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Publisher's Summary

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
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By DF on 03-19-15

Sheila is one special child

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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Daren lacey on 06-14-17

tears of joy flow like a trickling stream.

This book is an amazing story of sadness and joy, giving you the sense of how one person can change the life of so many heart breaking events. Healing the scars with love and commitment from what life throws at such young children.

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