Beautiful Child: The story of a child trapped in silence and the teacher who refused to give up on her Paperback – 2 Apr 2007
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“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
From the Back Cover
In the tradition of David Pelzer's A Child Called 'It' comes the unsettling story of a mute, almost catatonic seven year old and the special education teacher who tries to save her from the silence and abuse of her world.
Hayden has chronicled experiences from her long career as a special education teacher in several books, including One Child and The Tiger's Child. Successes in this difficult and often frustrating field can be few and hard won, a fact which Hayden deftly illustrates while simultaneously offering hope and joy in small victories. This time she brings to life the story of a scruffy seven year old, Venus, who is so unresponsive that Hayden searches for signs of deafness, brain damage or mental retardation. The author is relentless in her attempt to diagnose the cause of Venus's 'almost catatonic' state, which is punctuated by occasional violent outbursts. In this first person narrative, Hayden also shares her own thoughts, worries and reflections on the strained relationship with a mismatched classroom aide, creating a rich tapestry of the dynamics of a group of special needs youngsters and the adults who try to help them.
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Top Customer Reviews
This group finally unites after a series of setbacks. Early in the year, fighting broke out contantly among the boys; Venus, too displayed a fair share of aggression whenever she attacked someone who bumped into her. The tension among the pupils was paralleled in Torey Hayden's differing educational approaches with her aide, Julie.
Matters reach a critical head when Venus is placed on homebound instruction for 2 months after she severely injures another child. During her absence, the boys team up by forming the poignantly ironic named group, "the Chipmunks" as a way of helping one another and gaining positive reinforcement. When Venus returns, she literally has to start from scratch. A chance encounter with a 1980s comic figure, She-Ra, sparks her curiosity; from there, Venus and teacher Torey Hayden knock down yet another wall. Venus expresses her wishes for a better life and for power and a "magic sword" like She-Ra has; she begins to inch her way into the group.Read more ›
Excellent author. Fully recommend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love how Torey Hayden has a great understanding of children showing different behaviours and writing about her experiences in her unique ways of conquering reaching out for... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Fiona Simpson
This was so good I just didn't want to put it down or finish it. This woman is amazing.Published 3 months ago by Fiona
perfect my collection is nearly complete and the condition of the book was excelentPublished 7 months ago by blackrose
I have just finished this very moving thank goodness she didn't give up read it with an open mind very thought provokingPublished 12 months ago by alison rushman
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