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23 August 2014
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A Child Called It

Non-fiction club

A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

Lisa, Glasgow, age 17

When I read A Child Called It, the first thing that struck me was the philosophical and relatively optimistic outlook that this young boy had on his life. I've read autobiographies before, and believe that nothing cheapens a tragic story more than someone openly feeling sorry for themself throughout the book. The 'poor little me' approach was not once used by Dave Pelzer. Even though his life was one of the most horrifically treated in the history of abused children, he holds an air of dignity and completely engages us in his story.

People should read this book because, as well as letting us truly appreciate the lives that we lead, it enables us to see that there is always hope for us at the end - no matter how bad our situations may be. This autobiography never enters the realms of the clichéd or the self-pitying, and that in itself strikes a chord with me. He handles even the most painful paragraphs with delicacy, and the book as a result is an inspiring and remarkable read.


Kara, Wick High School, age 15

'A Child Called It' is a true story about a child who is abused and starved by his mother. He no longer is a member of the family but an 'It', a slave to the family. He is forced to do chores all day and is then beaten. He is starved, but when he is fed it is only scraps from the dogs. Eventually the school realizes what is going on and David is free. Throughout the book you feel sympathy towards David but it ends on a positive note. The book is written in a way for David to get what happened to him off his chest. I really enjoyed reading this book because it showed how brave and determined David was and how he survived.



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