I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

5 Sep 2013

What books can do to improve us - Part 7

The picture alongside is of an SR-71 Blackbird stealth plane. It was the goal of the man who wrote A Child Called It’s dream to be a part of the team that worked on this plane. His name is Dave Pelzer. His life wasn’t always fun and flying though. At the age of four, his mother started to abuse him. It isn’t in the book, but I can only imagine that his mother must have been severely mentally ill. She would lock him in the bathroom with chemicals in a bucket, which made David cough up blood. She would beat him until he was black and blue. She even stabbed him once, by accident. Her worst punishment however, was denying him food. She would not allow David to eat for days and day, and if she suspected that he had stolen food from school, she would make him vomit it up, and sometimes even eat it. She didn’t even allow him to sleep in his own room. She relegated him to the garage. He would sleep on an old army cot with his hands tucked under his armpits. You see, The Mother, did not allow him a blanket, so this is how he kept warm. If he was lucky, he would find a dirty rag to cover his feet.

It is here in this dark and dirty garage that David found refuge in books. His teachers at school had introduced him to reading. David used books as an escape from the harsh reality of his life and the ever-present Mother.

For eight years, David suffered at the hands of The Mother. For years the teachers witnessed the black and blue condition of his body. The final straw came when David came to school with no skin on his arms, after soaking them in chemicals his mother used as his punishment in the bathroom. They intervened. After a long battle, David entered the foster care system. There were ups and down; he took some time to adjust. Through it all though, he continued to read.

In his final foster home, his neighbor was a Vietnam War veteran. They befriended one another, and David would spend many afternoons perusing this man’s library. Over the years, he had built quite a collection of war and aviation books. The rules were David was not allowed to take the books home, but so voracious was his appetite for knowledge, that David would sneak back into his neighbor’s house after leaving for the day, grab a book, and return it early the next morning. He stayed up late into the night studying planes. It’s in these books, that David introduced himself to the SR-71 Blackbird. This is where the dream started.

After school, David got the right certificates and diplomas to enroll in the Air Force. The road was not easy, but he persevered and eventually became one of the privileged few who worked on the Blackbird project. During his life, he received personal commendation from three US presidents. He was also honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA), and was the only American to be selected as one of the Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYPW), for his efforts involving child abuse awareness and prevention, as well as for instilling resilience in others.

What books can do to improve us as people - Part 1
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 2
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 3
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 4
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 5
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 6
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 8
What books can do to improve us as people - Part 9

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I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
And I show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone

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