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Literature Study GuidesA Child Called It

A Child Called It | Study Guide

Dave Pelzer

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Course Hero. "A Child Called It Study Guide." Course Hero. 7 Feb. 2019. Web. 4 June 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. "A Child Called It Study Guide." February 7, 2019. Accessed June 4, 2023.


Course Hero, "A Child Called It Study Guide," February 7, 2019, accessed June 4, 2023,



Dave Pelzer

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

A Child Called "It" is written in first person from the perspective of the author as a child experiencing the events.


The story is told primarily in the past tense as the author recounts his childhood experiences. The first chapter and the epilogue are told in the present tense.

About the Title

As a child, author Dave Pelzer experienced extreme physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his mother. As the severity of the abuse increased, his mother changed the way she referred to him. She eventually stopped calling him by his given name and began calling him "the boy," and finally "it." The title of the book reflects that attack on his sense of self and his very identity as a human being. In spite of such cruel mistreatment and his mother's attempts to kill his spirit, Pelzer courageously survived the abuse.


This study guide for Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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