My Quarter 1 Benchmark- Book Review

“A Child Called It,” written by Dave Pelzer is spectacular. This book is an autobiography about a child with a very unstable and abusive home. Dave, the helpless main character, was brutally abused by his mother, Catherine Rovera. His child abuse case was one of the most severe in California history.  Buckherry Band dedicated two songs to Dave, titled Rescue Me and A Child Called it.  Furthermore, the novel was on the New York Time’s best seller’s list for six years straight, which is really remarkable.  Clearly, David’s tragic story is very popular.

This autobiography is about a man, Dave Pelzer who was abused as a child by his alcoholic mother. His mother had something against him. She didn’t treat her four other sons anything like she handled Dave. She tortured Dave. For instance, she smashed his face into his younger brother’s soiled diaper and tried to make him eat the feces.  She also forced ammonia down his throat. Dave encounters a lot of near death experiences during the book. The ironic thing is, that his mother wasn’t a always an evil woman. She was actually a very caring and nurturing mother before she became an alcoholic. Many readers could relate to this dysfunctional relationship, and perhaps his story could help them cope with their own struggles.

The characters in this memoir are Dave, Dave’s mother, Catherine Rovera, Dave’s father, Stephan Joseph Pelzer, and Dave’s brothers Stan, Ron, Russell, and Kevin. In this book, the main conflict is between Dave and his mother. However, Dave also has several minor conflicts with his father.   Dave’s father is too tired and stressed out to tend to Dave’s needs because he is a firefighter and works almost a 24- hour shift every day. Dave is a remarkable person. Dave became a very successful person despite the tragedy he went through as a child. Surprisingly, even though Dave’s mother is so evil and cruel, he doesn’t hate her. He actually loves her to death and cares deeply for her, conveying his strength and heart as a character.  

This book is a powerful memoir that makes its audience reflect. It made me think of all the times I said “I hate my mother!” or “She gets on my nerves!” Dave would have killed for a mother like mine. I believe that this book teaches people how to be grateful for the blessings in their life. When I am going through rough patches in life, this memoir grounds me, causing me to realize that I have a lot to be thankful for.

Even though I had a hard time directly relating to any of the characters, I felt a connection to Dave’s relationship with his dad. Dave was never able to see his dad because he works a 24-hour shift.  His dad knows what is going on in the house, but he is unaware of how serious it is. Comparably, my dad doesn’t live with me, and I barely see him. I could be going through hell right now (even though I am not) and he wouldn’t have a clue. Similar to me, other readers could develop their own connections to the novel.

I would recommend this book to all teenagers because  Dave’s story is a stellar example of a memoir. However, I wouldn’t recommend this book to the younger audience (7 years and under) because the material is too graphic.  I barely ever hear teenagers say “I am so blessed and thankful for what I have been given” and this book will make you stop and think about  small privileges.  

Because “A Child Called It” is so well written, I don’t think this book needs any adjustments or has any weaknesses. His autobiography kept me entertained from beginning to end. The drama never stopped, and this might sound a little weird, but it kept me yearning for more. Because the story was like a drug,  I can’t wait to read Dave Pelzer’s next book, “The Lost Boy.”