Just Another Kid: The True Story of Six Children Impossible to Reach and the Amazing Teacher Who Embraced Them All

Just Another Kid: The True Story of Six Children Impossible to Reach and the Amazing Teacher Who Embraced Them All

by Torey Hayden


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"Just Another Kid is not just another book. This remarkable teacher's memoir reminds us that love takes many forms." -The New York Times

From the bestselling author of One Child comes the true story of six children impossible to reach and the amazing teacher who embraced them all.

Torey Hayden faced six emotionally troubled kids no other teacher could handle—three recent arrivals from battle-torn Northern Ireland, badly traumatized by the horrors of war; eleven-year-old Dirkie, who only knew of life inside an institution; excitable Mariana, aggressive and sexually precocious at the age of eight; and seven-year-old Leslie, perhaps the most hopeless of all, unresponsive and unable to speak.

With compassion, rare insight, and masterful storytelling, teacher Torey Hayden once again touches our hearts with her account of the miracles that can happen in her class of “special” children.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062662774
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/23/2017
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 129,956
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Torey Hayden is an educational psychologist and a former special education teacher who since 1979 has chronicled her struggles in the classroom in a succession of bestselling books. She lives and writes in the U.K.

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Just Another Kid 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was spellbound and couldn't put it down, and when I had read that book, I ordered everything else she ever wrote from Amazon (how's that for a recommendation?). This book, (and I say this without exaggeration) literally made me gasp at some parts and cry at some others. This is a book that I feel would be of value to parents of special needs children, but also to members of Alcoholics Anonymous, or anyone who believes (or wants to believe) that miracles can still happen to the most hopeless of "lost causes". Although learning about the kids was engrossing in and of itself, the real story comes from this slowly developed, constantly evolving relationship Hayden finds herself in with a parent of one of the students. Dr. Taylor is one of the most interesting characters about which I've read, which is probably the result of her being a real person and Hayden describing the reality of dealing with all sides, positive and negative, of a woman who has genius intelligence, lacks all social skills, is beautiful, an alcoholic, and at once narcissistic, sweet and vulnerable, as well as willing to change. The stories of the children keep the book moving; you love them, hope for them, are heartbroken for them, frustrated with them.. and all the while desperate to know what move Dr. Taylor is going to make next and how Hayden will handle it all. This book has some gut wrenching moments in it but not the nauseatingly horrific images and stories contained in Murphey's Boy and Ghost Girl. A must read.     
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a good story. It certainly sucked me in and Torey Hayden tells stories well. Though her writing could certainly improve--it seems like she's does not have natural instinct for writing. Small things I noticed were odd sentence structure and using a small vocabulary-- for example using the word 'regard' often. Mostly just small nit picky details such as that. I have also noticed in this and her other books that there can be a slight narcissistic feel to her books, though I suppose that comes with the fact that they are about her experiences. All in all it is a good read.
Heather19 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book by Torey Hayden.... and I find it so hard to critisize true-story books, because it's not like I can say "the plot sucked" or anything because it's real, can't mess with real.... But honestly this book focused much more on one of the mother's then I had hoped. I mean, it was wonderful that Torey was able to help her, but I expected this book to be mostly about the children, as her other books are, so it kind of caught me off-guard and there were parts where I just wanted to skip through all of the dredgery of Ladbrooke's problems and get back to the kids.
escapepea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't really know why I paid attention to this book as it was going past me. I was tiring - perhaps anything could have distracted me at that point. But this is the book that was in my hands.It tells the tale of a teacher. It tells a little about the lives of six children and the teacher's assistant, but mostly it's about a teacher. It would make sense - it's categorised on the back as a memoir.I suppose I read it because I wanted to check it. I wanted to make sure it wasn't yet another tale of the underclass (in this case, disabled folks) being at a standstill and unable to do anything, until the better, more normal, more like-the-reader protagonist sweeps in and fixes everything overnight. The sentence on the front cover of this edition - "Each was a child no one could reach - until one amazing teacher embraced them all" - didn't exactly ease my fears. I knew I'd be less like the protagonist than the people she'd be saving, so I wasn't expecting to enjoy the book.Halfway through the book, however, I was ecstatic. This book had a person who had one of the problems I have. This was the first time I'd encountered anyone in a story who did this (couldn't speak whilst stressed), and the surrounding symptoms were very familiar to me. This person wasn't just a cardboard cut out (as a couple of the children ended up) - this was the character with the most development, the most description. And she was like me, at least in this tiny way.By the end, though, I was worried by the book. How much of it was true? It was supposed to be true, and I really wanted to have not been lied to. But there were incidents in there that shouldn't have been published without the consent of the people involved, and the epilogue explained that there were people that the author had lost contact with. After the epilogue were adverts for other books of hers, including one set in a psychiatric ward, all memoirs. This really worried me. Hippocratic oath, anyone? Should she have written any of these books, as I'm sure there's people who aren't legally allowed to have given informed consent in every single one?It's easy to exploit children - even easier if you're convinced that it's the right thing to do. No-one's disability should be anyone's bestseller.And the sentence on the front of the book? Is a lie.
Heptonj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had this book given to me and would not have chosen it myself as I am not a fan of this genre. However, the book is well written and takes the reader through the course of a year with disturbed children.The main theme of the book is, however, 'Just Another Kid' as in Ladbrooke - a very troubled but ultimately redeemable parent/aide who is taken under the wing of Torey Hayden. The trials and tribulations of the entire, though small class including teacher and aide make for interesting reading and is very thought-provoking.
mtgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite Torey books. I love all of them. Torey Hayden is one of my favorite authors
the1butterfly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Torey Hayden is busy non-stop with a very challenging class of six children. All of these children are needy, and Hayden makes remarkable progress with most of them, but the focus of the story, it turns out, isn't really on the children. It is on the mother of Leslie, Ladbrooke, who never has gotten the support that she needed. Though she acts as an aide in the class, she is, in some ways, as needy as the children. With Hayden's support she is able to work through her own problems and needs while she works with her daughter and reinterprets her marriage. As the story progressed, I felt like I wanted to help her and I felt angry with her husband, Tom, who persisted in wanting to make his wife and daughter into some sort of wild vision rather than wanting to help them. He claimed he wanted to help them, but he resented their being what I'd almost describe as domesticated. As a teacher I know that people aren't concepts- they're people with needs and feelings. When they learn and grow and are able to make connections, it makes them more human- which is what they were to begin with. Tom's constant allusions to how wild his wife and daughter were really bothered me because he failed to recognise that they were humans with needs. It was intensely gratifying to see Hayden filling both Leslie and Ladbrooke's needs- especially Ladbrooke, who had long ago fallen through the cracks.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
You said: 'Has anyone else noticed that one child in every book does not talk and is unresposive?' Well, yes, because elective mutism is Torey Hayden's area of expertise. I'm not a special ed teacher but I would imagine a child who refuses to speak presents an extraordinary challenge and so Torey understandably writes often about her work with them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another fantastic book by Torey Hayden. Her writing exposes so much about the people she describes that you feel like they are your own acquaintances. I truly loved this book, just like all of her books. I've read six of her books, and they're all wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just finished reading the book and am now online purchasing Torey's other books. I have not enjoyed reading a book this much in a long time. As a person studying to be a teacher I found the things that happened in Torey's classroom to be abosolutly amazing. I have told many of my friends to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Has anyone else noticed that one child in every book does not talk and is unresposive? Or is it just me? Don't get me wrong I love her books, but I think she needs to write a book that doesn't involve a child that does talk.