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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
The Girl Who Couldn't Smile
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

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.
9 people found this helpful
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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 16 July 2017
This is a book about children, but also about the adults who worked hard to give the children the early education they needed, weaving magic into the thread of the everyday. It was gripping and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who works with children of any age.
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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 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
5 people found this helpful
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on 22 April 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it shows how Shane can work with children on all different levels. And I can wait to read more stories about his work days.
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on 15 September 2017
Shane Dunphy shows us the limitations of adults and the potential in children in real terms, with real failures, successes and emotions for all involved in working and caring for any child. Every child, at some point, has "special" needs but it takes a special adult to identify, provide for and fulfil those needs. Written beautifully, Shane portrays his joy, struggles, and self awareness throughout.
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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 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!
One person found this helpful
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on 31 January 2013
An interesting read that I found difficult to put down. Having owned a preschool so much of what the writer has described is common place in our preschool facilities. I'm pleased to report that preschool staff are well informed and able to deal with the child described in this book.
A thought provoking read...
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