Life Lessons in “A Child Called It” and “The Lost Boy”

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step with courage even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” In the nonfiction novels “A Child Called It” and “The Lost Boy” by Dave Pelzer, Dave survives through hard times with courage and faith. Dave’s mother used to be the best mother he could ask for until she became an alcoholic. Since then she has become very abusive both physically and verbally, hurting Dave in many ways. In the first book, “A Child Called It,” Dave has to have a lot of hope and courage to survive. Then after doing so he must learn to be able to fit in to a normal household when he gets taken into foster care in the second book. This will require him to have faith in himself and others. In the end he emerges victorious. Therefore, the lesson that Dave teaches us is that courage, hope, and faith can help you get through the hardest times in life.

One instance in which Dave illustrates the importance of courage and hope is when he decides to start fighting back against his mother. After his mother beats him one day, Dave has had enough and builds up the courage to survive and fight back against his mom. He states, “That day I vowed to myself that I would never, ever again give that bitch the satisfaction of hearing me beg her to stop beating me” (Pelzer 43). David is trying to be optimistic about the future and have hope that he can make it out alive and eventually stop the abuse. He does not want his mother to have the satisfaction of beating him while he just sits there doing nothing, so he decided to do anything to make sure it doesn’t happen. Another time he tries to fight back is when he tells his school nurse about his abuse. On page 12, Pelzer is talking to his school nurse and is asked about his wounds. He replies “That is where my mother stabbed me ma’am.” He has finally built up the courage to tell someone about the things that his mother does to him. Because of the fact that he had the courage to do so, the police find out and he is taken from his mother’s custody. The ends his life of being abused and he is saved from his mother. In order to survive he had to not give up and have faith in others.

Another time where Dave teaches us about the importance of courage, hope, and faith is in the second book, “The Lost Boy,” when he has to now begin a new life in a foster home. After spending a short while in a temporary foster home, Dave goes to his second foster home which is owned by Lillian. He really wants to live as a normal kids, make friends, and find someone he can call his new mom. At one point he is speaking to Lillian about his past and she says, “You’ve overcome more in 12 years than most folks will ever accomplish in a lifetime. You hoped to survive and in the end you did” (Pelzer 206). This goes to prove that Dave must have had a lot of trouble in life and that his hope to find a new life and new beginnings has been keeping him going. For someone to survive such horrific treatment and then become a normal kid is very hard and you would need a lot of hope and courage to do so. Another example is when at the end of the book Dave, who is now a grown man, is reflecting on his past. He writes, “I had a lot of faith in not only my self, but also other. If not for this I would have given up long ago” (Pelzer 302). Dave believed in himself and that he had what it took to change and be able to survive. He also believed in others and that they would help him. The fact that he says that he may not have lasted if not for all the faith he had in others and himself shows that it is one of the biggest reasons he was able to push through and live on.

The lesson that Dave teaches us is that courage, hope, and faith can help you get through the hardest times in life. Even when you are faced with difficulties that you or others believe are impossible to overcome, you should not give up. If you are courageous enough to stand up against it and have the hope that you can win, you will. You must believe in yourself and those around you. This is the message that Dave tries to convey in the story.