The Lost Boy, by Dave Pelzer, is a sequel of the book A Child Called “It”. Both books tell what Dave Pelzer’s life was like during his younger years. A Child Called “It” is about a young boy who has a mother that physically and mentally abuses him. The boy’s name is David; however, his mother refuses to call him by his name, so she calls him “It”. Throughout the book Dave Pelzer tells all the troubles he has to go through from puking to show his mother he does not take food from school, to sitting in a bathroom for hours that has chemicals all over it. His mother torments him, and blames everything that goes wrong on David. His father sticks up for him most of the times until he gets sick of it and starts conforming to David’s mothers beliefs. A Child Called “It” leads into The Lost Boy.
The Lost Boy starts off when David is nine years old and he runs away from his home in California. He lands himself in a bar where he receives a quarter to buy some food. After a bit, someone at the bar calls the police to pick up the lost boy and take him back to his home. David is still physically abused by his mother and attacked by students at school. David always wonders if his mother loves him because she has never said it to him, yet she treats his other brothers with love and compassion. There is no indication why David is singled out from his other brothers. David states, “I know I’m wrong. And, as always, it’s all my fault”(Pelzer 31). His mother has convinced him that it is all his fault for everything that occurs within their family. In 1973, the police start to take action in the issue and he is taken to a hospital. David states, “My legs and arms were a combination of yellow and brown. Dark circles of purple bruises faded on top of fresh rings of blue bruises-where I was either grabbed, punched or slammed down on the kitchen floor”(Pelzer 39). David never realizes just how badly is treated until someone lays his life out right before his face. David never discovers the real reason for his mothers abusive ways, but he always comes back to her alcoholism. At this point he recognizes that his life is in complete danger if he stays with his mother and is finally given a court trial and sent to foster care. He journeys through many different families and difficult times and has trouble fitting in with the students in his new schools because he is a foster child. He lands in his last home which is owned by a lady named Alice. He is finally able to experience a good life and Alice shows him what true love is all about.
Throughout the book the theme of self discovery shows itself. It begins when he takes the abuse from his mother. He wants to please his mother and father; however, he also wants to become a “good” boy. The whole time he is with his family he searches for a way to make things right, what to change about himself to make his family love him. In the end, when he finds a family that truly loves him he discovers his true identity has always been there and that he does not have to change. Another theme that relates to self discovery is that if you keep trying in life, you will succeed. David keeps searching for a life fit for him and he finally finds it.
1) David goes back and forth trying to decide whether or not he should leave his brothers with his mother. He thinks about what will happen to his brothers when he leaves and whether his mother will turn to abusing them. Later in the book David finds out that his brothers are getting abused since David is gone. Would you sacrifice yourself to the abuse of someone if it would keep your loved ones from being abused?
2)Do you think someone who went through hardships like David did would have a more positive or negative outlook on life after they get through the hard times?
3)David believes that his mothers drinking habits are the reason’s why she abuses him,; however, he does not know this for sure. Do you think people should be allowed to use alcohol as an excuse for their misbehaviors? Do you think people should still have to control themselves if they choose to consume alcohol?