A Child Called "It" book cover

A Child Called "It"

by Dave Pelzer

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Where does the story take place in A Child Called It?  

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In general, A Child Called It takes place in Daly City, California during the 1960s and 1970s. It is here where Dave Pelzer grew up, and as readers, we see that most of the novel's events occur in the house he grew up in and at Thomas Edison Elementary, where he went to school.

The memoir relates the events of Pelzer's life from ages 4 to 12. At home, Pelzer goes from living a comfortable life with his parents and brothers to being abused and neglected. Within the school, the nurse plays a significant role in Pelzer's life. It is almost as if she fills in the role of his mother when he is abused and comes to school with a new injury. Eventually, the school, along with the police do succeed in rescuing him.

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The majority of A Child Called It takes place in the childhood home and school of Dave Pelzer located in Daly City, California. Specifically, Pelzer makes note of the basement, where he would spend many hungry and cold nights sleeping on a cot by himself. Frequent abusive episodes also occurred in the bathroom and kitchen of the family home.

Pelzer finds some solace at school, although he eventually becomes ostracized by his classmates for his dirty clothes and offensive odor since he isn't allowed to wash at home. Due to his extreme hunger, he also steals food at school and at the local market.

The family's trips to a cabin by the Russian River in Northern California are the setting for Pelzer's best memories growing up. His recollections there include watching peaceful sunsets, having fun with his brothers and his mother treating him with kindness.

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