Somebody Else's Kids

Somebody Else's Kids

The True Story of Four Problem Children and One Extraordinary Teacher

Book - 2016 | First William Morrow paperback edition.
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"A heartwarming book full of tenderness." --Library Journal

From the bestselling author of One Child, the true story of four problem children and one extraordinary teacher.

They were all "just somebody else's kids"--four problem children placed in Torey Hayden's class because nobody knew what else to do with them. They were a motley group of children in great pain: a small boy who echoed other people's words and repeated weather forecasts; a beautiful seven-year-old girl whose brain was damaged by savage parental beatings; an angry and violent ten-year-old who had watched his stepmother murder his father; a shy twelve-year-old who had been cast out of Catholic school when she became pregnant. But they shared one thing in common: a remarkable teacher who would never stop caring--and who would share with them the love and understanding they had never known and help them become a family.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, [2016]
Edition: First William Morrow paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©1981
ISBN: 9780062564405
Branch Call Number: 371.93 Hay
Characteristics: 336 pages ; 21 cm

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DBRL_KrisA Dec 19, 2016

These books are just so emotionally draining. Not because of the kids themselves; their stories are sad, but the way they handle their lives, often with such positivity, is amazing. No, what exhausts me is the fact that there are such horrible people in the world, that would do such horrible things to children.
The author, Torey Hayden, is a teacher of special -needs children; in some cases, that means giving extra homework help to a kid struggling with math, but in other cases (as in this book ) it means trying to reach out to a kindergartener with autism, or helping a 10 year old manage severe anger issues, or providing a safe learning space for a pregnant 12 year old. A pregnant. 12 year old. Whose parents refuse to discuss her pregnancy or her post-delivery plans.
The majority of my anger and frustration centers around the story of Lori, a young girl who, as a result of child abuse, has suffered brain damage. In most regards she's a typical little girl, but she's physically unable to read; her brain is unable to recognize the different letters and words. She comes to Torey's class for extra help, mainly because her main 1st grade teacher is an idiot who doesn't understand the difference between someone who's being lazy and not trying, and someone who has a physical freaking handicap and cannot freaking do reading, no matter how hard she tries! This idiot teacher makes Lori stand in front of her entire class and read; when she can't read a book, her teacher moves to a lower level book and tries again, gradually moving to ever lower skill levels, the entire time berating Lori for her "stupidity" and "laziness", until Lori vomits from nerves and runs from the room.
While reading this book, I had to constantly remind myself that it was taking place in the 1970s, when special education was a completely different animal. Mainstreaming, or involving special - needs children in the regular classroom as much as possible, was apparently a big thing, and kids who couldn't keep up were (apparently ) out of luck.

penpencil22 Jun 24, 2011

I loved it. Quick read, and very entertaining. The children are simply adorable, and I could just feel the love Torey had for them.

s
sassychx
Nov 23, 2010

EXCELLENT!! True story of a teacher who cares about the kids and not only wants to teach them but to help them understand their surroundings. She takes the time to know and understand them... The kids are amazing of how resilient they are even though some have been thru so much!

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