The Tiger's Child: The Story of a Gifted, Troubled Child and the Teacher Who Refused to Give Up...

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Overview

Special-education teacher Torey Hayden's first book, One Child, was an international bestseller, thrilling readers on every continent. Their hearts were captured by Sheila, a silent, troubled girl who had been abandoned on a highway by her mother and abused by her alcoholic father, and who refused to speak. As Hayden writes in the prologue to this book, "This little girl had a profound effect on me. Her courage, her resilience, and her inadvertent ability to express that great, gaping need to be loved that we all...
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Overview

Special-education teacher Torey Hayden's first book, One Child, was an international bestseller, thrilling readers on every continent. Their hearts were captured by Sheila, a silent, troubled girl who had been abandoned on a highway by her mother and abused by her alcoholic father, and who refused to speak. As Hayden writes in the prologue to this book, "This little girl had a profound effect on me. Her courage, her resilience, and her inadvertent ability to express that great, gaping need to be loved that we all feel - in short, her humanness - brought me into contact with my own. Since then Hayden has gone on to write books about many of her students, but her fans continue to ask her, "What happened to Sheila?" The Tiger's Child is her response. Here Hayden tells how Sheila, now a young woman, finally came to terms with her nightmare childhood. When Hayden was working on One Child, she showed the manuscript to Sheila, then a teenager, and was astonished to find that Sheila remembered almost nothing of her troubled younger years. She had no recollection of her many clashes with her teacher as Hayden tried to break through her emotional pain. And although Hayden had managed to get Sheila to communicate and become an active and lively child, Sheila's home life was still very troubled. Her father had been sent to prison when she was eight and Sheila had run away from a series of foster homes until finally she was placed in a children's home. But as Hayden continued to renew her relationship with the teenage Sheila, the memories slowly came back, bringing with them feelings of abandonment and hostility. Overwhelmed by the intensity of her awakening emotions, Sheila was driven to suicidal despair. The Tiger's Child is the touching, inspiring story of how a maturing Sheila came to perceive her mother not as a monster who willfully cast off her eldest child, but as a weak, forlorn, ordinary human being. Able to appreciate her own strength and resilience, Sheila at la

In her bestselling One Child--which was made into a TV movie--Hayden describes her work with a sad, silent, autistic girl named Sheila. Now, in a powerful sequel, readers see how Sheila, now a young woman, has finally come to terms with her nightmare childhood of abuse.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Abandoned by her mother on a highway at age four, abused by her drug-addict father between his prison stints, autistic, electively mute Sheila Renstad at age six broke through her silent rage to communicate, aided by her five-month relationship with special-education teacher Hayden. That experience, recorded in Hayden's One Child, which became a TV movie, is updated in this deeply moving sequel. It picks up with Sheila as a sullen 13-year-old bouncing between juvenile facilities and her father's ``care.'' As Hayden renews her ties to Sheila-first at a clinic, then through informal contacts-the girl's outbursts and foul-mouthed sexual preoccupations betray a desperate craving for a sense of belonging. An inspirational testament to the healing power of love, this authentic tearjerker resonates with drama. There is no storybook ending: Sheila, with an IQ over 180, forgoes college to work for McDonald's; an epilogue finds her 10 years later as a branch manager at McDonald's and an articulate, stable woman. Paperback rights to Avon; Literary Guild alternate; Readers Digest Condensed Book selection. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This is Hayden's sequel to her best-selling One Child (1981), the story of an abandoned autistic child. Here, Hayden describes in detail what happened to Sheila from the age of six to 16, a decade filled with tension, a search for understanding, and profound moments of love. During the course of this fast-paced narrative, Hayden's career develops from classroom teacher to practicing psychologist in a private clinic. Throughout this time, she keeps track of Sheila, torn between her professional knowledge of what constitutes appropriate treatment for the young woman and her instinct to be the good mother. This book is not only interesting as a biography of a seriously disturbed child but as a portrayal of a working psychologist. Anyone involved with children will find it enlightening.-Nancy E. Zuwiyya, Binghamton City Sch. Dist., N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780025491502
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 3/1/1995
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Torey Hayden has written five other nonfiction books about the troubled children with whom she has worked, as well as a novel. An American, she now lives in Great Britain.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2009

    Tiger's Child

    Torey Hayden is an amazing teacher. I bought this book when I couldn't find it in the library. I read "One Child" and had and wanted to read more about Sheila. Torey goes out of her way to reach a child who she lost contact with for years.

    I would reccomend Torey Hayden to any teacher or any student with problems. I wanted more people to read "Tiger's Child so I donated it to the library.

    I've read 5 of her books and will continue to read more as they come out.
    "One Child", "Tigers Child", "Ghost Girl", "Twilights Children", and "Beautiful Child"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2007

    keep up the good work torey hayden

    one child was the best book i have ever read and i like when torey who had sheila the hopeless case and how she helped this little girl out when she need the help the most. I hope you come out with more books soon torey hayden. I think the next will be the best book that torey hayden ever written

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2006

    I think it was a really wonderful book

    I think how the teacher help Sheila who came into her class as a hopeless case. I think what happen to sheila was wrong and how a wonderful teacher came along and help get throw what happen to her. keep the good work up Torey Hayden

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2004

    Compelling Book Even Till The Very End

    I read 'One Child' years ago and fell in love with Torey Hayden's honesty and very vivid experiences with Sheila in her classroom. I read all of her other books, and heard about 'The Tiger's Child'. I bought it and read it in one day. It honestly had me crying with Sheila and Torey and then crying from joy at the end. This a book you'll want to read over and over again. I love the way Torey refuses to give up on Sheila, even though it would have been a whole lot easier.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2003

    Just as good as the 1st

    This was just as touching as One Child. Sheila is amazing and I swear my mouth dropped opened when I saw the thing about her mixed up memory with Torey and her mother. It was great how she called Torey Mom in the end. It made my heart smile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2003

    Great Follow-Up to One Child!!

    This was a great book. I read 'One Child' and loved it and instantly became intrigued with Sheila. This book really exposed how beneficial dedication and love from a teacher can be to a child. Excellent Book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2000

    wonderful

    When finished reading One Child couldn't wait to get to the sequel.So far reading only two of Torey Hayden's book. I can't wait to read the rest of her books. Keep the good work up Torey!

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    Posted January 21, 2010

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