A Child Called ‘It’: Dave Pelzer


A Child Called ‘It’: Dave Pelzer (A Book Review)

Graphically intense and utterly heart-wrenching. Its narration truly feels like child’s call for help, yearning for a sense of belonging from a family who’s disowned him for their mother’s sake.

A Child Called ‘It’ is the first part from his trilogy of My Story where on this particular novel, he narrates the various encounters he’s experienced starting on his primary years at age 4 until 12.

An immensely powerful read, A Child Called ‘It’ tells the story of a young boy named Dave Pelzer, a victim of child abuse coming from his own mother done to him daily out of spite. Out of the number of siblings he’s had, Dave remained the only one receiving blows from here and there as his mother pleases, to the point where everyone in the family disowns him and is eventually considered a nobody.

From the wretched ‘games’ his mother has come up with, it’s a miracle Dave managed to survive all of the hideous attempts she forced him into doing to no avail. There are just about a hundred punishments unimaginable done to him whenever he does a ‘bad deed’ not until he’s finally gotten the help he truly deserves to have.

The entire novel of his first book is well written in a manner that you could imagine every single incident the author has described his terrible childhood from the beginning until the last chapter. The many instances alone he experienced would make it seem as if you too had carried the heavy burden he’s given all those years ago. Emotions emphasized throughout the novel are strongly felt, even to the reader. His hatred on the people whom he shared the same blood with is explained in a calm manner, that of a naive child who only wanted a love from no other than his household.

The optimism he’s kept to himself the entire time he lived in the same roof as his so-called family is what I truly admire about Dave. Despite the instances he endured alone, how his mother loathed for his existence and the attempt of having her own son hate himself as much as she detest Dave, are no match for the faith he had that someone, anybody would come and swoop him out of his home.

His hopelessness on the ceaseless torture experienced every single day finally reveled on as he came to the realization that even the person he believes would serve as his protector gave in to their mother’s wishes. I feel nothing but grief for the boy as his morale begins to simmer down until the detest he had is all bottled up inside him. The many instances he did are desperate even for his sake as he’s on a roll onto committing the various acts of theft to survive.

All the hard work he put his best into paid off as his renowned freedom is claimed after several years have passed. That was indeed pure bliss, especially on his case to be taken out of his so-called home he’s resided as long as he can remember.

The explanation and origin of child abuse in general, the hows and why behind it was well explained by David himself. I admire and have learned so much on the seriousness of the aforementioned issue, how it remains to still exist even to this day.

Two of these chapters struck to me the most for it shows the sudden change of his mother’s self-destructive attitude shown on her son. It may not be as true like she intended to do, but her gesture into being the mother Dave used to love takes an unexpected turn wherein a small part of her conscience wanted to care for him, still despite how she continues to punish the poor boy for simply existing to her life. But sadly, even the little love left within her isn’t going to let that change her mind into bruising Dave’s well-being into shambles.

The other one, as already written on the previous paragraphs is having the only hope that kept him going this far went to side with the family instead. It dawned to him that only he could save himself from the living hell he’s forced to reside with for the rest of his life. Part of his decision to remain strong and fight onward is a noble gesture, with this particular value a truly admirable lesson to live by to everyone in struggle with their own problems.

The single regret I had on this book was not seeing Dave’s own story coming from someone else’s perspective as he’s mentioned this belonged to him alone. A significant character, who also happened to be one of the saviors who ended Dave’s misery said so himself that going through all of the abusive relationships the author had between his mother wouldn’t be necessary. Either way, readers are informed on child abuse from the eyes of the victim and the effect it does to them along the way.

Regarding the book’s rating, I give it an 8/10.

A biography of survival and triumph, a life story of Dave Pelzer would inspire readers to strive onward, no matter what life throws back at you.


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