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One Child by Torey L. Hayden

One Child (1980)

by Torey L. Hayden

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979178,791 (4.18)7
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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Sheila has all the cards stacked against her, but Torey brings out the little girl in her. ( )
  bgknighton | Nov 6, 2015 |
Torey Hayden is what I can only call a special ed teacher. At some less-politically-correct point in her career, she agreed to teach the "garbage class" (her words, not mine) that consisted of the abused, unteachable, unreachable kids. The class of eight students, a teacher's aide who lacked even a high school diploma, a high school student volunteer, and Torey made it through the first semester in decent shape. But in January, little Sheila joined them. She seemed to be more troubled and harder to reach than most and she set the class on its ears. But Torey made the effort to try to help this six-year-old child.

What a heart breaker. The five stars reflect the importance of the subject rather than the quality of the writing. The story is told in a straightforward manner and is very readable in and of itself, but it's really nothing special. But this little girl. Oh my gosh, little Sheila. What a survivor. I work in a hospital that has one floor dedicated to psychiatric patients. It has always blown my mind that we have an area in there dedicated to pediatric (as in not-a-teenager) patients. The few times I've been called to do a test there, I've left wondering how such a young child can get so broken. Is it just a bad hand, genetically? Or has someone made the effort to break them? What could break these young children? I always stop my thinking there, not really wanting to know, wanting to stay safe in my middle-class sheltered existence. But One Child showed me what can happen to these kids. It was not by any means an emotionally easy read. It's left me quite disturbed. But it's so important. We're losing too many kids this way, and they all have a part to play in this world, no matter how small. We need books like this to remind us of what we take for granted, and to remind us to take the time to care. And to show us that there is hope. Because, ultimately, despite the heart break we go through, the book is about hope and healing. Highly, highly recommended. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
This was a re-read for me. I had read a number of years ago as well as many of her other books. It's still just as sad but not nearly as powerful as some of her other books.Not my favorite by this author but still I would recommend it. ( )
  justablondemoment | Jul 20, 2012 |
This is one of Torey Hayden's best books. It follows the story of a Shelia who comes into her small group special needs class. Torey Hayden explains her struggles and triumphs to connect with this little girl. ( )
  CAL7014 | Sep 7, 2011 |
One Child is the story of a teacher who takes on a classroom of the "other children," those who can't be placed in mainstream classes. Specifically, it tells the tale of one specific girl, Sheila, and how the teacher and student grew throughout the year. I think this novel would be an incredible one to share with a high school class, because of the perspective it would provide the students with. I've always thought it would be interesting to read a book on teaching with a group of students, and this is one of my favorites. I think students would be able to better appreciate what it is teachers are trying to accomplish, and I think it also explores humanity in its entirety, as well as empathy and how we form judgments of others. This novel is simply rich, and it's applicability as a true story only improves its stock among high schoolers. ( )
  PKKingster | Sep 29, 2010 |
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To Sheila R., of course.

I am asked repeatedly about the poem on my office wall. It seems only right that they should know the child who wrote it. And I only hope I have been half as good a writer.
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For the better part of my adult life I have been working with emotionally disturbed children.
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
S'il vous plaît, ne confondez pas "L'enfant qui ne pleurait pas" avec "L'enfant qui ne parlait pas"
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Esta é a história verídica e comovente da relação entre uma professora que ensina crianças com dificuldades mentais e emocionais e a sua aluna, Sheila, de seis anos, abandonada por uma mãe adolescente e que até então apenas conheceu um mundo onde foi severamente maltratada e abusada. Relatada pela própria professora, Torey Hayden, é uma história inspiradora, que nos mostra que só uma fé inabalável e um amor sem condições são capazes de chegar ao coração de uma criança aparentemente inacessível. Considerada uma ameaça que nenhum pai nem nenhum professor querem por perto de outras crianças, Sheila dá entrada na sala de Torey, onde ficam as crianças que não se integram noutro lugar. É o princípio de uma relação que irá gerar fortes laços de afecto entre ambas, e o início de uma batalha duramente travada para esta criança desabrochar para uma vida nova de descobertas e alegria.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380542625, Mass Market Paperback)

Finally, a beginning . . .

The time had finally come. The time I had been waiting for through all these long months that I knew sooner or later had to occur. Now it was here.

She had surprised me so much by actually crying that for a moment I did nothing but look at her. Then I gathered her into my arms, hugging her tightly. She clutched onto my shirt so that I could feel the dull pain of her fingers digging into my skin. She cried and cried and cried. I held her and rocked the chair back and on its rear legs, feeling my arms and chest get damp from the tears and her hot breath and the smallness of the room.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The story of an emotionally disturbed 6-year-old girl and the course of her treatment by the author. Six-year-old Sheila never spoke, she never cried, and her eyes were filled with hate. Abandoned on a highway by her mother, abused by her alcoholic father, Sheila was placed in a class for the hopelessly retarded after she committed an atrocious act of violence against another child. Everyone said Sheila was lost forever -- everyone except teacher Torey Hayden.… (more)

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