A Child Called "It"

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

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"A Child Called It" is a book written by a man named Dave Pelzer about his childhood, recounting the excessive physical and emotional abuse he endured at the hands of his mother. He describes, in detail, the different "punishments" his mother puts him through for being a "bad boy", from forcing him to drink ammonia or lay on top of a hot stove, to being forced to throw up the food that his hunger drove him to eat from the trash can or steal from his classmates' lunchboxes at school. He also tells about the strategies he developed to try to avoid as many of the "punishments" as possible, or maybe even expose his mother's cruel behavior; however, many of the schemes he tried to execute only made his teachers, classmates, and even his own brothers and father dislike him, and made his mother even more angry, which brought Dave more cruel "punishments."

This book was written to try to open the world's eyes to the many cases of domestic child abuse that go on in so many homes every day. Although the many tortures Dave had to survive were described in detail, and it was very unpleasant to think about these gruesome punishments actually being endured by a small child, it was very effective in serving the purpose it was written to serve. It proves that something so unimaginable actually happened in what everyone around them thought was a normal all-American family, and it makes the reader realize that, if something that horrible went on for so long, totally unnoticed and unstopped, it could very well happen again. I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether or not you enjoy reading, because this book holds your interest and your emotions from beginning to end. Although in some...