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A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive Reissue Edition
Contributor(s): Pelzer, David J.

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ISBN: 1558743669     ISBN-13: 9781558743663
Publisher: Hci
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: October 1995

Annotation: This book chronicles 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 tortuous, 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 a 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 had nothing or 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.

Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Abused children; California; Daly City; Biography.
Children of alcoholics; California; Daly City; Biography.
Abusive mothers; Family relationships; California; Daly City.
BISAC Categories:
- Biography & Autobiography | Personal Memoirs
- Family & Relationships | Abuse
Dewey: 362.7/6/092
LCCN: 2004269742
Lexile Measure: 850
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 7.75" H x 5.25" W x 0.75" (0.50 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 36564
Reading Level: 5.8   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 5.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q23893
Reading Level: 5.9   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 10.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1995 December)
Gr 9 Up?This autobiographical account charts the abuse of a young boy as his alcoholic mother first isolates him from the rest of the family; then torments him; and finally nearly kills him through starvation, poisoning, and one dramatic stabbing. Pelzer's portrayal of domestic tyranny and eventual escape is unforgettable, but falls short of providing understanding of extreme abuse or how he made his journey from ``Victim to Victor.'' It takes some work to get past the poor writing and the self-aggrandizing back matter, but the book tries fervently to provide a much-needed perspective. One of the greater obstacles to healing for males is admitting that they have been victims, especially if their perpetrator is a woman. This author has overcome that obstacle and succeeded in life by such masculine norms as joining the Air Force and receiving awards for his volunteerism. However, while personal accounts of child maltreatment provide crucial information about the realities of childhood, youngsters need insight and hope in order to digest the raw material of abuse. James Deem's The 3 NBs of Julian Drew (Houghton, 1994) is a well-crafted, fictional work that effectively covers much of the same ground.?Carolyn Polese, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
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