mother, who plays unpredictable games that almost leave a young David dead. In order to survive, he must learn how to play his mother’s games. She sees him more as a slave than a son and more as an “IT,” than a boy.

David must sleep in the cold basement in an old army cot and must wear his torn, unwashed clothes every day. When he is allowed the luxury of food, it is merely scraps of cold food or the leftover cereal, left by his brothers. He goes long periods of time without food at all. He develops the habit of stealing and begging for food. As his mother grows to learn about his habits, she keeps a close eye on him, meaning larger punishments.

I chose to read this book because of the cover. I thought that a book with a cover so interesting was worth reading. The cover shows Dave with a hand grabbing his chin. At first I didn’t know what it was, but as I looked carefully I could see it was a hand, the hand of the god that kept David alive. My expectations of the book were low because I don’t expect much from books. I simply want to be either entertained, made laugh or made cry, just like this book did.

“After months of being confined for hours at a time in the garage, my courage took over and I stole bits of frozen food from the garage freezer. I was fully aware that I could pay for my crime at any time, so I ate every morsel as if it were my last meal.” This is an example of a weakness from the book. This weakness shows how Dave Pelzer doesn’t use any expression. He doesn’t describe how he felt. It’s a strong sentence but it just seems blank.

On a scale from one to five, with one being “DUD” and five being “BEST,” I rate this book a five. I rated A Child Called “It” a five because it is the best book I have ever read. Unlike any other book I have read, this one actually made me feel something. It is an extraordinary and inspirational story that takes you through the life of a young boy desperate to find a way out of the torturous life he has been living for almost ten years. It will make you want to laugh, smile and cry. This book touched my heart and I know has touched the hearts of fellow readers. I give this book a two-thumbs up and I am prepared to recommend it to anyone that needs a good book to read.

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