Monday, April 3, 2017

A Child Called "It" Book Review

Despite how much there is to absorb and realize in Pelzer’s autobiography, it was unbelievably traumatic to read. At first, when reading about the severe punishments and pain David’s mother inflicted on him, I could not bring myself to believe and understand that these events were factual and really did take place in his childhood. The mother’s methods of brainwashing him were so gruesome, I nearly had to pretend it was all fiction to bear it. I don’t think this book should be read in one sitting but rather over a few days–unless you have a very, very strong stomach. But after I came over the shock that it in fact was true in its entirety, I realized how ignorant I was to the fact that David Pelzer was not the only victim to such child abuse. There are unfortunately many like himself who are or have previously gone through such experiences. All throughout the book, I though to myself, “Why doesn’t he just run away? Why doesn’t he tell an official and not return?”. I now can see how insensitive it was to think it would be that simple. People in such a situation are seemingly under constant stress and pressure and without much help. As seen in David’s case, he did not receive the needed recognition until eight years later. That was more than half his life (at the time) that he had dealt with the unbearable treatment by his mother.

It seems that schools are the only way abused children will get attention away from home–and that’s if they have responsible, caring teachers. This book made me think not only that I am grateful to have the family that I do, but what we can do for others who have families such as David’s. All it takes is to pay attention and take a caring interest in your peers. There were many signs in not only David’s physical appearance but also his behavior. Unfortunately the teachers saw his poor behavior called for more discipline. Little did they now he acted that way for a reason, which I don’t believe was his fault. I am absolutely positive that if he were to have been raised in a nurturing environment, he would not only have been well-behaved, but he would also have excelled in school because it took both determination and a great deal of wit.

I recently found out that there are two sequels to this book (The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave). I read a couple summaries on them. Fortunately, all turns out well. In The Lost Boy, Pelzer tells about his search for a foster family. A Man Named Dave is about his adult years, including his enrollment in the Air Force and his eight-year-long marriage. It was somehow reassuring to find out that he is alright now and leads a good life. For further reading, I was slightly intrigued to find that David’s brother, Richard, wrote a book titled A Brother’s Journey. I wonder what he could have written about, but it should be interesting.

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