Skip to content
Paperback A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive Book

ISBN: 1558743669

ISBN13: 9781558743663

A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive

(Book #1 in the Dave Pelzer Series)

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

Save $9.16!
List Price $13.95
46 Available

Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

20 ratings

My Gf Loved It !!

I read this book in the fourth grade. Back in the early 2000s. However the love of my life haven't read it whatsoever. So I figured I'd buy it and read the book to her to see how she feels about it. It was so touching and emotional she cried on some parts . She absolutely loved it. Unfortunately it triggered her and touched her in so many ways. !! She loved the book and I'm so glad she loved it because I absolutely love that when I read it in the fourth grade .

One of my favorites.

The is the first book I read completely as a child. It left a lasting mark on me. I have passed it down to my kids and all but one have read it. Because if it’s contents it’s a hard book to read but I am grateful Dave shared his story with us.


Read this book in middle school a few years back and always made me cry. It’s definitely a very hard book to finish from everything that happens to him but worth the read. I wanted nothing more than to hug him and take him away from all the bad that ever happened. I recommend this book! Very sad and I’m glad he told someone in the end and was able to get away!

Amazing book!

I cried 5 times. It's been the only book to make me cry. My favorite misery real book of all time .

A Child Called "IT" a heartbreaking story

There seems to be a lot of debate about whether the author Dave Pelzer actually experienced the childhood trauma or whether it is just a tale. I am not one of those people, I would rather express how I felt while reading this story and where I would recommend someone else to read it as well. I once read this book when I was in middle school and I remember how much I cried when I read it. Not only because the details were so explicit but also because I could feel the pain in my heart and the feeling of helplessness. I'm sure many people who read this review are going to think this is "over the top" but someone will always think the worst. Now I am in my 30's and I still feel an overwhelming sadness. Dave Pelzer whether he went through this or not certainly put though, heart, soul and I'm sure even shed some tears while writing this. I certainly recommend this for those who are able to handle extreme situations and enjoy reading a story of someone who beats the odds.

A child called it is my favorite book.

It's a sad true story. Great author.

Eye opening book

Such a sad story, and even worse being that it’s true. Eye opening, heart breaking, captivating, this book is an incredible read. I would recommend this book to any and everyone.


Wow!!!!! This book was a very easy read but so heart wrenching and addicting all at the sane time! I highly recommend reading this

Heartbreaking, but a very good read!

I remember my mother telling me about this book when I was in high school. She didn’t go into too much detail about what it was but recommended I read it. I found it in my school library and read the entire series. This book had me crying my eyes out. I could NEVER in a million years imagine hurting my child like this. It’s so heartbreaking. Make sure you have a box of tissues.


I read this book when I was 12 for class. It made me and the whole class cry. It is an amazing, beautifully written book. This book helps readers see life through other kids eyes. I see it every time I am looking for a new story to read. I highly recommend this book.


I read this book my freshman year , 12 years have past and I sense so much heartache when I see the cover of this book. I want to buy it to add to my book collection but I am so hesitant. I am a mother and I couldn’t ever imagine hurting my baby. This is a great book to read, but be warned, it’s pretty heartbreaking!

A great book

I loved this book! I read when I was 6th grade after I had found the second book to this in a store.(A Lost Boy). I’m pretty sure it’s about his life in foster homes. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it. I read that and knew I needed to find this one. I read it in one day. It is truly such a great book and I would recommend it to anyone!

I read this book years ago it is still one of the best books I have read telling such an amazing heart-wrenching story.

Amazing Read!!!!

An absolute amazing read of a little boy who captivates the reader with his words and courage. His strength to survive fills me with tears. As someone who works with children this book moved me in many ways. I highly reccomend this book and the sequel The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave which completes the trilogy of Dave Pelzer's memoirs.

It's gut wrenching to read, but worth it.

Reading this made me crazy that this could happen to a child, but it's important to know this goes on.

I couldnt put this book down

It was so cruel. I don't know where his sick mother came up with such sick ideas to hurt him like that? what was she thinking? she was psychotic! It was shocking.Anyway it was a book I couldn't put down.

truly an inspiration!

This is a must read story. Dave was a great kid who struggled and never loose faith..he's a survivor

A Great Man of Survival

After seeing Dave Pelzer on the Oprah show, I just had to buy his first book 'The Child Called It". Well needless to say, if you truly love children you'll need a box of tissue to get through this first book. I am now Dave's third book in the series, A Man Called Dave. I shared these books with four other people and they all swear that if they ever met Dave's mother they'd probably end up in prison for what she did to this man as a boy and even later on in life. It is truly remarkable that "any" human being could possibly survive such a life like Dave has lived. Especially, when you see him on TV, he seems like such a wonderful person who has survived such a monumental life of torture at the hand of his insane mother. I can't say enough to those who read this review that when you order the first book, you'll be forced into ordering his other two. We truly found it so compelling of a story that when we all finished each book we couldn't wait to start the next hopefully to find that the wicked witch of the west would finally get hers. God Bless Dave Pelzer. There definitely will be a place in heaven for Dave when the time comes for him.

A Story of Inner-Strength, Courage and Forgiveness

Child abuse is still such an issue which we strive to deny and hide. Dave Pelzer shines a spotlight into the deep, dark, secret crevises of child abuse - and what we see is horrifying. What Dave suffered through was one of the worst cases of child abuse in the state of California. When you read what happened to him, you wonder how it could be or get any worse. Dave Pelzer is an inspiration for every human being on this earth. Never the victim, his writing is compassionate and forgiveness has filled his soul. However, the reader will probably have a tougher time with forgiveness. I believe this book (and his trilogy) should be MANDATORY reading for all teachers. Statistics say 1 out of 4 children in the US are abused. It is imperative teachers know what to look for - and then ACT. Dave's teachers risked their careers for him, and saved his life. Every parent and teacher owes it to themselves to read this'll never look at your own children (or your school kids) again in the same way.

The most powerful book that I have ever read! Made me cry!

Working in a position where I deal with children that have been abused, this book opens your eyes to what is out there. This is the first book that made me so emotional that I threw the book against the wall. It's hard to believe that a mother could be so evil to her child. The things that David Pelzer goes through makes mental health professionals wonder more about the mind and the state of being that one goes through when put in the tortureous situations that David was put through. If you like to analyize mental states that people find themselves in this is the book. It is not for the weak of heart. Your pulse will race and a tear or two will be shed.

A Child Called "It" Mentions in Our Blog

A Child Called "It" in Life-Changing Books That You Need to Read
Life-Changing Books That You Need to Read
Published by Bianca Smith • January 10, 2018

What books changed your life? Maybe as a child, or later. Here are some that people told us changed their lives.

Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured