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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
131
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 June 2012
I bought this on a whim when it was a daily deal, and it's taken me a while to finish simply because I have been savouring it.

Dunphy is skilled at creating pencil portraits of both his charges and his fellow careworkers, and some of those portraits are heartbreaking. His compassion shines through, though he is also ready to confess the mistakes he made.

The stories that will most stay with me are the friendship that develops between Lonnie and the little Polish girl Arga, and Tammy, the eponymous "girl who couldn't smile". There are both remarkable breakthroughs and harrowing failures, and throughout one is given a real insight into the work. I'm not ashamed to say that it made me cry several times.

I shall certainly be looking out for more of Dunphy's books on sale, and if it weren't for the huge backlog of "to be read" books on my Kindle, I'd be buying at least a couple at full price.
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on 15 February 2012
Seem to have been waiting ages for Shane to release another book, and he hasn't disappointed. Can't praise this man enough the books are such easy reads, if you like true stories, buy this book and pretty sure you'll be buying the rest of the books he's written.
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on 17 January 2013
This is the first nook I have read by Shane Dunphy it won't be my last it was a brilliant account of working with young people not a story full of abuse and neglect just a true picture of real problems and how they worked out the young people in the school were very Lucky to have Shane and the other staff to support and nurture them a truly inspirational book anybody working in early years or interested in working with kids I recommend this book you won't be disappointed
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on 17 April 2012
As a fan of Shane Dunphy's earlier works, I awaited this one eagerly, and was not disappointed.
It is sensitively and honestly written, and captures the interest from the first page to the last.
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on 25 February 2012
What a fantastic book, just like all his others. Leaves you wanting to read more. I cant wait for another book from Shane. He really draws you into the story. We need an update book now for all his stories to update us on the progress these kids make.
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on 13 March 2016
Very interesting read and I recommend you reading this book. Children in a special nursery, a true account of how Shane and his fellow workers gave some of the children to go onto mainstream school. Also the book features a remarkable man called Lonnie, after also reading about him in Little Boy Lost. But you have to read the books. Tush and Susan you are remarkable
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on 16 January 2013
I bought this as part of a promotion..12 days of kindle I believe and Im so glad I read it almost straight away and didnt leave it to linger on my to be read list. What an author,, I ve not read any of his other books but some will be added to my wish list later. He paints a very honest picture about working with difficult children and situations, sometimes a little humour comes into it , others times I was shocked at what I was reading. He did mention Torey Hayden.. Ive read a lot of her books and I must say this one felt as if it was written in a similar style.Ive not read any of her novels though.. I couldnt understand why she would write novels when she has a wealth of experiences behind her, but thats beside the point.This book is lovely story of how a special play group was in dire need of some help and fresh ideas managed to pull itself round and help the children at the same time. We meet Lonnie who has needs of his own and his story is sort woven around the play group , very clever we are reading about two parallel tales at the same time. I wont spoil the ending, it caught me by suprise and I admit I had to wipe away the tears.
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on 15 January 2015
Shane Dunphy is currently my favourite author, and 'The Girl Who Couldn't Smile' did not disappoint-it was as excellent as all of his other books. I don't want to write about the contents and spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it, but if you haven't got it yet-buy it! It's brilliant, he's brilliant, all of his books are brilliant. This, like his others, I couldn't put down.
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on 25 April 2014
This is the first of his books I have read, it was very enjoyable. Interesting read and good account of his time working with some troubled nursery school children. True and interesting story and I will read more by this author.
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on 17 January 2013
I was torn between two and three stars for this one, but as it kept me reading to the end I have given it the benefit of the doubt.
I found the main character rather smug. Having worked in Early Years and Child Protection for many years I was quite shocked at the lack of professionalism portrayed by the staff at times, for instance during and following the nature walk in the woods.
However, I enjoyed the child studies and the honest portrayal of daily life with challenging children!
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