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The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer
by Storyteller. July 1st 2013, 02:53 PM


The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer
By Robin (PSY)

Dave Pelzer, the author of this book, is lucky to be alive today. For years, he experienced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his mother. His father and brothers failed to intervene, and even turned on Dave at various points in order to avoid his mother’s wrath. Child abuse was treated much differently in the 1960s and 1970s, and as a result, the authorities were not informed of the horrendous abuse until Dave was twelve years old.

The Lost Boy is the second memoir of a trilogy written by Dave Pelzer. The first memoir, A Child Called 'It', describes the abuse in graphic detail. I chose to review the second memoir because it is much less graphic in nature (and therefore more appropriate for this audience). Although the second memoir is much less graphic in nature, Dave describes a very graphic instance of abuse in the beginning of the memoir, and there are some references to abuse throughout; therefore, readers who have experienced or are currently experiencing abuse may be triggered by The Lost Boy. I also chose to review The Lost Boy because it highlights Dave’s experiences as a teenager in the foster care system. While many of us are not foster children, I believe we can all relate to the various challenges he faced between the ages of 12-18.

After being removed from his dangerous home, Dave understandably struggled with a great deal of depression, anxiety, anger, and confusion. This memoir describes how Dave balanced his desire to be loved and feel a sense of belonging with his need to be emotionally strong and “in control.” Unfortunately, Dave faced a great deal of stigma as a foster child, and his attempts to overcome this stigma eventually led to problems with law enforcement. Misunderstood by adults and targeted by peers, Dave found himself wondering if he would ever be happy. As Dave’s eighteenth birthday drew closer, he knew he needed to prepare himself for the transition into adulthood… but wondered how he would accomplish this when the only family he had hated him.

I truly enjoyed this book, and can see how teenagers from all walks of life could relate to it on some level. While there is less graphic detail in this book than in A Child Called 'It', there are some descriptions of abuse that may trigger some readers, as well as a great deal of profanity and some violence/bullying. The memoir was difficult to read at times, but I found myself rooting for Dave and believing that, if he could overcome so many obstacles with so little support, then anyone else could do the same.

Last edited by Storyteller.; July 5th 2013 at 02:39 PM.
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