A Child Called "It" book cover

A Child Called "It"

by Dave Pelzer

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Why is A Child Called "It" banned?

A Child Called “It” has been banned from certain schools because of its graphic depiction of child abuse. Some teachers believe that the contents of the book are age-inappropriate and could even have a triggering effect on those students who may have experienced similar abuse themselves.

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There's no doubt that A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer is a very disturbing book. The true story of a boy subjected to years of abuse by his evil mother, it is by no means an easy read, and nor is it intended to be.

However, because of the book's unsparing depiction of child abuse, a number of schools have banned it from being taught or stocked in their libraries. The main reason for this is that the book is considered age-inappropriate for school students. Some educators have also expressed concerns that the abuse contained in the book may have a triggering effect on those students who themselves have suffered from abuse.

In 2013, A Child Called “It” was subject to a challenge at a middle school in Washington state on the basis of its graphic depictions of child abuse. However, the book was still stocked in the library, an indication perhaps that the teachers at the school recognized that it still had considerable literary and educational merit. Even so, children at that school must get permission from their parents before borrowing the book from the library.

The whole sorry saga illustrates once again the potential problems associated with teaching children books that are important but at the same time controversial.

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