on 24 August 2005
I have recently read Tiger's Child and was completely absorbed with Torey and Sheila's story. I hadn't realised until I began to read the book that it was a sequel to One Child, which I am now reading. I urge everyone to read these beautiful and inspiring books. Torey teaches patience and love can overcome hardship and sadness. This is something we all need to remember at times. First class.
on 15 July 1999
...I suppose we all take a different view after reading a book or seeing a movie. I have read everyone of Torey's books, she is amazing. I read a few harsh critics who while they liked the book they had a few judgements to pass on to Torey. Well I would just like to know how many of their years of life they have dedicated to helping children and youth. One referred to Torey as being unsympathetic and unwilling to go the distance. She has always gone way beyond the call of duty and has never been unsympathetic. However if she was to only coddle Sheila and encourage her to focus on her role as "victim", Sheila would have never been empowered and been left with only bitter resentment. Another reader thought Torey was expecting too much when re-connecting with Shelia. Torey does what she does because she is passionate and loves children. It is only human to hope the impact you made on a child was enough to change the path their life would take. How would you expect her to react when finding Sheila's life still in turmoil and Sheila unable to remember much of anything about their significant relationship. Certainly this is a human reaction is it not? Torey would most definitely consider Sheila the hero and not herself. However I think that credit should most definitely be given to Torey. Perhaps things would have been different for Sheila if not for Torey. I don't believe that someone who simply felt "sympathy" for Sheila would have had the kind of impact that Torey did. Nor anyone of us who just read the book but think somehow that we could do a better job than Torey. Torey had to prepare Sheila for reality, she had to empower her, teach her independance and not allow her to walk all over her. This meant sometimes shutting one door and then opening another. Many of us couldn't have done this, and it had to of torn Torey apart to offer this kind of "tough love." If you only offer sympathy and place blame on all the evils that have influenced Sheila's life, how much progress do you suppose Sheila would have made in life. I think that in all likely hood she would have stayed in the role of "victim" believing there was no hope since the past could never be undone, nor could she change the people who caused her so much pain. Instead she became an individual who was about more than her past, more than the abuse she suffered, and more than a "victim". When she was able to discover that it was her that was now in control of her future then and only then was change able to occur. This is of course only in my opinion.
on 7 July 2005
This book is the sequel to "One Child." Both Torey Hayden and former pupil Sheila are pioneers who did indeed blaze a trail towards higher standards in special needs education and general acceptance.
For several years, author Torey Hayden made good faith efforts to locate her former pupil, Sheila. They do reconnect after a series of "lucky flukes" some seven years later. Sheila, then in middle school has more or less discarded any memory of her past; she is contending with living in a different town and is coping with her father, with whom she seems to have a better relationship. In "One Child," readers are made aware that both father and daughter had been wronged by the Social Services system. This book helps readers to see how they survived the bureaucracy and made the best with what they had at the time.
Torey Hayden opens new doors for Sheila; she even recommends Sheila for a job in the clinic where she works one summer. Sheila bonds with a young boy there because both share a common history of maternal abandonment. The relationship between former pupil and teacher is certainly a roller-coaster ride; Sheila, now in the "terrible teens" is clearly feeling her way out towards independence and self identity. She expresses these feelings eloquently and in action; she dyes her hair extreme colors and puts together exotic outfits.
Over time, as Sheila matures and contends with bad placements and more moves, she is able to come to terms with her past. To both of their credit, no promises are made and one can more or less feel and see the process involved in helping Sheila cope.
on 15 July 1999
I have read everyone of Torey's books and think she is absolutely amazing. I in fact chose my area of work partly because of the books I read by her. I was always gripped emotionally and mentally by her stories and her strength. I couldn't believe it when I discovered a book I hadn't read yet and the exhileration of discovering it was the continuing story of Sheila. She has connected with so many children throughout her life, they have had tremendous impact on her just as she has had tremendous impact on them. It is only human that she would experience the feelings she did when re-connecting with Sheila. I would think, in reference to a readers previous comment, that Torey would absolutely agree that Sheila is the hero. Torey is an amazingly gifted individual who has dedicated a great part of her life to helping children. Hats off to Torey, she does one of the most thankless jobs but reaps the greatest rewards. She does what she does because of her passion for it and for her love of children. It is not for totally unselfish reasons, and why I ask, need it be. How could she possibly emotionally, and mentally survive her career if she wasn't getting personal satisfaction from what she does. She deserves an award for what she has does for children, but most certainly she would never accept it.
on 26 July 2005
THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. Not only is Torey Hayden an inspirational, devoted woman, she is an articulate, witty and talented writer. I really enjoyed 'One Child', her heartbreaking, yet brilliant story of the emotionally disturbed shiela, and this follow-up is truly amazing; it's insightful, honest, emotive, and well written. I could not put it down. Torey Hayden deserves the utmost respect from us all, she really is a wonderful woman. If your deliberating buying this book, do not hesitate, purchase both of these amazing stories and you will NOT be disappointed, they show us the true strength of love and determination of both Torey and Shiela. Torey emotively and successfully recalls her involvement with shiela as a child, and as she blossomed into an intelligent, amazing young woman.
on 6 February 2006
This book is brilliant. However, for it to be brilliant you must read Torey Hayden's prequel 'One Child'.
The book is very touching and emotional. If you cant handle your emotions, dont read it.
The ending could have been better by making everyone happy and Torey adopting her but its not a story book and theres never going to be the perfect ending.
on 28 July 1999
Normally, I do not buy hardcover books. I wait until they are released in paperback or become available at the library. But when I saw the sequel to one of my all time favorite books, "One Child", at the bookstore right after its' release, I snatched it up immediately and ran to the cash register! That night I read the whole book from start to finish without stopping. For years I had wondered what became of Sheila after Torey's last glimpse of her through the school bus window, and now that I had the answer in my hands I could not put it down. It was heartbreaking to learn that the happiness and love that Sheila discovered in Torey's classroom did not last after she left. However, the story of she survived despite her many hardships, even finding some of that happiness again when she and Torey were reunited, was fascinating and often tearjerking. I have read and loved all of Torey Hayden's books. This is one of the best. I would love to see Sheila write her own book from her point of view some day!
on 6 July 2005
What an excellent follow up to One Child, it was so good to find out what happened to Sheila as she was growing up. Again once you start reading you cannot put the book down, it's compulsive reading. You cannot begin to imagine what this poor girl has been through and how she has had to try and cope, with what family she has. Well done Torey for all your hard work.
on 19 November 1998
I first read One Child when I was thirteen, and it was a powerful force in my life, impacting me more deeply than any other story I have ever read. I related somewhat at thirteen to her life at six, and have read the book millions of times since, always wondering what became of Sheila and what her life might be like now. So when I discovered this sequal yesterday, it was like a goldmine. My biggest emotional reaction was deep sorrow, because One Child WAS like a fairy tale that had led us to believe that Sheila would probably be all right now that Torey had given her the wings to fly. But reality tended to beat Sheila up one side and down the other like a spiked club, and she no longer had anyone to help her through it. I look at Sheila as having lived her life very much alone with the exception of the five months in Torey's classroom in Marysville. Is five months really enough to build a sturdy enough platform for this kid? All kids need constant care and attention; kids in healthy households living comparatively idyllic lives still clamor for more and more attention, love and care. Six is not really big enough to take on the world and conquer it and all its horrors alone, it is barely big enough to tie one's own shoes and remember where your mittens are! I can completely see Sheila's point when she accused Torey of offering her a world full of color and warmth and then sweeping it all away. Sheila was abused before Torey came, while Torey was there, and after she left. Torey's subsequent disappointment at finding this relatively human teenager, including dyed hair and common teenish speech patterns, is naive on her part. What did she expect? She hadn't been there; when Sheila was being abused and shifting around in foster homes, where was Torey, and what right did she have to judge Sheila now, at a still-tender thirteen? What right did she have to expect ANYTHING? Sure, it appears as if Torey is this wonderful goddess-type teacher that goes the 800 extra miles for Sheila, but Torey had never had to deal with Sheila's life on a day-to-day basis, could have no idea. The real hero is Sheila, who IS a survivor, who did remarkably well with herself considering she's sprung from horrors most of us can hardly imagine experiencing ourselves. She shouldn't have to feel grateful for what Torey's done for her; as a child, it was the least she could expect from somebody. It is Sheila who created herself, and what an extraordinary person.
on 15 December 2013
I have read quite a few of Torey's books and if I had to put them in order or preference it would be :
Just another Kid
With this one I wasn't too impressed. For some reason I feel there's not enough Sheila moments in there and not enough grip. A lot of rambling as well which I found boring and skim read. The book starts with a summary of One Child which I have just finished reading so I skipped those chapters all together. However, it was still nice to find out what happened to Sheila and it is nice to know she is happy and successful lady now.