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Paperback One Child: The True Story of a Tormented Six-Year-Old and the Brilliant Teacher Who Reached Out Book

ISBN: 0062564439

ISBN13: 9780062564436

One Child: The True Story of a Tormented Six-Year-Old and the Brilliant Teacher Who Reached Out

(Book #1 in the Sheila Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

"It has been a long time since you have read a book with the sheer emotional impact of One Child ." -- New York Times The true story of a tormented six-year-old and the brilliant teacher who reached out. Six-year-old Sheila never spoke, she never cried, and her eyes were filled with hate. Abandoned on a highway by her mother, unwanted by her alcoholic father, Sheila was placed in a class for emotionally disturbed children after she committed an atrocious...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Fantastic true story

everyone that enjoys true stories will love this book. Though it is a sad topic, it is enlightening! A must for anyone that has dealt with anyone with these issues.


I am 14 and I read this book about a month ago, I really touched me in a way no other book has ever done before! I hardly ever cry but when I read the end of this book I couldn't hold back the tears!!! I think Torey Hayden is an amazing author and I really want to get the sequal to this book. Everyone should read this, it will touch even the toughest people. I have always wanted to work with disadvantaged kids and now I do even more!! Thank you Torey for writting this book.


This is truly one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. Torey Hayden has truly raised the bar in working with children and has, in pioneer fashion, blazed new trails and set new standards. Sheila, a 6-year-old girl living in grinding poverty and raised by her single father faced some daunting odds when she entered Torey Hayden's special needs class. Abandoned by her mother, beaten by her father and facing a court ordered sentence to a hospital after a particularly violent episode, Sheila was extremely aggressive and wary. Since she had no bathing facilities in the home she shared with her father, Sheila was often dirty and underfed. It is a true testament to her courage and Torey Hayden's belief and persistence that Sheila began confiding in her within 3 days of her classroom placement. I like the way Torey Hayden started a grooming routine for Sheila, which positively impacted her behavior and interactions with others. Sheila entered that classroom under very inauspicious conditions. The court ordered that she at least be educated until the state hospital opening was available. In that class, Sheila flourished and even made overtures to her classmates, some of whom functioned well below age level. Luckily for all, Torey Hayden was able to recind the court order; Sheila stayed in that class for the remainder of the year and made quantum leaps and bounds. During an early testing session it was determined that Sheila had an IQ of 182. This highly gifted little girl was able to express herself eloquently. Quick to assess people and situations, Sheila had developed a survival mode early. In that class she used her natural endowments to her advantage. The gifts this child had to offer and the gifts she received in that class are a song to the soul. There is a poignancy about her courage. She is, to a large extent, accepting of her life conditions and makes the best with available resources. This is a book that will evoke just about every possible emotion, from sadness to anger to cheering gladly. The close of the term is indeed bittersweet; the parting of teacher and pupil is very moving indeed. One sees the progress Sheila has made and marvels at what this child unknowingly had to give.

For the Love of a Child

Torey Hayden's book was extremely well written and very emtionial. Torey is an exceptional teacher, as well as a compassionate and patient person. She feels for these children and is willing to stick her own neck out to save them. Her strong desire to help these children, especially Sheila is indeed the making of a true teacher. To see Sheila's behavior change was truly remarkable. How Torey got Sheila to respond to schoolwork and other children was amazing. I enjoyed every moment of this book. It made me cry at times to read how Sheila was treated and it also made me mad for the way she was neglected, abused and rejected. I was so happy when she finally accepted the fact that she would have to move on in life, but still could hold on to the memories that she would always have from Torey's Special Class. This book has made me want to read the sequel, as well as other Torey Hayden books. I would recommend this book to anyone, who has any dealing with children.

There should be more Torey Haydens' in the world

It has been quite some time since I read One Child , yet I can say that among the hundreds of books I have read, that was the most striking among all. Its the type of book that makes you want to become a better person and try in your own way to make a difference in the world, just as Torey did to those children. I know I did! I tip my hat to her, and I am very grateful that there are still people like her here in the world who REALLY love, especially the most unlovable. I have an autistic cousin too that's why I was really able to relate to the story. Now I know why they are called special children, it's not a euphemism people use for abnormal or dumb, they really are SPECIAL in every meaning of the word. I believe everyone should read it, especially on days when they are down, because although this book is a real tear-jerker, it has a lot of fun moments too. Most of all it makes us realize how lucky we are for not having to go through all the hardships these kids went through. In the end, we feel uplifted and very touched, that we forget about griping and self-pitying.

A Heartaching touching book

This story is about a teacher and one child. It's heartaching and touching from the moment Sheila walks into that classroom. It almost wanted me to become a teacher, because if you could save just one child it would be worth all the troubles you might have. Mrs. Hayden's way of describing the story and girl is very vividly and you can see Shelia standing right there in front of you. I recommend this book for everyone who is a bit interested in children, especially the need to care about kids. The way it makes you feel when Torey reach into gives you a very joyful moment and you wished there were more persons like her and less child abusers. This book gives you all the emotions, anger, despair, hope, love, makes you smile, makes you want to do something. So please read it!

One Child Mentions in Our Blog

One Child in Long Hours. Low Pay. High Stakes.
Long Hours. Low Pay. High Stakes.
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • May 22, 2019

Teaching calls for tough, determined, and self-sacrificing types. Here are five books highlighting inspirational, real-life teachers.

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