Friday, April 11, 2008

Somebody Else's Kids by Torey Hayden

From the author of Sunday Times bestsellers One Child and Ghost Girl comes a heartbreaking story of one teacher's determination to turn a chaotic group of damaged children into a family. 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 kids in great pain: a small boy who echoed other people's words and repeated weather forecast; a beautiful seven-year-old girl brain damaged by savage parental beatings; an angry 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 to help them become a family.

Torey Hayden's books seem to bring out the same reaction to me, every time (okay, so this is only the second, but I'm noticing a trend). The stories are well written and captivate you, but the end result generally fails to deliver because these are true stories. At least this one had a little more of an ending than the previous one I read. I think the scariest sub-story for me in this book was the pregnant twelve-year old. And it wasn't due to sexual abuse, she'd had sex. At 12. That's frightening and scarily is not unheard of these days! So sad ... I think of my cousins who turned 12 last year and I seriously just can not imagine how someone the same age these sweet, still mostly innocent children could end up like that ?! Blows my mind and scares me to death.

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