I first saw the book One Child on display in a vegan shop. Since I live in Kiev, Ukraine where English is not a primary language, One Child was the only English on display there and that is why I immediately noticed it. If you are wondering why books would be sold in a vegan shop, well this particular shop sells used books on discount for charity. So when you buy any book there, you are directly donating to a charity.
I got the book home and since I was not a big reader then (2015), I took my time before opening the book. When I finally did start reading One Child, two months had passed since I purchased it.
The book was written by Victoria Lynn Hayden, known as Torey L. Hayden, who is a special education teacher, university lecturer and writer of non-fiction books based on her real-life experiences with teaching and counseling children with special needs and also of fiction books. She has written books like Beautiful Child, Ghost Girl, Just Another Kid, Somebody Else’s Kid and many more.
One Child is one of her non-fiction books and is centered around the life of one of her young students Sheila. When I first started reading One Child, I thought there is no way, this book will be interesting but it turned out to be a real page-turner. Sheila is a six-year old girl who has been through enough trauma to numb any human and quite frankly I do not think if I went through as much, I would have had any positive outlook in life.
When Sheila was four years old, her mom left her dad, took her baby brother(Jimmie) and on the road, she pushed Sheila out of the car to go live with her alcoholic father who was also verbally abusive. She lived in abject poverty with him and would go to school smelly and dirty. She grew up malnourished, destructive, angry, quiet, unfriendly and sad. This six year old girl has been through different types of abuse, including being savagely sexually abused by her uncle which left her bleeding and completely scarred.
The whole book is the unfolding process of Sheila’s healing. How Torey reached out to her, fought for her and was finally able to shine some light to this dark, revengeful little girl’s heart who knew what everything but what true love and care looked like. I cried and got angry and cringed while reading One Child but at the end of it all, I smiled because of the enormous victory for both Torey and Sheila.
This book essentially will bring out all types of emotions in you. Thank you Torey for sharing this amazing insight to what working with kids who need special attention and care really looks like and showing how the best way is in dealing with certain situations .
One Child has a sequel ‘The Tiger’s Child‘ and as soon as I read it, I’ll review it here. So please subscribe to this blog, follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you can stay updated on new post. Sheila is now grown and doing well for herself and trying to help other kids who are in the same predicaments as she was in as a kid. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.
Please leave a comment below if you have read One Child or any other book by Torey Hayden and what your thoughts are on it. Join my YouTube Channel for more book reviews.
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I love reading but I have easy access to thousands of books. A lot of kids, have a longing for reading but unfortunately getting books can be quite high end or simply unreachable to them. So I would really appreciate if you can donate 50 cents to help me get one book to a child out there who hasn't got the privilege to do so. Thank you.