Story of strength and forgiveness

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 September, 2010, 12:00am

The Lost Boy
David Pelzer
Published by Orion
ISBN 9780752837611

The Lost Boy is the sequel to David Pelzer's first book A Child Called 'It'. Having been physically abused and mentally tortured by his mother for nine years, David finally escapes, only to be taken back by the police, who believe his mum's side of the story.

Eventually David is rescued by his teachers and taken to a foster home. There, he finds acceptance among the other unwanted children, and builds a friendship with an angelic social worker, Ms Gold. After a trial, he is finally ruled out of his mother's care.

Things look up for a while until David makes friends who lead him astray. He is sent to a juvenile prison, and then placed in foster homes while he finishes school. As David is tossed from home to home and struggles to adapt to his changing environment, the shortfalls of the US foster care system come to light.

When David eventually leaves his foster home for the US Air Force, he continues to struggle with the question of why he was abused and whether or not he actually deserved his mother's treatment. His courage in facing the past gives him the strength to understand and move on.

Though Pelzer has been criticised for exaggeration, this book is a heart-warming tale of courage, forgiveness and growth in a young soul.