In David Pelzer’s A Child Called It and A Lost Boy you found yourself engaged in an emotional roller coaster. These books were not only about David’s story but about how he managed to survive his abusive mother and find himself while in foster care. Not only do you find yourself totally enthralled with these books you also began to become emotionally involved as well.
In A Child Called It you see David as a boy who is severely abused not only physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually by his Mother. David is constantly fighting hunger and for the love of his alcoholic mother. Not only does his mother exile him from her love, but from the family as well. His brothers are not allowed to acknowledge him as there brother, but as a slave. Soon his brothers begin to think of him as low as his mother does. Because David is raised in such horrible conditions he becomes what he calls a robot in order to survive his mother’s «games». David must think one step ahead of his mother in order to survive.
Not only does his mother treat him like a dog, but his father is was no better. David constantly viewed his father as his saver when he was young; however, as time progressed he discovered that his father was nothing more than a coward who would do nothing to pull his son out of this horrible condition. His father is so brain washed by David’s mother he sees David as a nuisance that causes tension in the family. Finally he leaves the family and David behind to survive on his own.
After his Father finally leaves his family, you see David’s sprit beguine to down spiral. His «savior» father is gone, which means he is even in more danger of his abusive mother. As time goes on she becomes even more abusive inventing more and more «games» to play with David. His mother’s favorite seems to be the gas chamber, where she mixes a bucket of ammonia and Clorox, then locks him in the bathroom to breath in the mixture.
You can really see just how sick David’s mother is when she «accidentally» stabs David in the stomach then does almost nothing to help him. His mother actually makes him finish cleaning the dishes and puts them up before she wraps his stomach with gaze and puts him in the basement on an old army cot. The reader can really see the pain that David goes through as he describes cleaning the wound when it becomes infected. He describes it as a hot pain that hurts him so bad he actually had to put a shirt in his mouth to muffle his screams.
As «Mothers» games intensify you see the hate develop in David. You see David go through a transformation of a child who desperately wants to be loved and appreciated to a boy who longs to die as quickly as possible. The pivotal moment that brings about this transformation is when his mother tells him that he is nothing more than an «It» to her and that she hates him. After this moment you quickly see David’s spirit go down hill.
However, just when the reader thinks that David is truly doomed, he is rescued by his school’s staff members. After David is rescued he is taken in by a lady named Aunt Mary who becomes the first in a many set of foster parents. While at Aunt Mary’s David earns the acceptance of the other foster children, which is something that he is entirely unused to. After years of being abused at home and at school by his peers he doesn’t know how to handle the acceptance at first. It was here that David met his social worker miss gold who convinced David to tell the truth about his mother and to become a ward of the state.
While in foster care he is placed with the Catanze. It is hear that David tries to make friends and to develop but he lands into juvenile hall, due to being falsely accused of arsine. While in juvenile detention David realizes that his sick mother wants to place him into mental institution. With a little help from the Cataneze and Miss Gold, he is able to prove his sanity. David is placed in one foster home after another, until finally finding a home with the Turnboughs. Here David matures and acquires his GED before being accepted into the Air Force.
As you read along with David’s two stories you see the transition he makes and how he over came the impossible. For many this story brings about a variety of emotions. You begin to feel what David feels: longing, hope, despair, pain, and loneliness. You want so badly for David’s mother to get what is coming to her, and for his father to see the truth instead of the bottom of a whiskey bottle.
Although you see the bad side of the human spirit, you also see the good as well. You see David’s need to persevere no matter how badly mistreated. You see David’s will to survive and the need for love. David’s story is about a little boy who amounted to something despite all odds.
This is an amazing story that draws out many emotions and lets people know what truly goes on in foster care. It gives people and understanding of what these children and foster parents go through. Because of this story people must face reality and see that there is a need a cause for foster care. Many people choose to ignore why we have foster care, the truth lying in the fact that children are mistreated on a daily bases behind closed doors. Many times, child maltreatment is not discovered due to it being ignored or failed to see the truth. However, because of David’s book people will begin to see the signs and the need for foster care.
Although this story was difficult to read it brought about how devastating child abuse can be. Child abuse not only scares the child physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. You can see how David went form a boy to a virtual robot, and then the long process of being «deprogrammed». In most cases many children who were abused go onto abuse there own children. Child abuse is a vicious cycle that must be stopped. Even with proper counseling and therapy some victims of child abuse never tend to reach normal status. That is why child abuse must be detected and dealt with quickly. In David’s case it was ignored or unseen for so long because he was a «problem child», his case may not had been so sever had it been detected earlier.
When you finish David’s story one cannot help but feel a sense of pride in his accomplishments. He went from a beaten little boy to a highly successful man, who beat the system and prejudices. This story is truly life changing and has taught to value your own family and to help those in need.