A Child Called 'It'

One Child's Courage to Survive
Narrated by: Brian Keeler
Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,013 ratings)

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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

Critic Reviews

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

Breakthrough: Tiffany Haddish


There’s a story Tiffany Haddish has told on a few different talk shows: She was living in her car, down on her luck, when comedian Kevin Hart gave her money to get a hotel room and make a list of what she wanted to accomplish. She later told Stephen Colbert that she accomplished pretty much everything on that list, and will pay back the people who helped her get where she is. It was simple advice, but the concept of writing a list to call things into existence is a common method of goal-setting. It’s the kind of concrete, achievable idea that Shonda Rimes outlines—and the story makes its way into Haddish’s memoir.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good one

I read this book before listening to it. I knew it would be good and it was. I recomend this.

26 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Heartbreaking

Being an adoptive and foster parent myself, this story is especially personal. Some have questioned the plausibility of David Pelzer’s account. I certainly can believe it may be all true and have heard similar stories in my area. Even if some of the details have been changed or slightly exaggerated, it’s really irrelevant. There’s no question that the abuse this boy suffered is very real.

Let this story inspire you to get involved! In my state alone there 1400 children in the foster care system looking for forever families.

21 people found this helpful

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Real

Would you listen to A Child Called 'It' again? Why?

Definately. It holds your attention with a very real story.

Which character – as performed by Brian Keeler – was your favorite?

Dave Pelzer

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me cry.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Too Sad....

Just a horribly sad story. I feel so bad for that poor child. How could a mother be that cruel? Listener beware: some of the incidents are utterly gross. Not for those with light stomachs. I truly hopes this helps educate others on child abuse. Other than that, I thought this was a heartfelt story of a child who overcomes all obstacles in the end. With that said, considering the story's main character was a boy, you'd think they'd try a get a narrator with a younger voice. Safe to say, I wasn't too keen on the narrator as I thought this one's voice was dull and boring.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Disturbing

I read this book a few years ago and nearly threw it out the window several times. Not because of the book itself, but because I couldn't take anymore descriptions of abuse.

I witnessed the abuse of my brother while growing up. It was not nearly as extreme as the authors but it brought back many memories.

For anyone that doubts the events in this book, please read the books written by the authors brother. When the author was removed, his brother became the target of their mothers abuse. He addresses and confirms many of the events in this and subsequent books.

13 people found this helpful

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The Most Touching Book I will Ever Read

Would you consider the audio edition of A Child Called 'It' to be better than the print version?

I hate reading without someone reading to me, be cause of my dyslexia. It made me enjoy this book so much more.

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

None. There isn't anything like it

What about Brian Keeler’s performance did you like?

He read with emotion

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried the first time and I will cry every time I read it.

Any additional comments?

I had a similar life, and he taught me to keep my head up because its not over til its over. I also want to thank him, for the wonderful book he wrote

11 people found this helpful

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seriously emotional

What made the experience of listening to A Child Called 'It' the most enjoyable?

I'm not sure enjoyable is the best term for such a dark experience. It's an important book on a serious subject. It deeply affected me. I had a physical reaction to some of the horror described in this book. And yet its a book I would recommend to anyone who could stomach it.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, yet sad.

It's a very great book to read, but it's so sad, it touches your heart.

8 people found this helpful

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Amazing

This was probably the best book I've listened too / read in my life. I got very emotional while listening to this book and even got sick to my stomach during some parts. I feel that everyone, whether they've been abused or not, should listen to this book. It is very relatable and may open your eyes to why some people act the way they do.

2 people found this helpful

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powerful

powerful and raw. the story of the abuse the author endured shows how strong the human spirit is to survive. it also tells how depraved the human Spirit can be for his mother to inflict such abuse upon him

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy
  • 10-07-07

A stunner

Brilliant book, beautifully narrated by Brian Keeler. A emotional and turbulent insight into child abuse. Everyone should take a listen, you will be truly moved.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-15-20

Heartbreaking

Absolutely amazing heartbreaking story.
Such an awful story and so eye opening. What an amazing man !

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-01-20

Holy moly. Youve GOT to read this.

As someone who is not usually effected by much, this book is brutal. I consider myself someone made of stone. Probably the most brutal book I've ever come across. It honestly made me angry. Unbelievable.

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  • Nicole dyer
  • 09-27-19

Unimaginable

Remarkable strength from a child that was going through a horrific childhood. Resilience was born

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ainemm1974
  • 08-25-19

heartbreaking

a tough but important read, Dave Peltzers story is one of hope, bravery and strength.

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  • SJEW05
  • 05-11-19

Heartfelt story

I have had the books for many years and as a person that also comes from a rough and unpleasant childhood, I was really on tender hooks and really felt for Dave and how he coped and did not give in. I admire his courage and strength the then let the word know that he is a survivor and be proud of that.

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  • ScottishJay
  • 08-29-18

Incredibly sad

This book starts off on a positive note to give you the knowledge that despite everything you are about to read, there is somewhat of a happy ending. If it wasnt for this, the story would have felt hopeless and it would have been too painful to read on. This book made me very emotional - I just can't believe some of the things Dave went through. Despite how sad this book is, I highly recommend it to everyone, as it is a fantastic listen.

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  • Janzkie
  • 06-30-18

review on book David Pelzer.

I have enjoyed it very much I will be getting other books by David Pelzer and will be telling others to read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-01-18

heartbreaking story

very hard to hear at some points but a very good insight into the life of an abuse victim. feel so sorry for this guy. great book. would 100% recommend.

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  • amazon customer
  • 01-13-18

best book I've read very upsetting

really good narrating even my daughter sat and listened ..I listened all in 1 go it upset me but it's good to listen too

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  • Sue.Armstrong
  • 03-21-19

the level of child abuse this man suffered!!

very very enjoyable but at times very hard to hear what this man went through at the hands of his sadistic mother.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sienna-Rose
  • 10-21-19

Horrific and Eye-Opening

This book is a must-read for anyone working or interested in child advocacy and child protection. The horrific and vile abuse sustained by David as a young child is difficult to hear about but absolutely essential to the understanding of the reality of abuse through the eyes of a survivor. I thank the author immensely for the courage and strength they found to share this intimate story.