Dave Pelzer's story is the story of a child brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games - games that left one of her three sons nearly dead. Dave had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; ...Read MoreDave Pelzer's story is the story of a child brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games - games that left one of her three sons nearly dead. Dave had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy but an 'it'. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and smelly and when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dogs' bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors. But throughout Dave kept alive dreams of finding a family to love him, care for him, call him their son. It took many years of struggle, deprivation and despair to find his dream and then to make something of himself in the world. This book covers the early years of his life and is an affecting and inspirational look at the horrors of child abuse and the steadfast determination of one child to survive despite the odds.Read Less
This books affirms my choice of making social work my career path. It is a very sad story, but since it is an autobiography, you know he made it out ok in the end.
Jan 24, 2010
A Book You'd Like to Not Believe is True
You'd most likely be like me and wish that what you were reading isn't true. For a while, in fact, it felt "over the top" and too horrible to be true but if you open your mind to the author's words you will see and know and feel that it can be true all too often and is no doubt accurate with some variations to particulars in the lives of other victims.
It is a heartbreaking book, a book that begins in such a positive frame of mind describing an idyllic childhood with happy memories. But those happy memories only seem to increase the pain of what his home life turned into, having gone so almost seamlessly from heaven to hell.
It gives good insight into the failures of "the system". In the end the system redeems him and gives him a hope for a better life but all that is discussed in the author's continuing saga of his incredible life.
A very good book to read to become aware of the the way familys fall apart, how they interact and how they can turn on one another.
I recommend highly. It is easy to read in that it can be read quickly but hard to read in its tragedy.
We need to see beyond the surface of what appears to be going on down to the level where we can see reality which isn't always pretty.
Jun 11, 2009
Oce I picked this book up I couldn't put it down until I finished it. I am a very slow reader and read this book in two days. That is a record for me.
Mar 1, 2008
A heartbreaking and disturbing look into child abuse from one who survived it and is helping children today to survive their abusers. Despite the sadness that is contained within it's pages it is a must read for anyone who needs to better understand what the abused are going through, how they survive and move on to lead fulfilling lives!
Sep 9, 2007
The tale of a survivor....
After reading Dave Pelzer's tragic childhood recollections, I began to believe the old adage," what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." The child called " it ' -to effectively strip away his identity - even his gender, recalls vividly the myriad tortures of child abuse at the hands of his mother and the torment of his early years.The abuse Pelzer suffered was one of the worst cases ever recorded in the state of California. But at the end of it, a huge WHY? echoes through my mind. What made his mother change so drastically and why were other adults so slow to respond to his plight? I hope the sequel will shed some light on this. This poignant memoir told from the point of view of an innocent child, truly broke my heart and made me remember the plight of all the children in our society who suffer so needlessly from this social evil.
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