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  A Brother's Journey by Richard B. Pelzer

Review by: Teila M.
Michigan, Grade 10

Have you ever been around a child who was severely abused? Would you know if he or she was abused by just looking at them? Most kids wouldnít realize their friend was being abused by their parents unless they were told. In the book A Brotherís Journey that was written by Richard B. Pelzer, his mother abused him and most of his teachers and neighbors realized what was going on in the household but never did anything to help. Abuse is something that can ruin a childís life in the matter of time. Richard and his older brother Dave were put through it most of their life.
This memoir is a sad but truthful book on what really happens to Dave and Richard throughout their childhood. My favorite thing about the book is the description that was put into it, which made you feel like you were there. Most of the setting takes place at Richardís house in California.
The main characters of the book are David, Richard, their mother, and their three older brothers. David lived in the basement of the house and was to eat from the dog bowl. In the first part of the book that they talk about David they only tell about how he was abused and that he was taken from the home. Richard, who was abused after David was taken from the home, was Davidís younger brother who struggled with his emotions of his mom beating him. Richard walked 45 minutes to school everyday, and before he would leave for school his mom would chase him around the house just to hit him before the day started. Their mother drank all the time, which gave her the urge to beat them. The three older brothers were never touched, and Richard thinks its because they are the oldest of them all. Sometimes they got to pick the type of beating that Richard got.
Some quotes from the book are: ď At the age of nine I had become so timid and afraid of everything that I seldom looked any farther than my own little corner of the world and my bedroom for anything or anybody. I had become just what mom wanted: an obedient punching bag. But for the first time ever, I found enough courage to at least try to run away and leave her forever. Unfortunately, as a child I knew I just couldnít stand up to her. I didnít have the resolve to make a stand.Ē ď Mom has no one like David around to beat on anymore. I am more afraid of her than everÖ I get in more trouble for anything I say. Now I find that Iím always in trouble and I donít know why. Now that David is gone, Iím afraid that she will try to kill me, like she tried to kill him. Iím afraid that she will treat me like an animal like she did him. Iím afraid that now Iím her IT.

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