Child Abuse in "A Child Called "It"" Book Review by scribbler

Child Abuse in "A Child Called "It""
A review of David Peltzer's "A Child Called "It"" and the issue of child abuse then and today.
# 153129 | 1,691 words | 8 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on May 03, 2013 in Literature (American) , Child, Youth Issues (Child Abuse)

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The paper reviews David Peltzer's autobiographical account of his childhood, "A Child Called "It,"" that remains both poignant and controversial, a moving account of severe childhood abuse by both an alcoholic mother and apathetic father. The paper provides an overview of the book and then discusses how this abuse could go on for eight years in a modern, developed country, without anyone intervening. The paper then looks at the laws that now exist that are designed to actively protect children from both physical and mental abuse, and more vigilantly allow for intervention and aggressive protection of children at risk. The paper concludes that Pelzer's prose is neither academic nor particularly good writing, but his message and the passion with which he recounts his tale is an important contribution to anyone involved in family issues.

Plot Overview
That Was Then - This is Now

From the Paper:

"Reading the book in the 21st centry is a painful experience; not only does one's heart go out to this little boy, but there is a sense of bewilderment that asks how this abuse could go on for 8 years without the system in a modern, developed country, intervening. Certainly, people do not want to believe that anyone, let alone a mother, is capable of such abject cruely. David's mother, in fact, to the public was not monstrous at all - she was a kind and smiling Den Mother, she drove her other children to and from school, dressed them well, and to a casual observer, was well-dressed, well-spoken, and certainly never appearing under the influence of alchohol.
"Second, not only was the legal system not as evolved in the 1960s in regarding to the protection of children, but the predominant view of the schools was that "parents knew best," when it came to managing their own children. Certainly, popular culture of the time still saw the American home as primarily a version of the household of the Cleaver or Nelson families (Ward and June Cleaver Revisted, 2007). Who could ever envision that June Cleaver or Harriett Nelson would imbibe whisky and turn into a sadistic monster?"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse - Review. (1993). Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 14(6), 413-4.
  • Ward and June Cleaver Revisted. (2007, September 28). Retrieved January 2011, from
  • Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. (2010, June). Retrieved January 2011, from U.S. Department of Heatlh and HUman Services:
  • Child Abuse: AN Overview. (2010, March). Retrieved January 2011, from
  • Crittenden, P. (2007). An Interview With patricia Crittneden. In Miller-Perrin, Child Maltreatment: An Introduction (pp. 182-4). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Child Abuse in "A Child Called "It"" (2013, May 03) Retrieved December 10, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Child Abuse in "A Child Called "It""" 03 May 2013. Web. 10 December. 2023. <>