Title: A Child Called ?It?
Author: Dave Pelzer
Number of pages: 181
Date of Publication: 1993
A Child Called ?It? is a story based on a real life boys tribulations with his mothers shocking abuse. When he was younger Dave and his family were considered the ?perfect? family. Then, all of a sudden his mother and father started drinking and had problems in their relationship. Dave started getting the worst treatment imaginable. His mother all of a sudden treated him as a nobody or an ?It?. His father wouldn’t do anything about it and it made Dave hate him. She did many horrible things to him that he will never forget. He had two other brothers but they didn’t get any of their mother’s harsh beatings or tortures. David’s mother would starve him weeks at a time without giving him even a morsel of food. He had to steal food from stores and the school to survive. One day he stole hot dogs from the school cafeteria and someone caught him. When he got home his mother made him puke it up and then eat it again. She almost went to the extent of making David eat his baby brother’s feces. Another incident was when David was cleaning the kitchen floor for his mother. She all of a sudden stormed into the kitchen and started yelling at him. ?You’ve made my life a living hell!? she sneered. ?Now it’s time I show you what hell is like!? Right after she said that she took him by the arm, turned on the gas stove, and burned the flesh on his arm. She then proceeded to make him take off his clothes and lay on top of the flames. She tortured him for no reason except for her own sick pleasure. She would also make him drink ammonia, wear tattered clothes, sleep in the garage, and she even went to the extent of stabbing him and not taking him to the hospital. This story ended with David saying the Lord’s Prayer and praying for God to save him from his living hell. The sequel to this book is called ?The Lost Boy.?
This is one of the best, yet saddest books that I have ever read. There is so much reality in this book, but I never knew that reality was ever this awful. It brought me to a realization that I have never known before. It is extremely sad that something like this really did happen. The points that I will be evaluating are my least favorite character, how the author (Dave) described his mother, and how the author described the setting.
My least favorite character would have to be the father. Yes, the mother was just as bad, but she would beat Dave right in front of her husband and he wouldn’t do anything about it. It made me feel like if he really loved his son he would have taken him away in his arms and never let him return. He kept telling Dave that he would take him away, but it never happened. The story made me cry whenever Dave’s father wouldn’t help him out when he was being tortured by his mom. The main reason that he is my least favorite character is that he was supposed to be the protector of Dave, not a scared little wimp that stood in a corner while his flesh and blood was being beaten.
The way that Dave described his mother was actually pretty shocking. He didn’t describe her with as much venom as I thought he would. If that would have been me I would have described her with so much bitter hatred that it would have been 100 pages longer. In one conversation he had with his mother he said, ?I know you love me mother because you brought me into this world, and I love you .? That statement made me so mad because she had just beaten him up him and he said that. I would have been filled with so much hatred I wouldn’t have even been able to talk, let alone say that I loved her. In a way I admired him for saying that because he knew that his mother had to love him in some way.
The way Dave described the setting in this book was so vivid and I felt like I was in the book. He would tell about the garage when he had to sleep in there and he wouldn’t leave anything out. He described the things he saw, the temperature, the pain he felt being there, and even the faint smell of food that he would not be getting. The setting is what made me get into the story, because I could envision how his living conditions were and how he really felt.
This book was very good, but reality orientated. I had no idea that actual people have and are going through this torture. This book made me have a more open mind to kids that are outcasts. Some people see a dirty unkept person and automatically think that it was his/her own fault for their looks. I have decided that it isn’t always the kids fault for their looks or their actions, they could be in as much trouble as Dave was in.