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A Child Called It

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Book Report #1

A Child Called 'It'

By Dave Pezler


1-Russian River:

The Russian river is a place in California where Dave and his family would usually go for a vacation. He remembers this place as a quiet and peaceful place. He remembers how he and his brothers would play, how his mother would to hug him, and how they would all watch the sunset together


School was Dave's only refuge away from his mother, and it was the only place he could actually get food and feel safe. Sometimes he would wish to stay at school forever just so he wouldn’t have to stay home with his mother. He dreaded holidays so much. His school was also a place where he felt loved by the nurse and put an end to his abuse.

3-Grocery Store:

During breaks at school, Dave would run to the local grocery store and steal food. But this only lasted for a short period of time because he was caught.


Dave's mother would make him sleep in the garage in an old army cot. Sometimes it would get really freezing down there and he didn’t even have anything to cover him. Dad would occasionally sneak him scraps of food, but if he didn’t he would have to starve.


This is where mother played many games of torture with Dave. She played 'Gas Chamber' which is a dangerous game where Dave has to stay in the bathroom with many different chemicals causing him to choke. She also made him swallow ammonia and made him sit in a bathtub of freezing cold water for hours.

Main characters:

1. David:

-Before Abuse:

David is the author of this auto-biography. He lived the perfect life up until his mother took up drinking at the age of four. Dave enjoyed school and had a wide imagination. He lived a perfect life and was blessed with perfect parents. Everyday was a new adventure filled with fun. He loved his life and his family.

-After Abuse:

David came to believe that there was no god because "No just God would leave me like this" Pg.131. He had totally disconnected himself from all physical pain. He refused to shed a tear because he didn’t want to show his mother the satisfaction of his defeat. He no longer dreamed at night, nor did he have an imagination. He felt as if his life had no point "I no longer awoke in the mornings refreshed; I was tired and told myself that I had one less day to live in this world" Pg.132. David's soul became cold and he hated everything including the sun because he knew that he was never going to be allowed to play in its 'warm presence.' But he hated himself the most, because he blamed himself for everything that happened to him. David became more rebellious and wished death upon him. School no longer held the exciting appeal it had years ago. David struggled to concentrate on his work in class, and his bottled-up anger often flashed at the wrong times.

2. Mother:

-Before Abuse:

Catherine Roerva was a woman of average size and appearance. She was a woman who glowed with love for her children. She always had ideas, and she always took command of family matters. She loved and did everything she could for her family, and took care of all their needs. In a way, she was a perfectionist.

-After Abuse:

After taking up drinking when David was four years old, Catherine's attitude and respect for David changed dramatically. She thought of David as a nothing, and her marriage to Stephen started falling apart. Stephen left the house and they got a divorce. Mother treated David like an 'It'. At one point mother told David "Get one thing straight, you little son of a bitch! There is nothing you can do to impress me! Do you understand me? You are a nobody! An It! You are nonexistent! You are a bastard child! I hate you and I wish you were dead! Dead! Do you hear me? Dead!" Pg.140. Mother took order of everything and put herself in charge. She would usually get drunk and pass out on the couch.

3. Father:

-Before Abuse:

Stephen Joseph supported his family as a fireman. He stood about five feet ten inches tall, and weighed about 190 pounds. He had broad shoulders and forearms that would make any muscle man proud. His thick black eyebrows matched his hair. He supported his family well both personally and financially.

-After Abuse:

As the abuse escalated father spent less and less time at home and more at work. Father was the only family member that stood up for David's rights and snuck him pieces of food; but it wasn’t always successful for he was living in 'mother's house' so therefore he had to abide by her rules. Father got sick of the way he was treated so one day he decided to leave, crushing any hope of David's escape. Father's once masculine body had faded away.


'A Child Called 'It' portrays an emotional journey of a brutally beaten child from the age of four till twelve. The child, Dave PezlerÐ'Ñ' was emotionally and physically tormented by his unstable mother. He was the victim of abuse in his own home, a source of ridicule at his own school, and stripped of all existence.

The novel starts out by telling the ending of his torturous journey. On March 5th 1973, David started his day like every other abusive day. He was usually denied any breakfast, or if he was lucky he would get the leftovers from his two brothers or even the scraps from the dogs bowl. His mother mercilessly



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