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A new AlphaSmart 3000 computer companion was won by Laura, 11, of Solana Beach, California

Runners-up were

Kimberley, 10, Helston, Cornwall, UK

Kevin, 9, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Nicholas, 8, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Judges were children's authors Claire Rosemary Jane and Karen King

 

link "Smart Reporting" Writing Competition Winner 2003

The Pelzer Review

by Laura, 11, California, USA

Have you ever heard of a person named Dave Pelzer? Well, if you haven’t, you are missing out. He has written 3 fabulous books with his thoughts and memories about his tough child hood. Those great books are called A Child Called “It”, The Lost Boy, and A Man Named Dave. These books are about his younger years when his mother abused him. The first book is about how he got abused and how his family felt about it. The second book is about how he escaped from “The Mother” and “The House”. Also, it tells where Dave lived when he was in foster care. Last, but not least, the third book tells how Dave got out of foster care and what he did when he grew up. These interesting books are great ways to learn about warning signs for child abuse and why parents shouldn’t do it to their children.

You probably want to learn a little more about Dave Pelzer’s life. First of all, he had a hard life, as you can see. All he wore each day were a torn shirt, raggy pants, and worn out shoes. His mother never fed him and she made him sleep in the basement. During the day he would go to school, come back and start his agonizing jobs. Some of his jobs included washing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, and do as “The Mother” says. If he did not get the assignments done in time, there would be a price to pay. Some the punishments would be sitting on his hands and his head back for hours at a time, getting punched of slapped on the face, cleaning the bathroom with deadly gasses inside (ammonia and Clorox mixed), running to school non-stop, eating bad things, and roller skating in the freezing cold winter with hardly anything on. When “The Mother” punished Dave, he basically turned off all of his emotions because if he felt the pain everyday, then he would fight back. When the abusing had been constant everyday, Dave didn’t want to feel it anymore. So he just turned of his emotions and thought that he was Superman. That was a great way to take his mind of painful things. Dave didn’t mind it, but he didn’t like it.

There were some moments that Dave didn’t like at all, even if he tried to ignore them. Once when his mother was really drunk, she grabbed a knife and wobbled toward Dave. Then she lifted her hand with the knife, and stabbed Dave. He didn’t die, but he was badly injured. After 30 minutes of cleaning up the wound, his mother made Dave get up and finish his jobs. This was really tough on Dave. One other thing that Dave hated was when his mother made him drink ammonia. After he gulped it down, his tongue and throat started to burn like crazy. When he looked in the mirror, his tongue looked like it had been chewed up because of the ammonia. Those were really bad times for Dave.

After about 6 or 7 years with living with “The Mother”, Dave finally escaped. You are probably wondering how he did it. One day when his mother was punishing Dave, she just stopped, opened the door and said, “Get out of my house right now you foolish piece of rat!! Never come back here again!!” So Dave stepped out of “The House” and just walked down the street. “I am free!,” Dave whispered to himself with a cheery tone. That was the day when Dave got away from his mother. He was very proud of himself because he actually made it through all of the rough years with “The Mother”. That was a really happy day.

There are happy parts and sad parts to all of these three books. That is why I enjoy them; there are things to look forward to and things to get through. After you have read these books, you are probably going to think that I am really happy to have a loving family that cares about me. That is what I thought about after I read these three inspiring books. Also, if you read the back of these books, you will find many interesting facts that may or may not be on the books. One thing that I learned from the back is that Dave Pelzer travels around the world inspiring people with his fabulous books. There are many other fantastic books that Dave has written, but they don’t all have to do with this subject.

I hope that you will read these three marvelous books that are all about Dave Pelzer’s interesting life.

Read the runners-up

Kimberley, 10, Helston, Cornwall, UK

Kevin, 9, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Nicholas, 8, Cincinnati, OH, USA

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2003-2006 Kids on the Net and the authors        Last revised 07-May-2006
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