58 pages 1 hour read

Dave Pelzer

A Child Called It: One Child’s Courage to Survive

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1995

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Important Quotes

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“Mother can beat me all she wants, but I haven’t let her take away my will to somehow survive.” 

(Chapter 1, Page 13)

Dave’s silent resistance to his mother’s abuse foreshadows his resiliency in the face of challenging life circumstances, as illustrated by his memoir.

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“Mother enjoys using food as her weapon.”

(Chapter 1, Page 13)

Dave’s mother wields power over her children by controlling how and what they eat. In Chapter 1 Dave describes his intense hunger. After punishment, Dave’s mother “rewards” him by allowing him to eat his brother’s leftover cereal.

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“Usually I’m a very good student, but for the past few months I gave up on everything in my life, including escaping my misery through my school-work.” 

(Chapter 1, Page 16)

Dave excels in school despite his difficult home life. He uses his studies as a way to escape the abuse he experiences at home. However, even at school Dave faces discrimination from his fellow students and at times even his teachers, who shun him for his visible poverty.