TITLE: A Child Called "It"
AUTHOR: Dave Pelzer
NARRATOR: Brian Keeler
PUBLISHER: Recorded Books
DATE OF PUBLICATION: July 18, 2007
FORMAT: Unabridged Audible Audio Edition (3 hours, 46 minutes)
GENRE: Biography & Autobiography, Nonfiction
SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:
This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it."
Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.
This book is not for the faint-hearted. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, it is extremely disturbing and describes child abuse in graphic detail. It is the victim’s story, which was identified as one of the most gruesome and extreme cases of child abuse in California history back in the early 1970s.
As a mother, I cannot fathom how someone could do what this sadistic woman did to her own child. My heart ached reading this book, and the only thing that got me through it was wanting to find out what happened to his parents. I don’t know what is worse: the abuser or the parent who stood by and let it happen and never stopped it. I find myself feeling sicked by the mother and very angry at the father.
I have now discovered that the victim has written a total of seven books. Apparently, one of the victim’s brothers also wrote a book about how he was abused after Dave was taken away. The author’s website is here: http://www.davepelzer.com/.
As much as I do want to find out what happens in the rest of the books and hopefully see some justice, I cannot stomach reading any more about child victims. I read too many of them this month: Boneman’s Daughters, Room, and now this book. I need to take a break from these sad stories.
MY RATING: 4 stars!
This book qualifies as:
#18 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#12 for my 2011 Audio Book Challenge
#12 for my 2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge
#6 for my What's in a Name IV Challenge