How and Why

Being involved in an intricate web of book-lovers, the best of what we encounter is always passed on to another who will appreciate it. Recently a pal sent me A Child Called It by David Pelzer as one of these note-worthy books.

On second thought, “note-worthy” does not even begin to describe this childlike description of what turned out to be one of the worst child abuse cases in California history. Thankfully, Pelzer begins the book by revealing that there was indeed a happy ending. Otherwise, the heart-wrenching experience of reading about what happened to this poor innocent human being would have been even more frightful. Pelzer describes, in horrific detail, the abuse he experienced growing up. My knowledge of child abuse is limited (though assuredly existent-have I ever mentioned I teach in a public school?!), but what really got to me was how in the world Pelzer’s mother came up with the tortures she inflicted upon her son… her son, for crying out loud!

I discovered that there are 2 additional parts that make up Dave Pelzer’s trilogy, and they have just been bumped to the top of my “To Read” list! While I was content knowing that Pelzer survived and was eventually removed from his home, there are unanswered questions burning in my mind.

-Out of 5 sons, why did his mother abuse him alone?

-Where is the mother now? Does he have a relationship with her? What about his father and all his brothers, the ones who were hateful to him as well?

-Has he ever gone back to tell Shirley (his mother’s friend that was apparently the only person to confront her about her treatment of David) what happened?

-What kind of therapy does one have to undergo to get past such experience?

-How has this affected him in his adult life, specifically in his role as father.

-This may seem off the subject, but I noticed that in the author profile at the end of the book, Pelzer names his son and even their pets, but mentions his wife only as “my wife.” Why? Is that significant at all?


I am sure that most or all of these concerns will be answered when I read the other 2 books, but for the time being I am left with absolute disgust and wonder over how in the world someone could do this to their child.