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. 27 Sep. 2022. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Child-Called-It/>.

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Course Hero. (2019, February 7). A Child Called It Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Child-Called-It/

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Course Hero. "A Child Called It Study Guide." February 7, 2019. Accessed September 27, 2022. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Child-Called-It/.

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Course Hero, "A Child Called It Study Guide," February 7, 2019, accessed September 27, 2022, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Child-Called-It/.

A Child Called It | Characters

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Character Description
Dave Dave Pelzer is the author and narrator of the story. He is abused by his mother in sadistic ways. Read More
Mother Catherine Roerva Pelzer is Dave's mother, whom he mainly refers to simply as Mother. She is an abusive alcoholic who exhibits signs of mental illness. Read More
Father Stephen Joseph Pelzer, Dave's father, is a fireman with an alcohol problem. Dave views Father as his protector and "superhero," but Stephen fails to intervene on Dave's behalf. Read More
Aggie Aggie is a classmate who taunts Dave by wishing he would "drop dead." She tells him to take a suicidal jump into the river.
Clifford A classmate of Dave's, Clifford is a schoolyard bully who taunts him and beats him up.
Uncle Dan Dave's uncle and his mother's brother, Uncle Dan is "a hard-nosed man." However, he does not abuse Dave as his mother does.
Grandmother Dave's maternal grandmother is a strong-willed woman who becomes increasingly estranged from her daughter and the rest of Dave's family as his mother's irrational anger and mental illness worsen. Grandmother attempts to help, but her interventions worsen the situation. Eventually, Dave's mother refuses to acknowledge Grandmother as a part of the family.
Mr. Hansen As the principal of Dave's school, Mr. Hansen suspects abuse but fails to act until the day Dave is taken away. He sees Dave often because Dave regularly steals food from schoolmates.
John A friend of Aggie's, John encourages Dave to jump into the river.
Aunt Josie Aunt Josie is Dave's aunt with whom he is left unexpectedly while the rest of the family goes on vacation.
Kevin Kevin is Dave's baby brother. Dave loves him, as he has not yet been controlled and corrupted by their mother.
Miss Moss Dave's math teacher, Miss Moss, risks her job in reporting her suspicions of his abuse.
Ron Dave's older brother Ron hits Dave later in the story
Russell Russell is Dave's younger brother and the fourth child in the family. Dave refers to him as "Mother's little Nazi" as he tattles on Dave and lies to get him in trouble.
School nurse The school nurse examines and records Dave's injuries regularly but fails to act on his behalf.
Shirley Shirley is a neighbor who treats Dave well and questions his frequent punishments.
Officer Smith Dave is saved by Officer Smith, who facilitates the removal of Dave from the abusive home situation.
Stan Stan is Dave's younger brother and the third child in the family. He joins with Ron in hitting Dave later in the story.
Stephen Stephen is Dave's son. The love between Stephen and Dave is reciprocal, indicating that the cycle of abuse has been broken.
Miss Woods One of Dave's teachers, Miss Woods, is present at the meeting on the day Dave is taken away from his mother.
Mr. Ziegler Mr. Zeigler is Dave's homeroom teacher. He risks his job in reporting his suspicions of Dave's abuse and positions him to receive much-needed encouragement by helping Dave enter a contest.
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