A Child Called It, Dave Pelzer – Review

IMG_8998Call me ignorant but when I picked up this book I didn’t realise it was a reportedly true story. It was more of a grab and run, quite like a lot of my books. When I finally caught on to the fact that this book was about the author’s childhood and the heinous acts of child abuse that were committed against him by his mother I felt utterly sick.

Now I said reportedly earlier on because if you happen to do a little bit of research i.e. Google the whole thing you see that the interviews with his family make it sometimes unclear as to whether this happened. For me I feel though that some of the acts in this book couldn’t have been made up. I hate to think that someone can be as sick as what Pelzer’s mother was but I also think it seems unlikely that someone would be able to make up such disgusting acts of cruelty against a child .

This book is the first part in a trilogy of Pelzer’s life. Currently I’m undecided as to whether I will approach the next two books solely because I’m not sure I want to feel the way A Child Called It made me feel. As a reader you feel helpless against a reign of tyranny which is projected towards a boy who is vulnerable and has no way to fight back.

This book I read in about an hour and a half, the writing style is not brilliant however Pelzer does explain that he is writing in the words of a child and therefore it adds to the uncomfortable reading that this book radiates. The context of the bok speaks for itself and the disgusting nature of what Pelzer is exploring and reliving makes this book completely different from anything I’ve picked up before.

As we learn more about Dave Pelzer and his dysfunctional, unstable alcoholic mother and the family who desert him you can’t help but not only be traumatised by the events but also amazed at how Dave Pelzer remained strong throughout his ordeal.

Child abuse is so stigmatised that I feel this book definitely brings about an opening for child abuse to be discussed in a more open way. We always hear about the subject and we the consequences but never, at least not in my life have I ever heard an account of abuse like it. How a child can survive when the person who gave him life so rejects, humiliates and in a word tortures him I will probably never know but this book gives an insight in how a child survives such brutality.

To purchase this book click here.

For more information on child abuse please visit the NSPCC, Action for Children and Barnardo’s.


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