A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer
Summary: A Child Called It is 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 torturous, 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 and 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. Through each struggle you'll find yourself enduring his pain, comforting his loneliness and fighting for his will to survive. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse--and the ability we all have to make a difference. (taken from the back of the book)
My Critique: Wow. This book left me emotionally depleted. It's non-fiction and I generally don't read non-fiction but I picked this book up since the Hubs and I are almost to the end of our journey to become foster parents. I was hoping this book would give me a good look into the mind of an abused child to better equip me to foster parent a potentially abused child. Be careful what you ask for! This book is a no-holds-barred look at the disgusting things done to Dave Pelzer by his mother. Sick mind games such as starving him for days and even forcing him to vomit after he got home from school to check to see if he had eaten anything at school--and if he had she forced him to eat the vomit--there was alos a time when she forced him to eat the feces out of his baby brother's diaper................and that's perhaps the least offensive things she did. I caution you to be ready for this emotional read but I will tell you that it is well worth reading--I think we could all use a little insight into the true torment a child suffers when they are abused at the hands of the ones who are supposed to be protecting them. Truly eye-opening. Anyone who works with abused children in any way, shape, or form could benefit from reading this. This is book one in a three-part series. I have the second book and will begin reading it soon.
I'll skip my "disclaimer" this time--I don't want to make jokes or seem lighthearted because at this very moment, just seconds after reading the last page, my heart feels as if it weighs a thousand pounds.