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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 (463 )
5 star
 (249)
4 star
 (124)
3 star
 (54)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (286 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (278 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    Jan 03-08-12
    Jan 03-08-12 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, 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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    11
    10
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    0
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    Story
    "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 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 01-30-12
    Nardia 01-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Jeffrey Highland Park, NJ, United States 07-10-08
    Jeffrey Highland Park, NJ, United States 07-10-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Marketing Abuse"

    I wish this were a better review, I really dp. The book happens to be extremely well written; it is compelling, powerful and moving.
    So why not 5 stars?
    The answer, in short, is that its too good; the recollection of what happened in first and second grade etc. is too vivid, and too exact. Can you recall verbatim dialogue from when you were 9? Maybe here or there, maybe once in a while, but day after day? And by extension, the recall of sequence of very specific events, sounds, smells, gestures, movements are presented in perfectly accurate detail...as if they just happened yesterday.

    While I do not want to suggest that Pelzer did not go through hell, I am equally convinced that we live in a day and age when embellishment is confused for non-fiction, and we buy pretending its all real. This seems to also be the conclusion of a July 2002 NY Times Magazine article about Pelzer and his story.
    I am therefore left sad; sad for his experience, and equally sad of the way we sometimes look to make money.

    2 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. 02-01-08
    C. 02-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not worth your time and money"

    Not worth your time or money.

    This book is advertised as an autobiography. However, it is little more than a fable written by someone who is not an author. This book is deceiving in its claim to be a true story; and even if it had claimed to being a fable, it would have been deceiving in its weak proses.

    This audiobook is quite simply deceiving.

    2 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barbara Brookside, Australia 06-18-08
    barbara Brookside, Australia 06-18-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "sad but repetitive"

    Obviously a tragic story, unfortunately the telling of it left a lot to be desired. It was repetitive and seemed characterless. The extreme abuse was probably accepted by the writer as something he had to just deal with but the story was so bland I didn't even bother listening to the end.

    0 of 8 people found this review helpful
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