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Autobiography : Dave Pelzer's The Privilege of Youth

The Privilege of Youth
By Dave Pelzer
Penguin pound;14.99

Happy families, as Tolstoy indelibly put it, are alike; unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. Abused children, of whom US author Dave Pelzer is one of the most famous, live each in their own special variety of hell, integral to which is the isolation from that golden realm in which other, blessedly happy, youngsters frolic heedlessly through their secure days.

In his latest inspirational work, Pelzer shows how he was able to find his way out from under the burden of his terrible childhood, catalogued memorably in A Child Called It , and go on to serve in the Marines, father a loved son and win renown for his public speaking, including sessions in schools, and work with vulnerable families. This simply written tale should be on the shelves of any institution that caters for children at risk.

Read the full review of this booknbsp;in this week's TES Friday magazine

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