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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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good one

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

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • April
  • Uvalde, TX, United States
  • 01-10-12

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • steve
  • kearny, NJ, United States
  • 08-07-10

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.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sandra
  • Phoenix, AZ, USA
  • 02-06-08

Great book, yet sad.

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

6 of 7 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review 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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • 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 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jamie Taylor
  • 10-30-17

Heart breaking

I have been told about this book but never fully understand the meaning of it, it is a heart break storey of a boys fight to live against all odds, I have cried and smiled and felt my heart melt and true sorrow for dave.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-31-17

no no in the begging story was OK but chapter 2

less interesting I got lost sorry to say
in the beginning it was okay then I lost it

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  • Jason
  • 11-26-16

Heartbreaking

Such a sad story, written well. Had a year in my eye. Definitely a recommended read.

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  • Natalie Hatzer
  • 09-06-16

good book.

I've read this book years ago so thought I'd give it ago on audio version whilst I was at work.
the story is so gripping always leaving you gasping in shock at the awful things that happened to this poor young boy. a truly hear braking gripping story from beginning to end.

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  • andrea
  • 03-18-16

such courage and resilianxe

i read this book many years ago and have now listened to it being told. its the best book ive ever read. it brought tears to my eyes. ishall go on to listenvto Dave Pelzers other books that i have also read

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  • James
  • 03-26-15

An amazing survival story

This truly brings into context just how blessed some people are. Having had a less than enjoyable childhood, I have learned so much humility since hearing these books by David Pelzer... They are a true inspiration. And to go from a feeling of expecting certain at such an early age, to surviving and making such progress and success as an adult.... Simply wow. God bless you David Pelzer. Brian Keeler, the narration was clean, crisp and full of passion.

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  • glen sangster
  • 01-22-15

interesting but very american

a sorry story . strong boy that had lets say a s#it childhood. 3.5 stars really

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  • Miss Clare Louise Panes
  • 08-17-14

The boy called it.

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

This is one of the best Audio books,I've read <br/> Once I started I couldn't put it down, from beginning to end. I've read the book, but a pal of mine said if you got audio books then download it. I cried through some of it,so that's me hooked, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has got audible to download and read it.<br/><br/><br/>

  • Overall
  • Maria
  • 02-23-12

Eye watering.

I was loathed to read this book because I hate child abuse, but tried it here as an audio book and pleased I did. It's oration is nice and smooth in contrast to the horrid behaviour David Pelzer endured. Trigger alert for Survivors on some parts. Great listen!