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The Lost Boy

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Critic of Pelzer Book- The Lost Boy

The Lost Boy, a novel by David Pelzer, is the sequel to A Child Called It. As a young boy David is forced to bounce back and forth between five different foster homes. His only possessions were literally the torn and tattered clothes that were on his back. David's life has been a long, harsh and a cruel reality. David grew up in a home with an alcoholic, abusive and unloving mother, a father who refused to deal with his own sons' mistreatment, and brothers who saw David as the household maid. It wasn't until the love of a teacher that David finally escaped the physical and emotional abuse of his own mother. However, David's search for love and happiness was far from over. Everyday that he was in foster care he had to deal with the stereotypes of being a child without a home or family. David began to loose hope in his future and he lost all faith in ever being loved by a family. He was ashamed of himself and found it difficult to form friendships with other children. It took David five foster homes until he finally found a place where he felt loved and cared for as a person. He found this love and compassion in the arms of the Turnbough's, finally a real family. David went on to become a very responsible and motivated young man. He went on to obtain his high school G.E.D. and then proudly enlisting into the United States Air Force.

After a visit from his mother at his foster home, David decides to take back all of the things he told Mrs. Gold about his mother. He lied and told her that all the stories about his mother beating him and mistreating him were untrue and that he really was a bad child. As much as Mrs. Gold tried to reassure him David continued to lie and yell at Mrs. Gold. "David, you have to understand that in a person's life there are a few precious moments in which decisions, choices that you make now, will effect you for the rest of your life" (57). After being around Ms. Gold David learned how to express himself more. He developed a characteristic of bravery and honesty. David soon started telling the truth about his childhood mishaps, to Ms. Gold. She assured him that by telling he benefited himself and he would not be harmed. He had faith in Ms. Gold. She visited him on numerous occasions and they soon developed a bond with one another.

Also in the story David was faced with peer pressure but he used his honesty characteristic instead of trying to make friends. He had a decision to make when it came to making his friends. David was dared to let the air out of his teacher's tire by boys he wanted as friends. David had to make the decision whether or not to impress these new boys or decline and face reticule. At first David wanted to impress these boys in hopes to make gain acceptance. Once David realized what he was doing he stopped.

One thing that I did not expect from this book was for David to still be living a hard life. Foster care is no walk in the park. It is a sad and unstable lifestyle for, and David was a prime example of the effects foster care has on a child. Throughout the whole novel, I was always hoping that David would finally find a home and family that loved him. It was hard to picture David bouncing back and forth between five foster homes and still battling with his mother interfering in his life. Throughout the novel I was hoping that David would find some happiness in his life. It was even sad to see that he had a hard time making friends and even just taking pride within himself. He was such a confused and emotional wrecked little boy. It really made me feel sad to know that this was an actually true-life story of such a young boy and the fact that he remembered all the horrible things that he went through in life was unbearable. In the end, however, David does triumph not in finding a loving family to live with, but he triumphed within himself. He never lost hope and he never gave up and after several years of waiting he finally heard those three words he yearned to hear..."I love you."

Over the last decade, several factors have lead to a dramatic increase in the number of children placed in foster care. Foster Care since the 1970s fell under way, until the 1990's. The foster care system was charged with not adequately maintaining sibling groups together. It wasn't until 1994 that the Jane Addams Hull House was established to help aid children and families in foster care. The strategy was to keep sibling groups together and increase the number and quality of foster caregivers by employing professional foster caregivers. Their main emphasis was service provision that put the interest of children and families first. After researching the key issues regarding foster care services, they identified barriers and sought solutions to improve the system.

All children in foster care have experienced tremendous loss. Even in the very best



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