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Not just someone else's kids!
Somebody Else's Kids - Torey L. Hayden
Member Name: AJ26
Somebody Else's Kids - Torey L. Hayden
Advantages: Fantastic book, gripping read, interesting real characters, true story
Disadvantages: Theres nothing - I really enjoyed it
“Somebody Else’s Kids” by Torey Hayden is a fantastic book. It is the sort of book that once you start to read you just can’t put it down because you need to know what is going to happen.
This is the true story of Torey Hayden an educational psychologist and a special-education teacher who works with children with problems in a school in America. This book tells the story of 4 very different children who all find themselves in Torey’s class. All have very different problems but share one thing in common and that is their teacher who shows them love and caring that has been missing in their lives. To Torey these children aren’t just “somebody else’s kids”, they are hers and she will do all in her power to get the best out of them.
We have Lori, a twin who is 7 years old and very intelligent but who has brain damage from being beaten by her father when she was young. Now adopted she is unable to learn to read because of the damage to her brain and finds this frustrating and upsetting.
Boo another 7 year old who lives in a world of his own, does not speak except to repeat what other people have said or the weather forecasts he has heard on television. He is not toilet trained, unable to concentrate on any task and at times runs round and round the room uncontrollably.
Then there is Tomaso a 10 year old boy filled with anger and rage as a result of witnessing his stepmother shoot his father. He has gone from one foster home to another because no-one can control his rages. He still talks about his father as if he is alive.
Then finally there is Claudia, a shy, quiet 12 year old girl from a good Catholic school and excels in her studies. Only problem is that Claudia is now pregnant.
Four very different children, each with their own challenging problems. Torey has to find a way to connect to them all and help sort out the problems they have and to try and teach them not just their studies but also skills to help them in their lives. She also has the challenge of working alone with 4 children who each need at times 1-1 attention. She has to deal with physical and verbal abuse and her patience is tried to the limits. Yet through it all she never gives up on these kids.
This book pulled me in the minute I started to read. Torey writes with great passion and you really get the feeling that she cares for these children. You can sense her frustration as she tries to help these children but comes up against barriers from the children themselves, their families, limited resources and the standard curriculum. These children become her life, when she’s not at work she is worrying about how she can reach out to help them and this encroaches onto her personal life and we see the effect it has on her personal relationships.
The book mentions that Torey keeps a logbook and I wonder if this is how she remembers so much of the detail that went on in the classroom each day. The children are described in such detail that you really feel as if they are people you know. You feel their problems and like Torey you want to reach out and help them. The book draws you in and you feel compelled to keep reading to find out what happens.
I can thoroughly recommend this book to you. I found it interesting and thought provoking and it’s certainly one that makes you want to keep reading. Torey Hayden has also written several other books about her experiences these include “One Child” and the follow-up book “Tiger’s Child”, also “Twilight Children”, “Ghost Girl”, “Just Another Kid” and “Beautiful Child”. I am quite excited that I have found another author I really like who has lots more books for me to get stuck into.
Book – Hardback
ISBN – 978-0-00-721866-0
Pages – 376
Price – Currently £8.58 from Amazon
Summary: A book by Torey Hayden about a group of troubled children - a true story.
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