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A Child Called “It”


True Stories and Memoirs about Child Abuse

Chase,Trudi. When Rabbit Howls
In their own words, the multiple personalities (a total of more than 80), inhabiting the body of Truddi, chronicle their struggle for existence in a life of sexual abuse and self-discovery.

Fisher, Antwone Quenton. Finding Fish
Born in a women's prison, Fish never knew his family and ended up in the foster care system. His foster family emotionally and physically abused him, and he ended up in reform school and later became homeless. In this memoir, you find out how he turned his life around and realized his dream of becoming a writer in Hollywood.

Flora Rhea Schreiber. Sybil
Sybil is a true story based on one of the most severe cases of multiple personality disorder and child abuse in history. It is set in the "present" of the 1940's, with flashbacks as narrated by Sybil and her other personalities to her therapist. Over a period of years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a mentally disturbed mother, Sybil's personality shattered into 16 different people. Sybil is not just a book about multiple personality. It speaks to how important our childhood is to us and how essential a part the experiences we had then play in becoming what we are as adults.

Grealy, Lucy. Autobiography of a Face
At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty pleasures of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.

Gregory, Julie. Sickened
In Julie Gregory's memoir, she reveals her life as the victim of the world's most hidden and dangerous form of child abuse, Munchausen by proxy (MBP). In MBP a child's caretaker - almost always the mother - invents or induces symptoms in her child because she craves the attention of medical professionals. Many MBP children die, but Julie survived her mother's madness and rebuilt her life to become a healthy and vibrant adult.

Hayden, Torey. Ghost Girl: The True Story of a Child in Peril
Recounting her experiences with Jadie, a student in her class, a teacher describes how she persuaded Jadie to break her silence and reveal the family secrets that were plaguing her.

Lauck, Jennifer. Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found
Jenny started to take care of her dying mother when she was five years old. Shortly after her mom’s death, her father married an emotionally abusive woman with children of her own. Then her dad died. Jenny and her brother struggled to survive in the face of their stepmother's cruelty and greed until they were saved by their aunt and uncle.

Louise, Regina. Somebody's Someone: A Memoir
Regina, an abandoned child left in an illegal foster home, faced a life of being dressed in rags, starved, and beaten until she ran away to find her parents. Unfortunately, when she found them they treated her just as badly and she was soon brought to the court's attention. The State put her in a shelter rumored to be the last stop before being sent to a mental institution. It is here that she finally finds someone who cares for her.

Mah, Adeline Yen. Chinese Cinderella
Blamed for her mother's death in childbirth, Adeline describes her life as an outcast in her own family and the cruel treatment she received from her father and stepmother. She found a refuge in school and used her education to build a better and happier life for herself.

Rymer, Russ. Genie
Permanently strapped to a chair by her deranged father, Genie spent her entire childhood in the closed room of a virtually silent house in suburban California. When her nearly blind mother dragged her into a Los Angeles welfare office in 1970, the emaciated teenager could barely speak. This is her story.

Sparks, Beatrice. Finding Katie: the Diary of Anonymous
Ignored by her mother and threatened with abuse by her father, 16-year-old Katie is thrown out of her house when her parents find out she has a boyfriend. Living homeless, she finally joins the foster care system and begins to realize it's not the end of the world, and she can help others if she finds courage and strength of her own.

Turner, Ann. Learning to Swim
A series of poems convey the feelings of a young girl whose sense of joy and security at the family's summer house is shattered when an older boy who lives nearby sexually abuses her.

West, Cameron. First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple
Successful in business and a happy family man, Cameron’s life changed forever when he became the victim of multiple personality disorder. Over a period of months, 24 distinct personalities emerged and recounted specific incidents of abuse he had experienced as a child and had kept hidden, even from himself.