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A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer is a memoir of the survive of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history.

Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his mother, who was an alcoholic and just generally unstable. In public, Mrs. Pelzer played the doting mother but behind closed doors she played "wicked" games, dangerous, deadly games.

In order to survive, Dave had to put up with his mother's aggression. Everyone in his house, his family, ultimately bowed to the whims of his mother. No one helped. Even when Dave showed up to school with bruised and unbelievable stories of losing his lunch or falling down the stairs, no one helped.

This is the story of one child's struggle to survive.

Hmm. I've been trying to take more recommendations lately, especially with non-fiction because it is not my strong suit. And yes, this book was striking in its awfulness and horrible to the point of unbelievability, but the narrative flow didn't really work for me. The story didn't read smoothly, in my opinion, and I was never really sure where in the timeline of Dave's life I was.

My favorite chapters--though its hard to call it "favorite" when the subject is child abuse--the chapters that pulled me in the most, were the ones where the teachers were involved. I assume they take a bigger part in the other books in the series.

That being said, once I actually started it, I couldn't put this book down. I had to know what the catalyst was that caused Mrs. Pelzer to choose Dave for her target. And damnit, that question is never answered in this book! At the time, I didn't fully realize it was a series but the books really must have been intended to be read back to back because the book itself has no closure. It ends super abruptly and jarringly so. It sort of shadowed what I had already read. I don't know if that was intended but it was frustrating as a reader.

This was a read that was outside my comfort zone. I am glad I read it but I don't think I'll be finishing the series. This one gets three stars from me.

That's all for now!


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