A Child Called "It"
By: Dave Pelzer

Deja-Elise Mayfield's First Six Weeks Honors Project

       Suspenseful, captivating, and tear-jerker are three definite words to describe the true story of Dave Pelzer's A Child Called "It". The extraordinary and inspirational novel tells the tale of a young boy's struggle for survival as he endures constant torture and abuse from his once sane mother, Catherine Roerva. Throughout the story, David, the protagonist, visibly becomes subject to his mother's antagonistic and cruel acts of violence. As a victim of child abuse, David was exposed to physical, emotional, and mental abuse. Having to experience being locked in an bathroom engulfed in Clorox and Ammonia and even being banished to only sleeping on an Army Cot in a frigid garage; will David ever have enough courage to ask for help or will he continue to live uncomfortably in an abusive relationship with his mother?

      Social worker Valerie Bivens once spoke on child abuse and shared, “We are beginning to hear more about child abuse. Movie and magazine articles on the subject are becoming more frequent, but cases are often sensationalized.” Dave Pelzer’s A Child Called “It” shares his non-fictional and factual account of child abuse. Find out what happens in the critically acclaimed novel, A Child Called “It”. Those who enjoy narratives that pull at your heart strings will definitely have an emotional response to David’s struggle for survival.

       How would you deal with child abuse if you were faced with that obstacle? There are several helplines to assist with those in need of help that are struggling with child abuse. Listed below are two popular organizations that specialize in assisting with helping those in need that encounter child abuse.

- "Child Help USA offers a 24-hour crisis hot line, national information and referral network for support groups and therapists, and for reporting suspected abuse."

- "Child Welfare League of America headquartered in Washington, DC, the Child Welfare League of America is a 75 year-old association of nearly 800 public and private, non-profit agencies that serve abused, neglected and abandoned children, youth and their families."

*Source: "Resources for Help" chapter in David Pelzer's "A Child Called "It"

       The links attached below are associated with the child abuse helplines that are listed above.

       The theme of the novel could be described as "A human beings lack of humanity", or even "The conflict between parents and children". However, one thing the novel could not be categorized as is a cry for sympathy/attention. The author of A Child Called it said it best in a quote that will forever be remembered.

       'A Child Called It' was a story about resilience, it was never about boo hoo hoo, it was about a kid that didn't quit. - Dave Pelzer

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