40 pages 1 hour read

Dave Pelzer

The Lost Boy

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 1997

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Key Figures

David Pelzer

David is placed in foster care at age twelve after suffering years of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his mother. As a victim of child abuse, David struggles to feel worthy of the love and attention that his various foster parents try to show him and often fears that he deserved to be treated the way his mother treated him. He also frequently encounters people who are prejudiced against foster children and believe that he must have done something wrong to end up in the system. During his early junior high years, he often acts out by committing acts of petty theft and becoming involved with delinquents like John, which eventually leads to his brief incarceration in the local juvenile penitentiary. In time, however, David becomes more responsible and mature and begins to prepare for adult life by taking on many different part-time jobs. Although he drops out of high school to become a cars salesman, soon after he decides to get his GED and join the Air Force.

After he is removed from the custody of his parents, David spends a great deal of time trying to understand why his mother treated him the way she did.