"One Child" - the True Story Of a Young, Intelligent Teacher Striving to Reach a Wild, Unreachable, and Abused Child. Book by Torey Hayden

Essay by rpmonkey80Junior High, 8th grade March 2006

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"One Child", by Torey Haden, is a true account of a six-year old abandoned and abused girl on the edge of insanity, hiding herself from the world, only to be "tamed" by an intelligent young teacher, who in turn learns just how cruel the world can be.

Sheila's mother abandoned her just two years ago, when she was four: thrown right out the window on her highway and pierced her leg on a sharp rock, creating a scar that has Luckily, her alcoholic father took her in - or, not so luckily. For two years he abused Sheila, whipping her when something went wrong, taking out all his anger on her. But she never cried. This small yet intelligent child said to Torey that if she cried, people would know she was in pain. By not crying, she figured that no one could figure out that she hurt - so, in her eyes, she wouldn't be in pain at all.

Torey was a young and intelligent teacher that taught a class for the mentally retarded, impaired, abused, anyone with some type of extreme phobia, or extreme behavioral. Others refer to it not-so-affectionately as the "crazy class" and look down upon it, but Torey really enjoys it. They'd work through hard times, and each child would get individual attention and support. Each and every one tried their hardest, well, most of the time, and participated in class activities.

That changed when 6-year-old Sheila was brought into their class. She refused to participate in any activities, screamed like a madwoman when someone tried to get her to do any written work, and ran away when anyone, even another student, came near her.

Torey tried everything. She attempted to reach Sheila through many ways: Simply talking to her the...