Dave Pelzer's story is the story of a child brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games - games that left one of her three sons nearly dead. Dave had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy but an 'it'. His bed was an old army cot in the basement, his clothes were torn and smelly and when he was allowed the luxury of food it was scraps from the dogs' bowl. The outside world knew nothing of the nightmare played out behind closed doors. But throughout Dave kept alive dreams of finding a family to love him, care for him, call him their son. It took many years of struggle, deprivation and despair to find his dream and then to make something of himself in the world. This book covers the early years of his life and is an affecting and inspirational look at the horrors of child abuse and the steadfast determination of one child to survive despite the odds.