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
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
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
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
10, Helston, Cornwall, UK
9, Cincinnati, OH, USA
8, Cincinnati, OH, USA
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