A Child Called It

David Pelzer / Dave

Dave Pelzer, the protagonist and narrator of A Child Called “It”, is a survivor of child abuse. For years as a child, his Mother beats him, burns him, and subjects him to dozens of… (read full character analysis)

Mother / Mom / Catherine Roerva Pelzer

Catherine Roerva Pelzer is the antagonist of A Child Called “It”. For years, she abuses her son, Dave Pelzer, for reasons that are never made clear: she hits him, burns his arm, forces… (read full character analysis)

Stephen Joseph Pelzer / Father

Dave Pelzer’s father, Stephen Joseph Pelzer, is a weak, frequently drunk father, who rarely stands up to Catherine Roerva Pelzer, his wife. Over the course of the book, Father represents a beacon of… (read full character analysis)

The nurse

The nurse is one of the few kind adults in Dave Pelzer’s life. She treats him with warmth and compassion, even after other people at Dave’s school shun him and make fun of him… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Kevin Pelzer
Dave Pelzer’s youngest brother.
Ronald Pelzer
Dave Pelzer’s older brother.
Stan Pelzer
Dave Pelzer’s younger brother
Russell Pelzer
Dave Pelzer’s younger brother.
Cindy M. Adams
A woman who pens a poem about child abuse in the final chapter of A Child Called “It”.
Aggie
A mean classmate of Dave Pelzer.
Aunt Josie
Dave Pelzer’s aunt, with whom he sometimes stays.
Valerie Bivens
A social worked for Child Protective Services, who offers her perspective on child abuse in the book’s final chapter.
Glenn A. Goldberg
Former executive director of the California Consortium for the Prevention of Child Abuse, who offers his perspective on child abuse in the book’s final chapter.
Mr. Hansen
The principal of Dave Pelzer’s school, who makes the decision to call the police and free Dave from Mother.
John
A mean classmate of Dave Pelzer.
Miss Moss
Dave Pelzer’s second-grade teacher, who treats him kindly and later helps him escape from Mother.
Shirley
One of the Pelzers’ neighbors, with whom Mother is close friends for a brief time.
Stephen
Dave Pelzer’s beloved son.
Uncle Dan
A character, only mentioned once, who seems to be Catherine Roerva Pelzer’s brother.
Miss Woods
One of Dave Pelzer’s teachers.
Steven E. Ziegler / Mr. Ziegler
One of Dave Pelzer’s teachers, who treats him kindly, respects him as a person, and later contributes a few thoughts on teacher negligence to the final chapter of A Child Called “It”.