Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy

A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy by David Pelzer briefly recalls the horrific child abuse Pelzer suffered at the hands of his mother and his subsequent years spent in the foster care system. My paperback copy of A Child Called "It" was originally published in 1995 and is 184 pages. My paperback copy of The Lost Boy was originally published in 1997 and is 340 pages. The number of pages in both of these books is not a true indication of the length of these books. The language is simple, the type is large, the spaces between sentences is great, and the margins are wide. There are also several pages of extra information in the back, like brief accounts from people who were or are in Pelzer's life now. Let's just say I read both in one night... a night in which I also took a long call from a friend, talked to family members, and made hot chocolate for everyone.

A Child Called "It" briefly tells of the appalling child abuse and torture Pelzer's alcoholic mother inflicted upon him. After years of abuse, a schoolteacher finally noticed the bruises, scratches, chipped teeth, wounds, etc., and called other's attention to it which eventually lead to David being removed from his home. There are two questions that come to mind while reading about the adults around Pelzer when he was a child. The first one is why didn't his father step in and at least try to stop the abuse. I will never understand why an adult let this malicious abuse continue to happen to their child. The second question is why didn't the school (or some other adult) notice and start documenting the evidence sooner. The Lost Boy continues Pelzer's story about his time spent in the foster care system. (At this point in his story one wonders why his mother was never charged with child abuse and thrown into prison.) I recommend both books as autobiographies, but there are probably meatier books out there if you truly want to study the causes and effects of child abuse. rating: 3

1 comment:

Jeane said...

Nice review. I've seen these titles on the library shelves but never knew what they were about. I'm interesting, now.