Sunday, December 17

A Child Called "it" by Dave Pelzer: Book Review And Analysis

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AUTHOR’S BACKGROUND

A retired Air Force air crew member, Dave played a major role in Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  Dave was selected for the unique task of midair refueling of the then highly secretive SR-71 Blackbird and F-117 Stealth Fighter.  While serving in the Air Force, Dave worked in juvenile hall and other programs involving “youth at risk” throughout California.

Dave’s exceptional accomplishments include personal commendations from former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush.  While maintaining a rigorous, active-duty flight schedule, Dave was the recipient of the 1990 J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, making him the California Volunteer of the Year.  In 1993 Dave was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA), joining a distinguished group of alumni that includes Chuck Yeager, Christopher Reeve, Anne Bancroft, John F. Kennedy, Orson Welles and Walt Disney.  In 1994 Dave was the onlyAmerican to be selected as one of The Outstanding Young Persons in the World (TOYP), for his efforts involving child abuse awareness and prevention, as well as for instilling resilience in others.  During the Centennial Olympic Games, Dave was a torch-bearer, carrying the coveted flame.

Dave is currently working on a book based on overcoming obstacles and achieving one’s innermost best, and recently published the third part of his trilogy, entitled A Man Named Dave.

When not on the road or with his son, Stephen, Dave lives a quiet life in RanchoMirage, California, with his wife and a box turtle named Chuck.

CHARACTER ANALYSIS

David, whose life is being talked about in the story, is the eldest son of Stephen and Catherine Pelzer.  He loves his family very much, and enjoys spending time with them.  Later in the story, he is abused by his mother, and nearly faces death.

Catherine Pelzer, Dave’s mother, is a woman of average size and appearance.  She loves her children very much.  Her greatest asset is her determination.  She is a hardworking and caring wife and mother, but as time goes on, she starts to brutally abuse, and nearly kills her eldest son, David.

Stephen Pelzer, Dave’s father, supports his family as a fireman.  He has broad shoulders and forearms, and eyebrow that match his hair.  David always considers him his “hero”.

Ronald and Stan, Dave’s younger brothers, are his two best companions and they would do a lot of things together.  But later in the story, they start to hate him and love to see him “punished” for no reason at all.

Dave’s fifth grade Homeroom teacher, Mr. Ziegler, has no idea about his miserable life, and why he is such a problem child, but treats him as if he were a normal kid and encourages him to always do his best.  In the end, he is one of the  people who help David breakaway from his nightmare.

A policeman, whose name is not mentioned in the story, plays an important role in rescuing David, as he is the one who helps him tell others about his situation, who records everything that has happened to him, and who helps in investigating his case.

SUMMARY

The story is about David, who is being brutalllyabused by his mother for no reason at all.  He learns to play by her rules in order to survive, for she no longer considers him a son, but a slave.  The only things that keep him going are his dreams of someone loving him.  Then, he seeks refuge from God and so it comes to him through his teachers and many other kindhearted people.  Finally, he begins to feel happiness again, as he is granted the freedom from all of his nightmares.

THEME

“A Child Called ‘It’” is really an unforgettable story.  Actually, it is one of the best stories I have ever read so far.  As I read every word, it seems that I am there with him, and can feel his sufferings.

The story basically tells us, as the cover says, of one child’s courage to survive.  It tells us to expect the unexpected, for whoever thought that Dave’s once perfect mother would become his worst nightmare?  We also learn to always be strong and courageous, for without these things, we could not cope with the outside world, just as David was brave in facing and overcoming the things that left him nearly dead.  The only free thing in the world is to dream, and it is oftentimes our dreams and memories that keep us standing, so we must also learn to treasure them.  We should also remember that God is always with us, and He will save us if we just call upon Him.  His presence may come in different forms, from different people around us.  We should always remember that we are never alone, and that in times of trouble, if we are just courageous and persistent, happiness will always come afterwards, for after the storm, there is always a rainbow.

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