Started – 14/3/12
Finished – 27/3/12
Format – paperback book
Synopsis – This beautiful and deeply moving tale recounts educational psychologist Torey Hayden’s battle to unlock the emotions of a troubled and sexually abused child who, with the help of Hayden, was finally able to overcome her dark past and realise her full potential.
Six-year-old Sheila was 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 recognised 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.
My Thoughts – This isnt my normal type of book that i choose to read, but it was recommended to me by a local bookshop owner and i thought i might as well give it a go. I am glad i did read this book. It has opened my eyes up to the genre and i think i will read more books like this.
This is a real life book. I think that is what made it so shocking for me in the end. This story is about Torey a teacher, who looks after children with severe mental and physical conditions. Now this would be a challenge for most people, but then she has to take on another child, Sheila. Now Sheila has not had the best start in life, abandoned by her mother on a highway, living with a father that doesnt know how to care for her and unfortunately she has committed an awful crime. As she is only 6, she cannot understand why the world is such a horrible place for her.
Now the child that arrives in Toreys class in unresponsive, wont talk, badly behaved and hurts other people and animals. It is up to Torey to teach her right from wrong. I liked the progress in Sheila and how she slowly becomes part of the class.
Now one event in the book did actually upset me. Sheilas uncle did something truly and disgusting and disturbing to the poor little girl. I found this part so upsetting and it actually made me feel physically sick. This was because it was a real life book and this actually happened to her.
I really got into this book and the authors style of writing. She made it feel real and kept my interest in the book all the way through. It read well and followed the story well as i have found some memoirs dont always do that.
The author has written at least one more book that i know of, if not more and i think i’ll keep a look out for it. I liked this book, but it should come with a warning, it is very shocking.
Rating – 4/5