Is this story religious? No. Is it inspirational in what would be considered the typical sense? No. But for me, A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer is inspirational because of his will to survive. This novel, which first graced the bookshelves in 1995 is the story of a boy who went through some very atrocious abuse by his mother and even his father. It is very detailed with scenes that were uncomfortable to read, and it will make you cry. But as the story is told by the boy whose own mother called him “It”, you will find yourself so angry at the woman you are ready to take this poor boy into your arms and cradle him. Even though it is very gruesome and a HUGE tear-jerker, it is a must read story. Below I have included a little author bio as well as a synopsis of the story and the author’s website.

About the Author: A retired Air Force crewmember, Dave played a major role in Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He was selected for the unique task of midair refueling of the then highly secretive SR-71 Blackbird and F0117 Stealth Fighter. While serving in the Air Force, Dave worked in juvenile hall and other programs involving “youth at risk” throughout California. Dave’s exceptional accomplishments include personal commendations from former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. While maintaining a rigorous, active-duty flight schedule, Dave was the recipient of the 1990 J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, making him the California Volunteer of the Year. In 1993 Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA), joining a distinguished group of alumni that includes Chuck Yeager, Christopher Reeve, Anne Bancroft, John F. Kennedy, Orson Welles and Walt Disney. In 1994 Dave was the only American to be selected as one of The Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP), for his efforts including child abuse awareness and prevention, as well as for instilling resilience in others. During the Centennial Olympic games, Dave was a torchbearer, carrying the coveted flame.

Description: This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games–games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother’s games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an “it.”  

Dave’s bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive–dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.

Dave’s website:

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