A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer


Genre: Auto-Biography

Page Count: 184

Publication Date: 1993

Summary: The author tells his story of growing up with an emotionally and physically abusive alcoholic mother.  He was abused for many years before his teachers and school staff turned his case into the authorities.  Though he had brothers, his mother directed  most of the abuse at him.

Recommended: No.  As a reader, you are left with many unanswered questions – Why does his mother change so dramatically from a caring, loving mother to a monster? Why does the father allow the mother to continue the abuse? Why is Dave singled out? This is the first book in a trilogy so perhaps those questions will be answered in the next two books (which I plan to read next).

If You’re Offended: The author refers to his mother as “The Bitch” numerous times and there are a few other swear words mentioned in the book.  The child abuse described is severe and troubling.

Noteworthy Excerpts: “Although Mother never made me swallow ammonia again, she did make me drink spoonfuls of Clorox a few times.”       “As the year passed and the beatings became more intense, I thought about Mother’s age and tried to calculate when she might die.”