A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer
David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care but not to David, her son, whom she referred to as "an It". This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school--but mostly it was pure sadism. Inexplicably, his father didn't protect him; only an alert schoolteacher saved David. One wants to learn more about his ordeal and its aftermath, and now he's written a sequel,The Lost Boy, detailing his life in the foster-care system.Though it's a grim story, A Child Called "It" is very much in the tradition of Chicken Soup for the ... read more
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