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A Child Called It

Posted - Oct. 7, 2003 at 4:31 a.m.



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A Child Called “It” By David Pelzer

I read David Pelzer’s bestselling autobiographical book A Child Called It in a single sitting. You have heard the phrase, “I couldn’t put it down” before, but never was that more true for me than with this book.

I have noticed the book in bookstores and on the New York Times bestseller list for months and wondered about it. Now that I’ve read it, I don’t know how to recommend it to you because it was so excruciating to read. A Child Called It is the most horrific story of child abuse I’ve ever read or even heard of. Young David was so abused by his mother and so unprotected by his father that he nearly died. His mother refused to feed him, made him stand in the basement while she fed the rest of her family, burned him on the stove, made him drink ammonia, even stabbed him. When I read the passage when he remembers how he was so weak after being stabbed that he leaned against his mother’s chest and for just a moment, felt warmth, I wept. At 10 years old and being abused within an inch of his life, this precious boy just craved a moment of motherly love.

Of course you’ll cry, but you will also feel the most powerful will to live in the pages of A Child Called It. I found an anger welling up inside me against his mother so powerful I wanted to seek her out. Instead, I know that I will seek to learn more about child abuse, how I can help, and what I can do to not look the other way. This is not an easy read, but a powerful one. David Pelzer’s bestselling book, the first of three in the series, is A Child Called It and is still on the paperback nonfiction besteller’s list. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio, I’m Amanda Dickson.

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