One of the worst child abuse cases in California's history came to an end on March 5, 1973
when Dave Pelzer entered foster care. Dave begins his incredible
story as an abused child with his rescue in part one of a series,
A Child Called "It". Calling this book a "page turner"
doesn't give it justice. Easy to read, but difficult to
comprehend how any mother could treat her child this way.
Horrific Abuse Besides being
horribly beaten, Dave was forced to eat his own vomit, swallow
soap, ammonia, and Clorox. This was just the beginning of his
mother's "games." Dave's childhood wasn't always a nightmare.
There were the "good years" in the beginning and Dave devotes a
chapter describing the feelings of warmth and safety provided by
his mother. By the age of 4 these feelings were replaced with
fear, starvation and lowliness.
"I was the King" The "I"
statement is used a lot in A Child Called "It" as Dave
discovers the power he felt when he stalled his mother from
burning him on the stove and "won." Trying to find food, making
plans, and succeeding with the prize of eating frozen dinners
from his family's deep freeze, Dave was proud of his
accomplishments and used the statement, "I was the king." This
goes to show the level of neglect he endured to consider frozen
dinners to be a prize and hiding in the family's garage to gobble
them up. These are less than kingly accommodations.
A Child Called "It" doesn't leave the
reader empty as we know that the child survived this abuse. We
begin with the rescue and then are led through the happy times,
and then into the abuse. The book is
written from the perspective of a child. It is eye-opening to see
how Dave perceived the treatment of his mother, as she didn't
treat Dave's other brothers this way, and how the abuse impacted
his self-worth. Yet, Dave still had this incredible will to not
only survive, but to rise above it all.
About the AuthorDave Pelzer
entered foster care at the age of 12 due to the severe abuse he
endured at the hand of his alcoholic mother. The abuse became so
terrible that she actually started referring to Dave as "The
Boy," instead of a child, her son, or Dave. At the age of 18 Dave
aged out of the foster care system and joined the U.S. Air
Force. Dave has won many awards and
personal commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and
George W. Bush. In 1993, Dave was honored as one of the Ten
Outstanding Young Americans. In 1994, he became one of the only
United State's citizens to be awarded as the Outstanding Young
Persons of the World, for his efforts in teaching about child
abuse and it's prevention. Dave is also the author of The
lost boy, A Man Named Dave, The Privilege of
Youth, Help Yourself, and Help Yourself for
Teens. Today Dave is a husband and a
father and resides in Rancho Mirage, California.
More Information This is
Dave's first book and A Child Called "It" was nominated
for the Pulitzer Prize. You can find a
section entitled "Perspectives on Child Abuse" at the end of the
book where different key players in this case give their insight or
feelings on Dave's abuse as it was unfolding before their eyes. A
section with numbers to call for more information on child abuse is
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