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A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive | [David Pelzer]

A Child Called 'It': One Child's Courage to Survive

Dave was in first grade when his unstable alcoholic mother began attacking him. Until he was in fifth grade, she starved, beat, and psychologically ravaged her son. Eventually denying even his identity, Dave's mother called him an "it" instead of using his name. Relentlessly, she drove him to the brink of death before authorities finally stepped in. With faith and hope, Dave grew determined to survive. He also knew that he needed to share his story.
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Publisher's Summary

Dave Pelzer's astonishing, disturbing account of his early years describes one of the most severe child-abuse cases in California history. This book spent over 175 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Dave was in first grade when his unstable alcoholic mother began attacking him. Until he was in fifth grade, she starved, beat, and psychologically ravaged her son. Eventually denying even his identity, Dave's mother called him an "it" instead of using his name. Relentlessly, she drove him to the brink of death before authorities finally stepped in. With faith and hope, Dave grew determined to survive. He also knew that he needed to share his story.

A Child Called "It" is the first of three books that chronicle his life. Through publications and public appearances, Dave is now recognized as one of the nation's most effective and respected speakers about child abuse.

Listen to the second book in David Pelzer's harrowing, multi-part memoir of child abuse: The Lost Boy.

©1995 David Pelzer; (P)2001 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"Pelzer's portrayal of domestic tyranny and eventual escape is unforgettable." (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (386 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gayle Wayne, ok, United States 02-28-13
    Gayle Wayne, ok, United States 02-28-13 Member Since 2012

    I love a good book, but never have time to sit and read. Audible is wonderful for people like me. Even though my kids think I am a nerd for always having my headphones on, someday they will wish their college books were on audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sad book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Child Called 'It' to be better than the print version?

    I just can't imagine anyone every doing that to a child, so it was hard to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meagh Camp Verde,AZ 04-17-12
    Meagh Camp Verde,AZ 04-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great in a terrible way"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Child Called 'It' to be better than the print version?

    No


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Child Called 'It'?

    Description the author puts into almost every part of the book


    Did Brian Keeler do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes he did...but I would have liked to have heard it in a younger voice since the book is about a young boy.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie United States 04-09-12
    Angie United States 04-09-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    1
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    "Heart-wrenching"
    If you could sum up A Child Called 'It' in three words, what would they be?

    Tearful and heart-wrenching


    What did you like best about this story?

    How he overcome all the abuse to sit down and write his story in such graphic detail.


    What about Brian Keeler’s performance did you like?

    Voice inflections truly relayed to the reader the few ups and mostly downs of this young boy's life.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It's hard to pick any one moment since this child's life had so many moments of degradation. The one that does come to mind, though, is when his mother forced him to eat his baby brother's feces.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish it would have given the reader a brief history of what happened to the rest of Dave Pelzer's family -- his brothers and most of all -- his parents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Green Cordova, TN, United States 03-16-12
    Jo Green Cordova, TN, United States 03-16-12 Member Since 2002

    Grandma bibliophile! Audible books make reading with an active life possible.

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    "Heartbreaking!"

    This was horribly sad! The narrator sounded as if he could have been David detached or hypnotized looking back from an emotional glitch instead of a personal involvement. I believe that can be reached, but I don't know, it was just "off" sometimes in the way of narration. Could be because I'm a little "overly" emotional about stuff. The story itself in the way of progression makes it so troubling, the protection of his mom, the feelings of betrayal at the same time. I do wish he had given some closure for his siblings, even though this was his story. The chain of abuse continues. I don't feel I wasted my time with this one, I feel that if people listen they will have more of an idea of how easily children are manipulated to protect the abusers. This must NOT happen, but denial is too easy. This definitely was worth my time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 03-08-12
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 03-08-12 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Recommended to me... and I to you"

    I work with folk who have come out of, or are in abusive situations... and this book provided insights that I couldn't have learned any other way. I would highly recommend to teachers, social workers, pyschology majors... anyone who has a role involving children. This is an adults remembrance of a childhood that goes from perfect to beyond abusive... all while the child continues to be surrounded by teachers, neighbors and family who fail to see and intervene.

    The book is a stark and a difficult listen. The child is resiliant and it does get better... but I wouldn't consider it entertainment, rather education. That said, the world isn't pretty and by being unaware we are missing opportunities to intervene.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffiney SAGINAW, MI, United States 01-05-12
    Tiffiney SAGINAW, MI, United States 01-05-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    9
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    "Impacting and Emotional"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Child Called 'It' to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    Very detailed


    What does Brian Keeler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Emotion


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Him fighting to survive.


    Any additional comments?

    Very emotional book but worth listening to. Would make a very good movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-26-11
    12-26-11 Member Since 2007
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    "A story of incredible fortitude"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Child Called 'It' to be better than the print version?

    Audio is more intense without being sensationalized


    What other book might you compare A Child Called 'It' to and why?

    There is a second book in David Pelzers saga and both are worth reading. These are books that cannot be equaled.


    Have you listened to any of Brian Keeler’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This story would defy being made into a film. The horror of it could not be duplicated without becoming a sensationalized film as only Hollywood can do. If it were to be filmed, I would never watch it. It only in real life and the spoken word that the story is alive.


    Any additional comments?

    David Pelzer is a monument to the strength of the human spirit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elliot Lethbridge, AB, Canada 02-22-09
    Elliot Lethbridge, AB, Canada 02-22-09 Member Since 2007
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    "A gutwrenching must read"

    There were many times during this book I would gasp out loud while listening. The abuse describes in this book is not for the feint of heart, but is very well told. The narrator has a nice clear voice.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nardia New Jersey, NJ, United States 01-30-12
    Nardia New Jersey, NJ, United States 01-30-12
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    "Sad"
    What made the experience of listening to A Child Called 'It' the most enjoyable?

    the fact that the child survived all his mother put him though was the best part


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    narrator was rather borin, i think maybe if David narrated it, it was have been better


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Fresno, CA, United States 09-22-11
    Susan Fresno, CA, United States 09-22-11
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    "Hard to believe a child could survive"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, very moving story. It's hard to believe a child could endure such terrible things.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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