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.
“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.
Find her at www.torey-hayden.com
Hayden has chronicled experiences from her long career as a special education teacher in several books, including One Childand The Tiger's Child. Successes in this difficult and often frustrating field can be few and hard-won, 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. Familiar with Venus's siblings, other teachers warn Hayden not to expect much from Venus. Yet the author is relentless in her attempt to diagnose the cause of Venus's "almost catatonic" state, which is punctuated by occasional violent outbursts. Suspecting "elective mutism," a refusal to talk "for psychological reasons," Hayden persists in trying to draw Venus out. Her patient dedication finally pays off when the girl shows an interest in She-Ra, Princess of Power comic books. From there, a story of domestic abuse, removal to foster care and a slow emergence from silent isolation unfolds. However, Venus is not the only fascinating character here. Hayden sets Venus's bittersweet and complex story against the backdrop of other students, including one boy with a very high IQ but behavioral problems, another with Tourette's syndrome and a girl who inexplicably spouts sophisticated poetry and talks to her hand. In this first-person narrative, Hayden also shares her own thoughts, worries and 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A truly astonishing book, grips you mentally and emotionally!