The Lost Boy

Author: Dave Pelzer
Series: Dave Pelzer Trilogy, Book 2
Publisher: Orion
Star Rating: 2.5/5
Date Read: June 1st to 2nd, 2014
Read Count: 1
The second book in the Dave Pelzer trilogy is The Lost Boy, chronicling Dave’s life in foster homes from the age of twelve to eighteen. Again I have come to the end and feel immediately like I have to put a few other books in between this and the next and final book, A Man Named Dave. I don’t feel like another book is necessary but have decided to read it for the sake of completeness.

At the start of the book, Dave insists this one is written using the language and perspective he had at that age. He also insisted the same thing in the last book. This is not a completely accurate description as many times I felt the writing to be reflective and also some of it beyond the years of the under-educated teenager he was at the time. We catch up with Dave where we left him in the last book, in the passenger seat of a police car heading outside the city limits, where after medical examinations he meets his social worker and is placed in the first of five foster homes.

Living in a foster home is very different from where Dave has come from and throughout the years that follow he struggles to find his place in the homes and in school. He has a stint or two in a juvenile detention hall and is passed around a bit until he settles down and decides where he wants to go in life.

More than anything I found this book to be a testament to the hard work of social workers and foster parents. Their job is far from easy and yet they strive to remove child from abusive homes and place them suitably, and provide them with the help they need. The part of the book I found most worth reading was after the Epilogue, the section entitled Perspectives on Foster Care which contained statements from Dave’s foster mother, a juvenile detention worker and a teacher. I found this to be an eye-opening view on the foster system and I appreciate the acknowledgement of foster carers and other authors of works on being a child in the foster system. If this content could be expanded further it would make for a great read on the work of foster carers and an insight to the foster system. Just maybe leave Dave Pelzer out. He’s got plenty of books under his belt already and we all know his perspective.

As for the content itself, I enjoyed reading this book more than I did A Child Called ‘It’. But considering it is supposed to be an autobiographical memoir, some of the recollections from his life as described in the first book had facts that didn’t match up, which makes you question the credibility of the ‘memoir’. It could simply be due to the passage of time, he was only a child so of course he’s not going to remember everything and things get mixed up. I would have hoped that the editor would fix this up but clearly it wasn’t noticed or was ignored. These kind of things can be infuriating for a reader like me.


A slight improvement. 2.5 stars.





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