The Lost Boy

The Lost Boy Dave PelzerEver since I published the review of the autobiographical novel by Dave Pelzer A Child Called “It”, I kept noticing people looking for more information on both the book and its author. Only recently was I able to acquire  The Lost Boy – the second book of the trilogy (the third one is called A Man Named Dave) – about the childhood of the author.

The Lost Boy starts right where the first one left off, describing briefly the devastation of a young boy (David) suffering mistreatment by his mother. The story sends chills to its readers as the author portrays the confusion, hope and thoughts of the nine-year-old boy and the way he sees the world, his parents and himself, after years of mistreatment and brainwashing done by his mother. The author spares us the gory details of his torture – but everyone who has read the first book will recall those scenes and wish that somehow, someone would put an end to it all.

While reading the book, I was astonished by the excellent writing of the author – recalling his troubled past in such an emotional way.  It sets the book up as a prime example of a coming of age novel, detailing the struggles of a young boy trying to find himself and believe, for once, that he is a regular kid – not an ” it ” – but a human person. The tension in the story keeps the reader turning page after page hoping that David will make the right choices along the way – that he will be able to go on with his life.  It begins to look like he might have a chance when finally his teachers step in and call the police.  This results in the 12-year-old David being examined by doctors and undergoing a treatment with a social worker.  During this treatment,  he tells what he has been through – first trustfully, then scared that he might be betraying his mother (who, even after all these years, he still loves but is also afraid of).  Can a child hate his own mother?  In the end, he is finally rescued and  placed in foster care.

Some of the events in the book reminded me of Iluzija – a Macedonian film I once saw. In my mind, I imagined David looking like Marco (Marko Kovacevic), the young protagonist of that film, as they shared similar experiences. At other times, I pictured David as the boy in the emotional video clip Oklahoma by Billy Gilman. I have always liked that particular clip, not just for Billy’s great singing, but for the story it tells. But it was only after I read this novel by David Pelzer, that I started to fully understand the meaning of the song. Atypical for a book review, I want to embed the clip in question in this article.  I  promise that if you like the clip, you will love the book as well:

The Lost Boy is an account of the experiences that shaped the personality of Dave Pelzer as he tries to make sense of his past and its reflection on his present and future.  As such, the story is largely a coming of age experience of a young person and, as such, is recommended to people interested in that genre and/or Child Psychology. As you read about David and his quest to find his answers,  you are guaranteed to find some answers for yourself.

4 COMMENTS

  1. i just read the first 2 books….A child called IT and The Lost boy and now i am looking for the 3rd book. I just couldnt put the book down and I had them both read in one evening. I am also looking for the Motion Picture video …..but dont know exactly what its called.

    • I have never heard of a motion picture based on the novel. But if there is – I am also likely to watch it – trough even now I don`t expect that it would be nearly as good as the books – in terms of authenticity – I hope that at least it will be done in first person

  2. I have read the entire series and have them in my personal library! Not only is Dave Pelzer a great author but his books are required reading for anyone who is, or desires to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children, which I am one! It is hard to understand why some children have to suffer things like this in the world but having a deep sense of concern about this matter compelled me to comment! I have seen and worked on some cases that would shock and sadden the hardest of individuals, but at the same time witnessed some outstanding outcomes and success stories. All of Dave’s books masterfully tell the story in a personal way that only he could tell us! I’m sad there has to be a program like CASA but I can truly say that I have been blessed to be a part of this program. If I can help a child who is hurting, neglected, or abused find a home of love, compassion and true guidance, we have brought them to a place that they hopefully can heal and live a happy and productive life.

    • Thank you for commenting on this review. I did not know much about Court Appointed Special Advocates and foster homes before reading the appendix of the book. I must admit that as Dave predicted the media did a good job in making me believe that foster home is a place where only bad things can happen and am glad that this book gave me a chance to receive a different perspective on these institutions and the people who put so much effort to help the children in need.

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