A Child Called "It" by David Pelzer

Title: A Child Called "It" - One Child's Courage to Survive
Author: David Pelzer
Pub Date: September 1995
Pages: 195
Genre: Memoir
Rating: ???

This is the story of a young boy, David, who has to endure agonizing abuse at the hand of his drunken mother while his father, his protector, stands by and does nothing. This is the story of David, who goes from having a name, to being referred to as The Boy, and ultimately "It". This is a story of a young boy's despair, a young boy's tragedy, and ultimately, a young boy's conviction to never give up.

I had heard about A Child Called "It" for many years and it's always been a book that I've meant to read. But you know, it's hard to find yourself "in the mood" to pick up a book when you know it's about child abuse. And then, a couple of months ago, I found it at a thrift store. Still, even after purchased, it sat on my shelf, days turning into weeks. I even included it as a book for completing one of my challenges to ensure that it got read.

I finally picked it up on Sunday and finished it that day. Never before have I had such a visceral reaction to a book. There were moments when I found myself holding my breath, chewing on my life, and yes, even stomach turned - full on gagging.

I don't know if this is a book that I would "recommend". I mean, it kind of goes back to the same dilemma that I had when purchasing it. It's a book that should be read, in the sense that these situations do occur, this outrageous behavior is out there, and awareness is one of the best solutions in preventing child abuse and forcing people to step up and become child advocates. But saying people should read the book is quite different than recommending it!


  1. This was such a sad memoir. I read it several years ago.

  2. I read this book over a year ago and posted a review here. I totally agree that the response to this book is visceral.

  3. I read this one years ago and felt similar to you. Not a book that you can really "enjoy" or "recommend" but still a very important read. I did read the sequel, I think it's called Lost Boy (not 100% sure on that) and I'd definitely suggest you read it if you're interested in Pelzer's full story.

  4. This is the only book I've ever read that gave me chills.

    But it needed to be read.


Talk to me!