This beautiful and deeply moving tale recounts educational psychologist Torey Hayden's battle to unlock the emotions of a troubled and sexually abused child who, with the help of Hayden, was finally able to overcome her dark past and realise her full potential.
Six-year-old Sheila was abandoned by her mother on a highway when she was four. A survivor of horrific abuse, she never spoke, never cried, and was placed in a class for severely retarded children after committing an atrocious act of violence against another child. Everyone thought Sheila was beyond salvation - except her teacher, Torey Hayden. With patience, skill, and abiding love, she fought long and hard to release a haunted little girl from her secret nightmare - and nurture the spark of genius she recognised trapped within Sheila's silence.
This is the remarkable story of their journey together - an odyssey of hope, courage, and inspiring devotion that opened the heart and mind of one lost child to a new world of discovery and joy.
©2012 Torey Hayden (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Torey Hayden deserves the kind of respect I can't give many people. She isn't valuable, she's incredible. The world needs more like Torey Hayden." (Boston Globe)
"It has been a long time since you have read a book with the sheer emotional impact of One Child." (The New York Times)
"Page after page proves again the power of love and the resiliency of life." (Los Angeles Times)
I first heard of Torey when I was on my first teaching practice and had an elective mute in the class. I wanted to hear an expert's methods of reaching her.
Sixteen years later and I am still working with special children, this time in an EBD unit. It amazes me how easy Torey makes it seem, but then I remember that we are hearing about a full year in a few hours, and it makes me feel better.
I don't have a favourite book ofTorey's as they are all excellent, but this is definitely in the running for favourite. Not just for Sheila, all of the children are fabulous characters, and I now recognise a couple from youngsters I have worked with.
So thank you Torey. If not for you I may have been in a regular mainstream classroom, with regular mainstream kids, not the little charmers who amaze and fascinate me every single day.
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