Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.
Everyone said Sheila was lost forever, everyone except her teacher, Torey Hayden.
Torey fought to reach Sheila, to bring the abused child back from her secret nightmare, because beneath the rage, Torey saw in Sheila the spark of genius. And together they embarked on a wondrous journey—a journey gleaming with a child's joy at discovering a world filled with love and a journey sustained by a young teacher's inspiring bravery and devotion.
"All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here. One day you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself." These words were Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother, and they represented the ultimate act of self-reliance. Dave's father never intervened as his mother abused him with shocking brutality, denying him food and clothing, torturing him in any way she could imagine. This was the woman who told her son she could kill him any time she wanted to--and nearly did. The more than two million readers of Pelzer's New York Times and international bestselling memoirs know that he lived to tell his courageous story. With stunning generosity of spirit, Dave Pelzer invites readers on his journey to discover how he turned shame into pride and rejection into acceptance.