David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturant to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school!--but mostly it was pure sadism. Inexplicably, his father didn't protect him; only an alert schoolteacher saved David.
This book is not for sale!!!
This book is dedicated to my son Stephen, who, by the grace of God, has taught me the gift of love and joy through the eyes of a child. This book is also dedicated to the teachers and staff members of Thomas Edison Elementary School to include: Steven E. Ziegler Athena Konstan Peter Hansen Joyce Woodworth Janice Woods Betty Howell and the School Nurse To all of you, for your courage and for putting your careers on the line that fateful day, March 5, 1973. You saved my life.
After years of intensive labor, sacrifice, frustration, compromises and deception, this book is finally published and available in bookstores everywhere. I wish to take a moment and pay homage to those who truly believed in this crusade. To Jack Canfield, coauthor of the phenomenal bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul, for his extreme kindness and opening a big door. Jack is indeed a rare entity who, without reservation, assists more individuals in a single day than many of us can help in a lifetime. Bless you Sir. To Nancy Mitchell and Kim Wiele at the Canfield Group for their enormous enthusiasm and guidance. Thank you ladies. To Peter Vegso at Health Communications, Inc., as well as Christine Belleris, Matthew Diener, Kim Weiss and the entire friendly staff at HCI for their honesty, professionalism and everyday courtesy that make publishing a pleasure. Kudos galore to Irene Xanthos and Lori Golden for their tenacious drive and for picking up the slack. And a gargantuan thank you to the Art Department for all your hard work and dedication. A special thank you to Marsha Donohoe, editor extraordinaire, for her hours of reediting and eradicating “the Wahoo” out of the tome (that’s “book” for those of you who reside in Yuba/Sutter Counties in Northern CA), so to provide the reader with a clear, precise sense of this story through the eyes of a child. For Marsha, it was a matter of “… Farmer’s Trust.” To Patti Breitman, of Breitman Publishing Projects, for her initial work and for giving it a good run for the money. To Cindy Adams for her unwavering faith when I needed it the most. A special thank you to Ric & Don at the Rio Villa Resort, my
then home away from home, for providing the perfect sanctuary during the process of this project. And lastly, to Phyllis Colleen. I wish you happiness. I wish you peace. May God bless you.
Some of the names in this book have been changed in order to maintain the dignity and privacy of others. This book, the first part of the trilogy, depicts language that was developed from a child’s viewpoint. The tone and vocabulary reflect the age and wisdom of the child at that particular time. This book is based on the child’s life from ages 4 to 12. The second part of the trilogy, The Lost Boy, is based on his life from ages 12 to 18.
1 – The Rescue .................................................................... 7 2 – Good Times................................................................. 15 3 – Bad Boy....................................................................... 21 4 – The Fight for Food...