A Child Called “It” – Dave Pelzer (Review)

A Child Called “It” – Dave Pelzer


Published by Gramedia Indonesia, 168 pages, True Story

Gramedia version
Gramedia version

Generally, a family adores a child presence so much and childhood is something that we really love to, but it so much different from what David Pelzer thought and experienced. In this first book of David Pelzer’s true stories trilogy, David tells his life from 4 – 12 years old, where he had been brutally abused by his mother. David tells how hard he had been trying to obey her mother in order to free him from all of unreasonable tortures and to get his self food. But, reality was so far from what he had dreamt for, Instead of getting a compliment, David getting more and more torture. He had never been a good boy in her mother eyes and the punishments had been given to him more.

His tiny, small, and smell body was full of scars from his mother abusing and his heart was deeply wounded. But, what was this poor boy did? he had to keep it all by himself, keep it all from his friends and teachers in school, the reasons were David had to save their family ‘good’ name and in her deepest heart, David still belief that his mother loved him. He deserved the punishment. In contrary, what he had been doing was never enough; never enough for her mother to be satisfied, enough to stop her torturing, enough to give him food, and even enough to call her own child his name instead of “it”. Yes, ‘it’ was what his mother called him and treated him.


David also told that there were a time before he decided to let his self free from all that bad conditions and to survive alone; when he came to the point that even his small spot at their basement couldn’t give enough warm to his body and his heart; his heart that dare to dream about freedom and having good meals. When he came to this point, he hated everything, even more his mother.

Why did I give two stars for this globally four rates book? Instead of a heartbreaking true story inside it, I couldn’t help myself from being frustrated while reading it. Full of abuses that I could never have imagined before, happen to someone or someone could do to others especially her own flesh. Like I’ve said before, I’m an easily touched person, but while reading this book, I was getting irritated by reading it instead of being touched. I don’t know, whether the book or writer really good at writing and then made me irritated by what her mother did to him or just got sick of his mother’s unreasonable abusing series? Whatever it was, I was exhausted while reading it. Besides that, I was exhausted by finding why did her mother changed into a monster (sorry, this is my words)? I always bear a question in my mind, her child didn’t do anything wrong at first, why did she do such a horrible thing to her child?  So, I lost my focus from David and his struggles for life to his mother and her unreasonable abusing, and I hate it.

A Child Called “It” – Dave Pelzer (Bahasa)

Pada umumnya masa kanak – kanak adalah masa yang paling menyenangkan dan anak adalah hal yang paling diharapkan dari sebuah keluarga, namun hal tersebut tidak terjadi pada David Pelzer, dalam buku pertama dari trilogy kisah nyata ini David menceritakan pengalaman hidupnya pada saat berumur 4 – 12 tahun yang mengalami penyiksaan demi penyiksaan dari ibu kandungnya yang seorang alkoholik. David menceritakan bagaimana kerasnya di berjuang menepati segala perintah ibunya agar tidak di siksa dan bisa dinilai baik, namun bukan semakin baik, apapun yang dilakukan tetap salah dan David selalu dihukum hingga tiba di hari – hari dia tidak diberi makan dan harus mengais tempat sampah agar bisa memperoleh makanan sisa.

Tubuh David yang kurus, kecil dan berbau tidak sedap, penuh dengan luka akibat penyiksaan dari ibunya dan penyebab luka tersebut harus ditutupinya dari teman – teman dan gurunya di sekolah demi menjaga nama baik ibunya, selain itu David masih berusaha mempercayai bahwa ibunya menyayangi dia. Namun semua yang dilakukan sepertinya tidak pernah cukup bagi ibunya; cukup untuk merasa puas dengan semua pekerjaan yang David lakukan, cukup untuk menyiksanya, cukup untuk memberinya makanan yang layak, dan bahkan cukup untuk memanggil anaknya dengan panggilan sayang seperti yang diharapkan David. Kenyataan yang terjadi malah sebaliknya, semakin hari ibunya merasa David semakin banyak melakukan kesalahan, mempermalukan keluarga, pantas mendapat hukuman, tidak layak mendapatkan makanan, sekalipun itu makanan sisa, bahkan dianggap bukan sebagai anak, bagian keluarga lagi, tetapi ‘sesuatu’ yang ibunya sesali untuk miliki, ya, ‘Sesuatu’ adalah cara ibunya memanggilnya.


Di buku inipun David menceritakan saat paling kelam di mana ia bahwa basement tempat dia tidur seorang diri dalam kedinginanpun sudah tidak bisa membuatnya tertidur dan memimpikan segala bentuk kebebasan dan makanan, anak sekecil David sudah berada di fase membenci semua hal yang ada, terlebih ibunya, , tepat sebelum dia memutuskan untuk lepas dari kondisi tersebut dan bertahan hidup.

Perjuangan David Pelzer di usia yang sangat belia ini, secara global mendapat rating 4 dari 5, namun mengapa saya memberikan bintang 2? Bukan bermaksud tidak menghargai keberanian David untuk menceritakan kembali masa kelamnya dan perjuangannya melawan kondisi buruknya dalam usia yang masih sangat belia, sehingga menginspirasi banyak orang. Namun dalam buku ini saya lebih merasakan ketidaksukaan atau bahkan kebencian kepada ibu David. Selama membaca saya hanya dipenuhi perasaan kesal terhadap perbuatan ibunya dan tidak percaya bahkan sesorang mampu malakukan hal sejahat itu, terlebih lagi kepada darah dagingnya sendiri. Sehingga fokus saya bergeser dari David dan perjuangannya kepada ibunya dan kelakuannya yang tidak masuk di akal saya.


19 thoughts on “A Child Called “It” – Dave Pelzer (Review)

  1. I’ve a friend whose mother always refers her as ‘the product of an accident’ and that’s why she isn’t much loved by her mom when compared to her other siblings…however, she still loves her mom and did everything her mom ask her to do…and I am always deeply touched by her actions….this book review kinda reminded me of her…

    Love to read another book review post and looking forwards for more field break posts from you soon…hehehe

    With lots of cheers from a very demanding reader…hehhee

    1. Aw, awful, so sorry to say it, but how could a mother say horrible words to their own child? i couldn’t imagine. but, your friend is really have an amazing and kind heart. my respect for her.
      i already read the second book and i think that much better than this, *my rate* and it will come up soon. oh, as soon as possible 🙂

      Btw, i always love when you give any compliment to my book’s review because you are a teacher. why? i always got a low grade at reviewing a book when i was in high school 🙂

    2. She is someone whom I always look up to because of her strong and always positive characters…I guess we would not be straying away so easily when we are being surrounded by friends like her…hehe…

      Ahh…book review? I remembered when I was in primary school, I just wrote the review by copying the story content behind each book…LOL…naughty huh? hehee…

      Well, I guess rather than writing something just for academical purpose, to write out something that you truly wanted to try is worth more than just marks…they are both unique and priceless, my friend…

      keep it up…I am getting more and more in love with how your blog is getting to….

      Have a great day ahead, cheers!!! 😀

    3. Being surrounded by a positive energy is always gives us the same impact. so keep it with us, either friends, things, or whatever it is 🙂

      oh yah? u did it? about reviewing a book and did your teacher realize it? quite brave 😀

      you relly a good teacher. i even didn’t realize that i could come up with a blog especially have a special space for a book review.

    4. Yes, I did that naughty thing…LOL…I guess our teachers are too busy to realize it because there was no grading or so…it was a campaign for us to read more books and the more book reviews we submitted in, we will get a little gift…LOL…at least I did make some effort in designing out a good book review cover for each book review…LOL…

      Everyone has an inner potential for everything, and it would show at the right timing..right?

      Have fun with your blogging, my friend!! Cheers~ 😀

    5. So, from my point of view, you already have been creative since then 😀

      Absolutely agree with you, we couldn’t force our selves to be someone else or do what someone else does better than us.

      i am enjoying blogging so much this time my friend. if you noticed that i already make two blogs, one with Bahasa Indonesia, you could see at the right side below my avatar, that’s special in Bahasa, about travel and food. we are constructing that blog. 😀

  2. You know what, first time I read this book was when I was in junior high school. I cant imagine how can a mother torture her child badly. As the result of it, I suddenly be grateful for having my mom 🙂

    Well, seems like you dont enjoy this kinda book. I recommend you to not read the similar book as this.

    Anyway, how to comment Miiko kak? :p

    1. Ngiiikkk, ternyata si Lizpeh Cantik dan Juga berbakat,
      gimana yah nge-follow blog di blogspot?

      i already read some of your posts, but seems we have to have an Open ID or something like that to make a comment.

      Ah, i already read the second book of Dave Pelzer, it’s much better than this first book. oh yah, This book also reminds us that our mother soooo muccch better and we should, i mean have to be grateful for that *garisbawahi peh, gimanpun nyokap kita marah harus disayangi, selagi ada*

      Miiko??? heheheheh, i always give 5 rates and will always. LOL.

      Hidup Miiko

    1. Yess, indeed dorigu. i love all of the books that you gave me, so that’s why i’ve been started read it one by one, but unfortunately i lost my focus on this 4 stars book, so that’s why i give it 2 stars. i just hope i enjoyed everything inside a book while reading a book, whether the contain cruel, sad, happy, or whatever. i need to feel what the author want me to feel not hate the feeling inside it. Do you got what i mean? i do hope so 🙂

    1. Hi Villanueva,
      yess, indeed, accidentally i found Dave Pelzer second book of his trilogy in my sister bookshelf and i already finished it too :), the review will come up soon. i like the second book more than this first book. it so much better. so you better watch it too, my next review. kekkekeke.

      ow, thank you for complimenting my profile picture. That’s umbrella of hostel where i stay at Osaka at my last trip :). i like that umbrella 😀

    1. yess, it’s so sad but makes me angry too 🙂 about his mother. i think so, not everyone, even me, would dare to tell or write their own dark past 😉 or just couldn’t stand to be reminded about our dark, bad past. He is so dare and brave to share tough

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