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Paperback Somebody Else's Kids: The True Story of Four Problem Children and One Extraordinary Teacher Book

ISBN: 0062564404

ISBN13: 9780062564405

Somebody Else's Kids: The True Story of Four Problem Children and One Extraordinary Teacher

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

"A heartwarming book full of tenderness." -- Library Journal From the bestselling author of One Child , the true story of four problem children and one extraordinary teacher. They were all "just somebody else's kids"--four problem children placed in Torey Hayden's class because nobody knew what else to do with them. They were a motley group of children in great pain: a small boy who echoed other people's words and repeated weather forecasts; a beautiful...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Somebody Else's Kids is my favorite book

I have just started reading her books. I did enjoy it very much!

I Couldn't Put It Down

Torey Hayden writes yet another great book! Four extraordinary children that you will never forget. I didn't want to put the book down. The only time I did was because I didn't want to finish it!! If it were possible I'd give it a 10 star rating! A MUST READ!!!

somebody else's kids

Torey Hayden, author of "One Child," charts a year in the life of a special education classroom with some unusual and unforgettable students. They include Claudia, an academically gifted, pregnant twelve-year-old; Tomaso, who witnessed the death of his father; Lori, a girl whose abuse left her unable to read and write; and Boo, an autistic boy with a fondness for giving weather reports. How they bond, become a class, and deal with the largely unsympathetic outside world makes for a remarkable story. Even more gratifying is the epilogue, in which we learn that all four made gains after they graduated from Hayden's class, all quite remarkably.


This book is yet another outstanding account of Ms. Hayden's work with children. The children assigned to her resource room featured in this book are a 12-year-old girl who is pregnant; an 11-year-old boy who witnessed the murder of his father; a 7-year-old girl whose father battered her during her infancy causing severe brain damage and a 7-year-old boy whose behavior is described as autistic. In the interest of fairness, there is really no way for readers to "know" or declare how "pretty" any of the pupils are; this is not the place to proclaim "favorite pupils." Responding to the individual gifts each pupil had to offer is the underlying theme of this book. "Somebody Else's Kids" chronicles the lives of real people that most readers don't even know. In the interest of fairness, without personally knowing the teacher assigned to Lori, the 7-year-old, it is very easy to make a strong case against her based on her response to this child's academic needs. Early in the book, Lori's teacher, identified as "Edna Thorsen," is described as being an excellent teacher with a long standing in conventional teaching methods. Although her treatment and response to Lori is indeed shocking, again, in the interest of fairness, it is simply the way the events are portrayed in this book. This is not to overlook her long established career. Tomaso, the boy who witnessed his father's death and Lori form a strong bond in that class that is indeed heartwarming. They appear to be mutually good influences and accounts of the progress they make are truly inspiring. Claudia, the 12-year-old girl and Boo, the youngest child make incredible strides as well. Indeed this group is proof positive of human resilience and the sterling examples of kindness that were extended to them. Their story is one about fairness.

A very touching book.

Somebody Else's Kids by Torey L. Hayden shows the challenge of teaching four troubled children. Torey's class is known as "the class that created itself." Although Torey has taught special education classes before, she has never had a class like this. Torey really takes these four children to heart and can't stop trying to help them, even after she fails. I think this effort makes Torey an excellent teacher. Torey cared more about her four students, Boo (who is autistic), Lori (who cannot learn how to read), Tomaso (who is violently angry), and Claudia (who was put out by her Catholic school when she became pregnant) then their own parents did. I give Torey a lot of credit; most people wouldn't be up for this type of challenge. I would recommend this book to anyone, whether they have an interest in special education or whether they just have to read it for a college English class. This is truly a wonderful and inspiring book.

The life of a teacher

I really enjoyed the book. However, I did not like Edna, nor was I to pleased with Dan. Edna felt that Special Education children were not like normal children, and that she knew everything that there was to know about all children. There are some teachers that feel the way that Edna does,an I think that is wrong. And, Dan seemed to be afraid of Edna. He needed a mind of his own. I felt that he was afraid because Edna had tenture and all teachers with tenture do not know everything and most of them are set in their ways and are not going to change, whether they are wrong or right. The book was very interesting to me, and I could relate to it because of my experience of being a paraprofessional. I would like to add that I feel that special children behave better than normal children and should not be considered special

A fascinating account of a master teacher at work!

Torey Hayden's book is very interesting. Her book is written much like a journal, and contains many of her reactions to situations at work and the effect that they have on her personal life. The children with whom she works are of very different backgrounds and have a wide range of problems. She doesn't seem to have any magic answers for those who deal with troubled children.She does seem to stress acceptance of individual differences, and uses a loving yet firm approach with all of the children.She admits to not having any answers when it comes to dealing with some of the children who are so seriosly emotionally involved that they are unable to relate to those around them.Her classroom has a daily routine, she encourages thoughtfulness and kindness toward others, and she uses lots of cooperative learning techniques, while also individualizing instruction.Although her main focus in the classroom is educational, her conversations with the children are frequently very therapeutic because of the open relationship which she has with all of her students>P<Ms. Hayden's total involvement in the children's lives and the level of support which she offers their parents are truly amazing.Her teaching methods seem almost intuitive.As she tells one of her visiting supervisors, "I change what I surmise I have a chance at changing.The rest I accept, at least until I can figure out what to do about it."As I read her book, it seemed to me that Ms. Hayden was able to help those students who had been emotionally harmed by their past experiences precisely because they knew that she was accepting of them as people of worth.She offered the unconditional love of which they had been deprived, and which is vital to the emotional well-being of every individual.All educators could benefit from reading her book.Fortunately most of us don't have to deal with children for whom life is so difficult, but we all deal with children who are a product of their past experiences, both good and bad, and who need to know that we truly care.Shirley Branham
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