There is much to admire about Dave Pelzer. He proudly served his country during Desert Storm, and has received commendations from Presidents Reagan, Bush the First, and Clinton for his work as a motivational speaker. His other honors include being named California's Volunteer of the Year in 1990, one of 1993's Ten Outstanding Young Americans, and one of the Outstanding Young Persons of the World for 1994. In addition, he is a best-selling author and a loving husband and father. That's a lofty set of accomplishments for any man, yet what I admire most about Dave Pelzer is that he didn't grow up to be an abusive, alcoholic, psychotic mess. He certainly had reason to.
Pelzer is the survivor of the third worst case of child-abuse in California's history, a case he vividly recalls in A Child Called It. Here he tells of a childhood so horrific and, at times, so nauseating that while reading I found myself praying that there was a hell so Pelzer's parents could rot in it for all eternity. And not just hell, mind you, but a special place in hell designed specifically for people like this, a level of hell beyond anything Dante could imagine.