Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Child Called It By Dave Pelzer

A Child Called It By Dave Pelzer
Number of Pages: 195
Genre: Non Fiction

A victim of child abuse himself, Dave Pelzer has documented his childhood- and also one of the worst cases of child abuse in all of America- in this autobiographical book.

It describes Pelzer's life and what he endures when his alcoholic mother tortures him in numerous ways for no apparent reason at all. Starving him, stabbing him, making him eat his brother's diaper... these were all just like games that she used to like playing when she was 'bored'. We ourselves can empathise and feel only a bit of the pain that we see Dave endure every moment of every day. His mother refuses to wash his clothes and his starved and skinny look just adds to his misery each day in school when bullies jeer at him to humiliate him.

A little boy who has nobody to turn to, in his struggle to survive takes to stealing other children's lunch boxes. When his mother finds out, she makes him vomit the food out. Why? Because he does not deserve to even feed himself. He is referred to as an 'it', and does not deserve an identity of his own. He is made to stand for hours under running water and then is not even allowed to dry himself. All the chores in the house are done by Dave and in return all he gets is physical and emotional abuse. But this child still manages to survive. He is emotionally very strong and has great will power. He believes in God and prays to him every night. Using little tactics of his own- like counting numbers to make the time pass by quicker, he somehow manages to find a way out of the hell hole that is his home.

It is eye opening to read the events that take place in his life and opens us to a totally different world- this dark world that exists everywhere, but in our happy nonchalant life's we do not have the time to notice it around us.
This book leaves us empty and totally distraught with the way a child's life could have been. More so, it is incredible to know that the very child that was a victim has managed to survive and has even written an account of it. It fills us with hope that it is not necessary for children of abusers to become abusers themselves. An emotionally lacking environment for a child does not necessarily make the child grow up as an individual with 'emotional issues'.

"A Child Called It" is a book that needs to be finished the moment it is picked up, and influences the readers in such a way that they feel more appreciative of their own lives, and is a must read for all those who wish to succeed in seeing beyond the darkness of life and appreciating the little bit of light that can be called hope.

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