I read these two books last week. These are both by Dave Pelzer, and chronicle his horrifying childhood at the hands of his mentally deranged mother. Here's an excerpt from his website http://www.davepelzer.com
:"Dave has experienced a truly extraordinary life. He nearly died several times by the hands of his mentally disturbed alcoholic mother. Years later it was determined that Dave’s case was identified as one of the most gruesome and extreme cases of child abuse in California’s then history. At age 12 Dave was finally rescued and placed in a series of foster homes until he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 18. Even with all that was against him, Dave was determined to better himself - no matter what the odds."
I highly recommend both books, but please know that you need to be very well grounded to read these, since there is a lot of graphic detail of the abuse. I was triggering all over the place. Both are available at Amazon and other book outlets. The first one (which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in literature) covers his childhood from ages 4-12, when he was finally rescued. The second one covers age 12-18, when he was in foster care. They are a great testament to how one person overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to succeed. The man is a survivor in every sense of the word.