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Beautiful Child: The story of a child trapped in silence and the teacher who refused to give up on her [Hardcover]

Torey Hayden
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Sep 2006

A stunning and poignant account of an extraordinary teacher's determination never to abandon a child in need from the internationally bestselling author of ‘One Child’ and No. 1 bestseller ‘Ghost Girl’.

Seven-year-old Venus Fox never spoke, never listened, never even acknowledged the presence of another human being in the room with her. Yet an accidental playground 'bump' would release a rage frightening to behold.

The school year that followed would prove to be one of the most trying, perplexing, and ultimately rewarding of Torey's career, as she struggled to reach a silent child in obvious pain. It would be a strenuous journey beset by seemingly insurmountable obstacles and darkened by truly terrible revelations. Yet encouraged by sometimes small, sometimes dazzling breakthroughs, as a dedicated teacher, Torey remained committed to helping a 'hopeless' girl, and patiently and lovingly leading her toward the light of a new day.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Element (4 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007235135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007235131
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 970,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Torey Hayden is an educational psychologist and a special education teacher who, since 1979, has chronicled her struggles in the classroom in a succession of bestselling books. She currently lives and writes in North Wales.

Product Description


“Torey Hayden deserves the kind of respect I can’t give many people. She isn’t just valuable, she’s incredible. The world needs more like Torey Hayden.” Boston Globe

“Chilling and affecting.” Chicago Tribune

“Moving – as lively and surprising as the kids, it so deftly portrays.“ O Magazine

About the Author

Born in Montana, USA, Torey Hayden has spent most of her adult life working with children in distress. Now living in Great Britain, she divides her time between writing and volunteer work with several British charities. Torey is author of numerous internationally best-selling books about her experiences as a special education teacher and therapist. She has also written two novels and two children's books.

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First Sentence
The first time I saw her, she was atop a stone wall that ran along the west side of the playground. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 7 Dec 2002
By H. Ford
Once again Torey Hayden has written an inspiring book that offers hope and encouragement to all who work with children in special education and to those children themselves. She teaches us that children with special needs, particularly those who have been neglected and/or abused, must be allowed time to trust again.As always she deals sensitively, but not sentimentally, with the gradual process of recovery of an abused child.The subject of this book is a little girl, an elective mute, whose experience of life is so abhorrent that recovery of any kind initially seems an impossible goal. However the author's care for her pupil, her determination to succeed, her natural teaching ability and her gut level instinct for the right way to proceed all mean that this goal is, finally, reached. This book, along with others by the same author, should be made compulsory reading for all student teachers.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Torey Hayden has to be the best writer of non fiction I have ever read.The way she writes,you feel like you know her and all her children.You feel like you have been in her classrooms and know her little ways.She shows her weaknesses and her strengths.For people who have children or work with children,read this book and any tantrum your child has ever had will pale into comparison to what Torey deals with every day in her classroom.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in a long time 18 Feb 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought this book would be a bit depressing, and hard to read, but the way it was written was nothing short of amazing, I read the book in one evening I literally couldn't put it down, some parts I had tears in my eyes for the unbelievable suffering little Venus suffered, to think that if it hadn't been for Torey Hayden, no-one would have even known this little girl could speak never mind anything else. But it wasn't all doom and gloom some parts of the book had me laughing, the way Ms Hayden wrote about the children she looked after could be very funny indeed. She didn't make her self look like a saint, she pointed out her faults (which were pretty human) and she seemed to write the book with so much feeling, it was a privilage to read, and I would strongly recommend this book to anyone, (I've already started reading "Ghost girl" by Tory Hayden.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasic, as always! 28 Aug 2007
I have only read 2 of Torey Hayden's books - this one and Ghost Girl. I have to say that I felt that this book was better than Ghost Girl. The story was longer and I felt that you became more involved with the characters. As always, there were some fantastic scenes that made me laugh out loud and some scenes that made me feel a bit sick. The style of writing is gripping and I finished the book in 2 days. I'm off to get another one of her books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a truly gifted author 5 Aug 2007
By reader
I was given this book as a gift and was a wee bit apprehensive about reading it. Needless to say it was one of the best books I've ever read. Other books I have read on similar issues have been stomach-churning and difficult to read, but Torey made this book a very beautiful, moving read. I truly felt that all the children's personalities, from their laughter to their tears really shone through, especially Venus. I found myself personally willing her on. I'll definitely be purchasing the rest of the set.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, rivoting reading 27 Jan 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am not a natural reader and yet could not put this book down. I have since purchased her entire set of books, all on the subject of her experiences of having worked as a special needs teacher/psychologist. She is an amazing writer and as a mother of a special needs child, the world most certainly needs more writer and more people like Torey Hayden. I have recommended this and her other books to many. You will not be disappointed. Of all her books I found "Twilight Children" to be the most difficult, mainly because it goes into far more disturbed behaviour.

Excellent author. Fully recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In my opinion this is her best 1 Jun 2007
By J.E.T
I am an avid fan of Torey Hayden and honestly didn't think her writing could get any better until I read this.

For some reason the story just struck me. This tale is so enchanting that it moved me to tears in places, something that is a very rare occurence for a book. It is beautifully written and engages you in a heart-warming roller coaster of a plot. This book certainly keeps you on the edge of your seat and is definitely a real page turner. The care and dedication that the author went through in helping this child is only too apparent. Although it does contain difficult issues it is not shocking in any way but is instead very sensitive about it all.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone, whether they are already a Torey Hayden fan or not. This is a very typical book for her but has an edge to it that I felt made it even better. It is warm, funny, heart-wrenching and ultimately leaves you with a sense of satisfaction that Torey Hayden has once again worked her magic and saved another child. An absolute must read- I can't say more than that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY GREAT!! 13 May 2007
this book is just amazing.. the patience and dedication with which torey handles this child goes to show that you can be rewarded for it.. i loved this book, a definite eye opener.. torey is a great role model and i fell in love with all the children too! you wont regret buying it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars another good book from torey
enjoyable and sad
Published 6 days ago by laura
5.0 out of 5 stars heart rending story by an amazing teacher.
Fabulous, heart rending story by an amazing teacher.
Published 6 days ago by C. E. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book got me hooked
Published 12 days ago by Harry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
so sad great book realy great reading
Published 14 days ago by Mrs. M. C. Forrest
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good value
Published 16 days ago by philip helsby
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!!
Although Tory seemed to have different techniques, she genuinely loves her children. Great book. Very inspiring! What an amazing woman!!
Published 1 month ago by ktha
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I have read a number of Toney Hayden books and this is one of her best I would strongly recommend this book
Published 2 months ago by Lynn Waite
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful child
Another good book from Tory. Read it in an afternoon in between jobs. Didn't want to put it till finished. Was good to know what happened to children at the end.
Published 2 months ago by Lynne
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Child
Torey Hayden is a great story teller and I couldn't put this book down, I was captured from page 1. easy to follow and hard to put down.
Published 2 months ago by mrs s a smith
4.0 out of 5 stars torey hayden
Love this book to bits, read it a while ago and the shock factor and strength of the children is incredible despite their experiences. Highly recommended read.
Published 3 months ago by Rachel Boghossian
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