Synopses & Reviews
Six year old Sheila had been abandoned by her mother on a highway when she was four. A survivor of horrific abuse, she never spoke, never cried, and was placed in a class for severely retarded children after committing an atrocious act of violence against another child. Everyone thought Sheila was beyond salvation, - except her teacher, Torey Hayden. With patience, skill, and abiding love, she fought long and hard to release a haunted little girl from her secret nightmare - and nurture the spark of genius she recognized trapped within Sheila's silence. This is the remarkable story of their journey together - an odyssey of hope, courage and inspiring devotion that opened the heart and mind of one lost child to a new world of discovery and joy. 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
Finally, a beginning . . .
The time had finally come. The time I had been waiting for through all these long months that I knew sooner or later had to occur. Now it was here.
She had surprised me so much by actually crying that for a moment I did nothing but look at her. Then I gathered her into my arms, hugging her tightly. She clutched onto my shirt so that I could feel the dull pain of her fingers digging into my skin. She cried and cried and cried. I held her and rocked the chair back and on its rear legs, feeling my arms and chest get damp from the tears and her hot breath and the smallness of the room.
Hayden recounts her battle to uncover the keen intelligence and touch the emotions of a troubled, sexually molested six-year-old girl who abused a younger child and was placed in her class for retarded preadolescents while awaiting space in a state institution.
About the Author
Torey Hayden is an educational psychologist and a special education teacher. While studying wildlife biology, she once hatched and raised a short-eared owl. She has written a succession of best-selling books for adult readers; The Very Worst Thing is her first novel for children. She and her family live on a farm in Wales.