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Title: The Lost Kid (Based upon a true story) Author: Dave Pelzer No. of Pages: 340 Significant Characters: ” cents Dave Pelzer” A young kid who matures in a home with a terribly violent mom. He is incredibly skinny due to poor nutrition, he uses rags for clothes, and his individual hygiene is terrible due to the fact that he rarely has the opportunity to shower. He desires love from a household who aspires to care for him, and he frantically browses for that throughout his adolescent years as he moves from one foster home to another in order to escape his wicked mom.
His strong-will is continuously evident, even in the most tight spots that he faces.
Major literary gadgets and examples: ” cents Setting: The setting of the story happens throughout the middle years of Dave’s youth in a village.
It brings tears to the reader’s eyes when Pelzer informs of his violent and lonesome past, yet brings hope as he tells of his future.
Key passage which is integral to the book: “I tried my best to tell myself that through the wonder of the county’s social services and the court system, I had a new lease on my life. I tried my best to isolate my past, to bury my dark experiences deep inside my heart. Like a light switch, I imagined myself flicking off my entire past. (p. 79-80)” Brief plot summary: The book focuses on a young boy named Dave Pelzer and his experience growing up in a broken home with an extremely abusive mother. As his physical body is weakened as a result of his mother’s treatment, his spirit only gets stronger and pushes him even harder to search for the unconditional love of a family. The reader follows Dave when he escapes his biological home and is moved from one foster home to another with the assistance of the social services as they support Dave in overcoming his dark past and looking for a brighter future.
Personal analysis: After reading this book, not one person can go away unaffected. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Dave’s experiences. Personally, I was in complete shock at the way Dave’s heartless mother treated him. There were countless times in the book that I was brought to tears because of they way she treated him. I was angry yet sympathetic toward Dave’s father in his timid attempts to protect Dave from further harm.
It was as if I could feel Dave’s emotions throughout the reading because Pelzer is such an extraordinary writer. His descriptions of the situations are so real and he recalls them so vividly that it was intriguing.
It was like I received a slap in the face after reading the book. I was brought to the reality that some unfortunate innocent children are raised in broken homes that treat them like dirt. However, it made me thankful for the social services because in many cases they are the only source of freedom for the children. I was also thankful for the adults who give their lives to foster children in heartbreaking situations like Dave’s. They are true heroes in my eyes.
I honestly can’t think of one aspect of the book that I disliked. Pelzer did an amazing job writing it and he successfully inspires the readers.
Literary Criticism: While looking on the internet I didn’t find many reviews on the book but I did find some honest opinions from people who had read the book. One includes a reader from England who says: “The book has a slightly more fractured and episodic feel than the relentless, depressing atmosphere of its predecessor, but I guess that reflects David’s life quite accurately at that stage.” (Amazon.com. June 16, 2001. A reader from London England.) I agree with this reaction to the piece of literature because it accurately describes that the sequel is less depressing than the first book, but it is as equally intriguing to see how Dave has overcome his difficulties and triumphed victoriously by finding the love that he has long awaited.
Comparison to other American writers: I would compare The Lost Boy to another personal biography of an author’s difficult childhood. This American author is Frank Peretti, and he is traditionally known for his fictional Christian books, but his book titled The Wounded Spirit is parallel to that of Pelzer’s The Lost Boy. They both focus on the pain from their pasts and how they persevere in overcoming the scars they endured. Their messages of hope are inspiring and easily affect the reader by instilling a sense of hope in their hearts.
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