A Child Called ‘It’

A child called ITSurvival – that’s his main goal. But is survival feasible when you are “no one” to your family and you are not considered a person but an “it” ?

The answer could be found in the book  A Child Called ‘It’ written by Dave Pelzer. I doubt that anyone could read the book (or in my case listen to its audio version) without being moved by the story. It’s about a young boy who is being severely abused by his mother. The best thing about the book is that the story is told in the first person, which allows you to look at the world through the eyes of David, and feel his pain, hunger and desperation. The story is so well told that the reader can easily empathize with the young David and his experiences. This book made me appreciate my own family which, even if not perfect, gave me a chance to have a normal childhood.

The really horrifying  thing about the book by Dave Pelzer is that the events in it are based on the memories of his own childhood. As I have learned from Wikipedia , there is a bit of controversy about that.  But even if everything in his own childhood didn’t happen as he’s stated, it does not make the experiences portrayed in the book any less horrible. What happens behind closed doors often remains secret and many people are forced to fight for their lives and dignity in unbearable conditions.

The book is excellent and I would like to recommend it to all readers of the blog regardless of your age.  Social workers and anyone interested in child psychology may also benefit from reading  A Child Called ‘It’ . The book is a part of the curriculum of schools  in the  United States and Canada.

To finish this mini book review, I would like to provide you with few quotes from the book:

“”You are a nobody! An It! You are nonexistant! You are a bastard child! I hate you and I wish you were dead! Dead! Do you hear me? Dead!”

“My relationship with mom drastically changed from discipline to punishment that grew out of control. It became so bad at times, I had no strength to crawl away–even if it meant saving my life.”

To read the review of the second book in the series “The  Lost boy ” – please click here


  1. As this book article is by far the most popular book review I am considering purchasing the second book by Dave Pelzer. I have my eye on the book for quite a while and am just waiting for it to go on sale. But hopefully soon I will get it , read it , review it and add it to the site

  2. i think it is good that these book are being made so it gives some people an insight to what sort of stuff could be in our backyard.

  3. I for one have purchased and read all three of Pelzer's books. I believe his first to be the best of the three and hold the most interest for me. I could really relate to the book having seen child abuse and neglect up close and personal. I am a Volunteer CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for abused and neglected children for my county. I work closely with CPS, Foster Parents, Lawyers, Doctors, and of course the entire court system. A CASA's roll is to re-unify the child with the parent that they have been removed from. Of course in most cases by the time the child is removed reunification does not work out. In those cases we stay on until the child is permanently place in a home or adopted. These cases can stretch on for over a year. This is a bitter sweet volunteer job but it has many rewards as well when the final results end up with a child now safe from harm or neglect. I would encourage everyone to read all three books especially if you plan to work with children.

  4. you need to read the rest of the stories. it tells what happens to his mother, father, and all of his brothers. no, he was never fairest of them all… even toward the end.

  5. Let me re-read part of my comment to you… “YES, I FEEL BAD FOR WHAT THE GUY WENT THROUGH.” So, you are wrong. I have sympathy. His experience is awful. However, people automatically take the guy for a professional in the field of child/adolescent development/psychology when he has no such education or career history. I find his books and literature to be marketed in that way, when they should be sold as auto/biographical literature. He is making millions of dollars on books, tv shows, guest speaker jobs, etc., many on the premise that he is an expert in a field where is not.

  6. Unbelievable story taking place a few miles from where I live. I am mystified that between chapter one and two the family could have changed so much from the Cleavers to the wicked situation that David found himself in. What happened? Was he the postman's or the milk man's kid? What happened to mom? There are so many holes in the story that weren't addressed. Was it guilt or shame that motivated the mom to do the things described in the book? I know abuse takes place, but in this particular case, it doesn't make sense. Was David the fairest of them all? Did he rival his mom's looks or was she attracted to him? A lot needs to be explained to make sense out of the story.

  7. I read this book several years ago, followed by the next two in the series. I thought it was a waste of my time. Yes, I feel bad for what the guy went through, but the book was poorly written in my opinion. Now he sells an entire series based on this stuff. Let's turn child abuse into a marketing ploy. He has self help books out. He'll probably start selling poetry and cooking books soon.

  8. If I was the author of the book I would have been really proud that I have inspired someone to think and consider a carrier in helping children. Anything you can do in that respect Inter – will give another child a chance for a batter life and in a way – the pay forward effect is sure to occure.I have hard rumors that there will be a movie based on the book – none of them confirmed – so at the moment you can see some student projects at youtube.
    Thank you for commenting at my blog.

    Greetings ,



  10. I absolutely love Dave Pelzer and his books. This one is no exception. He is a remarkable man, and his books affected me greatly. It is one of the reasons I feel that Child Psychology will be a fulfilling career path for me.

  11. I read these books back when I was living in Chicago and it was so freaking cold, I still can remember how I was in my bed with a bunch of blankets and feeling sorry for Dave. Why someone doesn't like their children? They can always say they don't want the children, the government will take over and someone will adopt them. No one should mistreat a Child.

    Anyway, I got really angry remembering the book. You will be surprised about all the tortures that this woman inflicted on Dave. Is a very easygoing reading and you will be page after page wanting to know more.

  12. Hello btnspl ,

    I haven`t read yet the remaining two books – but I saw them and am looking forwards to read them ( in my case it would be listen to them – as I found out that I really enjoy coming of age audio books ) . I thing that you have a point when you said that the mother could still have her grip on the rest of the children – as according to the book she was quite successfully manipulating them into more or less accepting her ” values ” . Of course I don`t think that they are to blame – as that was not a choice they could make at such a tender age.

    Thank you for your active participation on my blog. It really means a lot to me !

  13. This book is amazing, i read it this spring and it was like i could never stop reading it because the story really touched me. After i finished reading it and saw there was two more books where we could follow him as a teenager up to this date(at least when he finished the last one in ~1999 or something) and they were just as good as this one. Have you or are you going to read them?

    I read the piece on the controversy in wikipedia but i dont believe in it at all actually, i think that “mother” still got a firm grip around her children(except for David) which make them say things like this just to hurt him, even if she's dead since ~10-17 years ago.


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