A Child Called "It" Questions and Answers
by Dave Pelzer

A Child Called "It" book cover
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What is the writer's purpose and the writer's message in the story "A Child Called It"?

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A Child Called It is a memoir recounting Dave Pelzer's experience with unfathomable child abuse at the hands of his own mother. His case was one of the worst cases of child abuse ever documented in the state of California.

The author's overall message in the novel is to demonstrate that the torture he experienced didn't end up defining him. His mother's abuse didn't destroy his will to survive or his spirit. He managed to put the past behind him and become a successful adult with strong family ties and faith.

In the epilogue of the novel, Pelzer stands by the Russian River with his own young son, Stephen. Pelzer hugs Stephen and tells him he loves him. Stephen returns the sentiment and tells his father that this is his favorite place. This exchange shows that the cycle of abuse has been broken. Pelzer is filled with gratitude and and joy as he takes in the scene and reflects on the past.

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