A Child Called "It"
By: Dave Pelzer
A Child Called It is a nonfiction book based on the author, Dave Pelzer's, life. He faces his mother's cruel treatment and what is said to be known as the worst case of child abuse. As a kid, his mother restricted anything enjoyable from his life and brought him to critical conditions. She barely fed him, locked him from the outside world, and painfully attacked him with her actions and words. There were many times where he came close to death, such as when he was stabbed and also held above a burning stove. Soon, he is helped by his teachers who have noticed the horrors happening to him and is safe from his mother's wrath. But the awful actions of his mother forever marked Pelzer's life and he describes that he never lived normally after.
About the Author
Dave Pelzer became famous after he published his first book "A Child Called It" because so many readers could not believe that something like this happened to an actual child. Pelzer soon wrote more books about his life that were also popular. Although he is a victim of child abuse, Dave Pelzer says that he would never do anything to harm his children. This contradicts the fact that many abused children grow up to do the same to their own. Now, Pelzer travels around the country to give speeches about abuse.
Text to Text Connections
"A Child Called It" and the 1979 novel "Flowers in the Attic" by V.C. Andrews are extremely relatable in the case of child abuse. Although "Flowers in the Attic" is fictional, they are both similar. In the book "Flowers in the Attic", four children are locked away, just as Pelzer was in his basement, and abused by their grandmother and mom. Their abuse started after their father passed away. In "A Child Called It" his mother seemed to go crazy and be abusive once her husband left her with the three boys. The children in "Flowers in the Attic" soon realize that their mother is poisoning them so she doesn't have to deal with them anymore. However, only three of the children survive. Pelzer escapes his mother's wrath with the help of adults working at his school. Both of these books give awareness of child abuse to readers, but "A Child Called It" was most likely more effective because of the true stories told.