A Child Called 'It'

by Dave Pelzer | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0752837508 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Mountainflower of Winterthur, Zürich Switzerland on 4/21/2006
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17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Mountainflower from Winterthur, Zürich Switzerland on Friday, April 21, 2006
Text on the back of the book:
"As a child Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother, a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games that left one of her sons nearly dead. She no longer considered him a son, but a slave; 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.

Dave dreamed of finding a family to love him and call him their son. It took years of struggle, deprivation and despair to find his dream and make something of himself in the world. A Child Called 'It' covers the early years of his life and is an affecting and inspirational memoir of one child's determination to survive."

Bought it today at the Bücher-Brocky in Zurich for only 1 sfr.

Journal Entry 2 by Mountainflower from Winterthur, Zürich Switzerland on Sunday, September 17, 2006
This book is really disturbing and somehow shocking. This boy lived in hell, and I really mean hell. His mother not only beat him and let him starve while eating with the rest of the family, but she always found some new kinky ways of torture "The Boy". I don't want to mention anything here, because you just have to read yourself and be prepared. It's really awful!

I'm not sure yet what to do with this book as I don't want it to get lost. Also I'm not convinced that wild releasing it would be a good idea. Perhaps I'll ask in the forum if anyone's interested in a Bookring (or probably Bookray), because I definitly want the book to be read as it let's people know about an actually existing but mostly unknown problem.

I decided to send it out as a Ring and am now searching for interested Bookcrossers. Please PM me or post here: thread in the forum.

List of participants (now in order):

1. boirina (Portugal)
2. BOKWORMY (Portugal)
3. Qantaqa (Germany)
4. buchleser (Germany)
5. whitehorsy (Belgium)
6. HeresDeb (USA)
7. Bluestocking88 (USA)
8. Rrrcaron (USA)
9. acountkel (USA)
10. fantasykay (USA)
11. kitten99 (UK)
12. Wasserfall (Germany)
13. Mary-T (Germany)
14. wildboarhunter (Germany)
15. maju30 (Germany)
16. Sunneschii (Switzerland)
17. back to me (Switzerland)   <---   It's here now.
(Reminder for me: Maybe Zoe1971 (Germany) wants to read it later.)

The book started its journey on Thursday, February 22, 2007.

The ring ended today. Thanks to all the participants for sending it on and making it possible for the ring to close in the end.

Journal Entry 3 by boirina from Calvià, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Monday, March 12, 2007
The book got here safely today.
Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 4 by boirina from Calvià, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I really enjoyed reading this book. I actually couldn't put it down. I would really like to read the next books, in which the author continues his story.

The book will leave for BOKWORMY tomorrow. :)

Journal Entry 5 by BOKWORMY on Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Arrived nice and safe thanks to boirina.

Thank-YOU mountainflower for sharing it, looks like a quick read. Hope to be quick since I´ve got a book TBR before this one.

Journal Entry 6 by BOKWORMY on Thursday, May 03, 2007
I found it a very touching sad story. I just can´t imagine a mother treating a son like that.

Journal Entry 7 by BOKWORMY at on Thursday, May 03, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (5/3/2007 UTC) at



On the way to Qantaqa in Germany.

P.S.: I recommend you have some tissues ready!

Journal Entry 8 by Qantaqa from Dachau, Bayern Germany on Monday, May 07, 2007
Arrived today - thanks a lot for sending!

EDIT: I lack the words. On the one hand, I almost wish I hadn't read this book - being a mother myself, it's unbelievable how she could do that to her own child.

Journal Entry 9 by TCL-173619 on Friday, July 20, 2007
The book arrived today. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 10 by TCL-173619 on Sunday, July 29, 2007
The book was quick and easy to read. Only the last pages are a little too patriotic for me.
I can hardly believe, how the boy could survive all the tortures and why years past until a teacher notices it.

I've sent the book to whitehorsy on thursday.

Journal Entry 11 by whitehorsy from Hasselt, Limburg / Limbourg Belgium on Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The book has arrived at my parents house today, thanks for sending buchleser! I'll pick it up next weekend. I'm curious because I've already read the next book in line 'The lost boy'.

Journal Entry 12 by whitehorsy from Hasselt, Limburg / Limbourg Belgium on Wednesday, August 08, 2007
This really is a horrible story. It''s unbelievable that a mother can single out one of her children and abuse him that way. And I don''t understand how the father could just stand there and watch... feeling sorry yes... but not doing anything about it! :-(

Thanks for sharing Mountainflower. The book has been sent to HeresDeb today (by priority mail).

Journal Entry 13 by HeresDeb from Grayslake, Illinois USA on Thursday, August 16, 2007
Received the book a couple days ago and read it already! It was a short read that I had a hard time putting down.

Like others have said, it is amazing what a mother can do to her own child. It''s also interesting how things in the educational system have changed since the 1970''s when this took place.

Congratulations to the author for not only surviving but doing well in life and breaking the cycle against all odds!

Journal Entry 14 by HeresDeb at To next on list in Mailed, Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, August 16, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (8/16/2007 UTC) at To next on list in Mailed, Bookring -- Controlled Releases



This book has been mailed off to Bluestocking88, next in the bookring.

Journal Entry 15 by Bluestocking88 from -- Wild released somewhere in the state, Washington USA on Monday, August 20, 2007
This just arrived in today's mail. Thanks for passing it on.

Journal Entry 16 by Bluestocking88 from -- Wild released somewhere in the state, Washington USA on Monday, August 20, 2007
What a horrible story! It was a very fast read, but so horrible to think someone would treat her child that way. I hope the father was prosecuted as well--how he could watch the boy to suffer after being stabbed is inexcusable.

I am glad David survived, I wonder if his brothers were so lucky. I've pmed Rrrcaron for an address and hope to mail this off in the next day or two.

Thank you very much for sharing Mountainflower, and for everyone else for moving it along.

Journal Entry 17 by Rrrcaron from Lancaster, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I received this in the mail last week some time. I'm sorry I didn't journal earlier. My daughter took it to her room and read it!!! My apologies... I have a few to read beforehand, but it shouldn't take too long.

Journal Entry 18 by acountkel from Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Thursday, December 13, 2007
Received today.
Thank you for including me in this ring.

Journal Entry 19 by Rrrcaron from Lancaster, New Hampshire USA on Friday, December 14, 2007
As you can see, the next reader has received the book before I could journal that I sent it on its way. My keyboard died, and I haven't been able to post. I'm up and running again, and I'm glad the book made its journey safely to the next reader.

Journal Entry 20 by acountkel from Charlotte, North Carolina USA on Tuesday, December 25, 2007
As a mother I was totally moved by this book. I can not even dream of placing myself in this mother’s shoes and do what she did to this boy. It is absolutely unbelievable. I commend Dave for being so strong and coming to grips with his abuse. What an amazing man to go thru this and come out normal with an understanding of what he had to do to “NOT be like them”. I can’t say I am looking forward to reading the next book because his story is so sad. But I am very interested because his life and what he went thru is truly amazing.

Thank you for including me.
I have PM'd the next person and will send on as soon as I can.

The next two readers have asked to be skipped.
I am sending to FantasyKay in the morning.

Journal Entry 21 by fantasykay from Gig Harbor, Washington USA on Saturday, January 12, 2008
I received this book just yesterday and finished it this morning. Wow. I can't believe stuff like this actually happens. Or that is can happen for so long without anyone doing anything. I work in Early Childhood Education and cannot fathom letting something like this go unreported, but I guess that was a different time. Still, no excuse. Amazing book. Incredible story. I can't wait to read the next two. I am PMing the next person on the list...

Journal Entry 22 by kitten99 from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Monday, June 02, 2008
Received today - a nice surprise as I'd forgotten all about this bookring! And very good timing as I finished my previous book yesterday.

Thanks to Mountainflower for arranging the ring and to fantasykay for sending it on to me. I'll journal again once I've read it and it's on it's way.

Journal Entry 23 by kitten99 from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Thursday, June 12, 2008
I really don't know what to say about this book...enjoyed is clearly not the right word, yet I felt compelled to keep reading to the end, all the time increasingly horrified at what was detailed in the pages. Of course we all hear about child abuse cases, and we can never make sense of any of them, but what I really don't understand about this is how the mother could abuse one of her children so badly. The others were clearly not wonderfully treated either, but what led her to turn against that one child?

Thanks to Mountainflower for the bookring. I posted this to Wasserfall today, so it should be in Germany soon.

Journal Entry 24 by Wasserfall from Göppingen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Thursday, June 19, 2008
Received the book today. Thank you.

08/05: From the moment I started to read the book, I wasn't able to put it away. It is terrible, what someone can do to the person, he or she is most responsible of...

08/13: On it's way again.

Journal Entry 25 by Mary-T from Bretzfeld, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Monday, August 18, 2008
IT arrived safely.
I hope I will have the chance to read this soon.

I've finished this book and I don't know what to say.
I've hardly heard of this massive kind of child abuse.
It's really hard to see that this "mother" treated one kid so bad. I really wonder what could be behind of all of this. What happened when she got pregnant with Dave? Who's Dave's father. I really can't understand why she turned so much against this one. But I assume it was also kind of a torture to treat him bad while she allowed the others to be part of the family, eat at the family table and sleep in beds upstairs. Maybe she just used the others to humiliate Dave even more?
This book again made me to realize: How bad is world - how bad are people...
Yes, propbably you will kind of look at it as normality when you grow up like the brothers of Dave. But I really wonder how they couldn't have a tiny bit of sympathy left.
And I really dispise the dad in this story. In the beginning I thought he would left soon, this coward. Well - but he stayed almost till end. He sent him back to do the dishes after the accident. Hello?
This is really too much! How can I watch how my kid is being so badly abused? How can I let this happen and watch and stay calm!
I also wonder why it took so long since the school knew there's something wrong.
And as well - what about the other parents. Didn't they hear of the stories from their kids? Didn't they think about that ragged, skinny boy stealing food?
Oh no - just in our world everyone is minding its own business and living its own life. Disgusting.
Sorry - but this is really upsetting me. And this book really got me excited.
I am just glad that Dave was rescued at last. Much too late... but nevertheless.
What I also wonder is why he never tried to escape. Every dog would habe probably escaped, I guess. Maybe he was just too petrified.

I will send the book off the next days.

Journal Entry 26 by wingwildboarhunterwing from Rodgau, Hessen Germany on Friday, September 26, 2008
Heute im Briefkasten gefunden! *freu*
Muss nur kurz warten und kommt bald an die Reihe! Vielen Dank fürs Zuschicken!

Found it today in my Mailbox!
It won`t have to wait for too long.


A terrible story. But I think, like the author says, that the most important thing is, not to keep such stories a secret. Such things happen everyday, all around us. I work with young people and even if I don`t know their stories, I often see the signs in their behavior. It´s sad, especially, when it`s not possible to win their trust and you can`t support them to find a better way in life than the one they already know.
I think, Dave Pelzer is brave, to show his childhood like that. More people should do that! We all carry the experiences of our own childhood into parenthood. If we ignore this, we will do the same or different- maybe even worse- things to our children. And the physical abuse is only a small part of it- the one you can see more easily. Words hurt, too...


Geht morgen raus an maju30.

Journal Entry 27 by maju30 from Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Niedersachsen Germany on Saturday, October 18, 2008
The book arrived today. Thank you for sending and thank you for the ring.

Journal Entry 28 by maju30 from Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Niedersachsen Germany on Thursday, December 04, 2008
I felt very bad when I read the book and knew all the time that it is based on true happenings.

The book is on the journey to the next reader.

Journal Entry 29 by Sunneschii from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Monday, December 22, 2008
The book arrived back in Switzerland today. Thank you for sending it.

Journal Entry 30 by Sunneschii from Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Friday, January 09, 2009
A fast read, but also very disturbing. I think I'll read the following books as well, just to find out more about the way he took after his horrible childhood.

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