Search our site
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron Read the opening extract of the brand new Sophie Cameron book before its publication on 22/03/2018

A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

A Child Called It

Biography / Autobiography   
Download an extract Share this book

Lovereading view...

A Special Edition of A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer to celebrate Orion's 20th anniversary.

The first in Dave Pelzer’s trilogy of books about his childhood is shocking and upsetting. How can a mother treat one of her children so brutally while continuing a normal relationship with her husband and other children, and how can the family stand by and let her do it? Attributed with being the book that launched the misery memoir genre this is a disturbing tale, of a childhood ruined, by a mother who was surely mentally disturbed.


A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

Below is a video of Ben Twiston-Davies discussing the sculptures he made for the 20th anniversay edtions of the Orion classics, specifically The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.

Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother, a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games ' games that left one of her three sons nearly dead. She no longer considered Dave a son, but a slave; no longer a boy, but an 'it'. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and smelly, and when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dog's bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors. But throughout Dave kept alive dreams of finding a family to love him. This book covers the early years of his life and is an affecting an inspirational book of the horrors of child abuse and the steadfast determination of one child to survive.

Celebrating Orion's 20th Anniversary in chronological order by original publication date are:

1992 The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy
The first novel published by Orion. A million copy seller from the world’s favourite storyteller.
1992 The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser
Narrative non-fiction from one of our leading historians. This ground-breaking title is still the definitive book on the subject.
1993 The Black Ice by Michael Connelly
The first Michael Connelly title published by Orion, showcasing our ability to build quality commercial crime brands.
1994 Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
The original Horrid Henry book was the start of a massive multi-platform entertainment brand demonstrating the breadth of our Children’s list.
1995 Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
A publishing sensation which brought translated literary fiction to the mass market and formed the kernel of the W&N literary fiction list.
1997 Black and Blue by Ian Rankin

Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger, this novel cemented Ian Rankin’s status as the gold standard of British crime.
1997 The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Translated fiction which sold a million copies and became an award-winning film release, bringing recent history into sharp and unforgettable focus.
2000 A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer
The original Misery memoir, Dave Pelzer’s story was shocking and controversial and founded a genre.
2000 Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
Science fiction on the grandest and most commercial scale from Gollancz, redefining space opera for the new century.
2001 Tell No One by Harlan Coben

The event publication which made SUNDAY TIMES No.1 bestseller Harlan Coben a household name and cemented Orion’s ability to create commercial brands.
2003 Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Winner of the Best History Book at the British Book Awards 2004, this narrative character-based history broke new ground.
2004 The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A massive million plus bestseller in the UK and one of the bestselling books of all time in Spain – making translated fiction truly accessible.
2004 Himalaya by Michael Palin
Selling over half a million copies in hardback and staying at No.1 for 11 consecutive weeks, this is the book that proved Michael Palin was not only a beloved television and film personality, he was a formidable travel writer as well.
2004 Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
Selling over half a million copies at the height of the Harry Potter years and with massive rights sales internationally, this title is one of the stars of our impressive Children’s list.
2005 Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
A huge SUNDAY TIMES No.1 bestseller, this engrossing ‘time-slip’ novel combines brilliant storytelling and strong characters with a puzzle that has obsessed men for centuries: the secret of the Grail.
2007 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday
Winner of the PG Wodehouse Award, Torday is a unique and indefinable author whose debut won him a substantial, dedicated fan base.
2008 No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
A true must-read and a Richard and Judy favourite, this title announced the arrival of an exciting new thriller bestseller from Orion.
2009 Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
The first True Blood TV tie-in novel showing the diversity and commercial potential of the Gollancz list.
2010 Life by Keith Richards
This once-in-a-generation memoir of a true rock legend was a formidable No. 1 SUNDAY TIMES bestseller.
2011 The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
Winner of the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction, this debut novel has been almost universally praised as a triumph of modern literature and introduced a star of the future.

About the Author

Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer is recognised as one of America's most effective and respected communicators addressing corporations, conventions and health/psychology/primary care workers. His unique accomplishments have garnered personal commendations from Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He was selected as torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch relay. He has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

20th February 2012


Dave Pelzer

More books by Dave Pelzer
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...


Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co




Biography / Autobiography



Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

The selections are so varied and the reader reviews are so helpful. A fantastic website for those who love books.

Ann Quintilla

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

A well laid out site, I love the fact that is separates paranormal fiction from fantasy and horror, which other sites don't.

Jen Rainbow

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!