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Ghost Girl: The True Story of a Child Who Refused to Talk

Ghost Girl: The True Story of a Child Who Refused to Talk

by Torey L. Hayden

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A teacher/psychologist who has chronicled her interaction with dysfunctional children in Murphy's Boy and Somebody Else's Kid , Hayden entered the life of a severely troubled electively mute eight-year-old girl in a special education class in ``small-town America.'' In class, ``Jadie might as well have been a ghost''--no one spoke to her, nor did she engage anyone else. Hayden's success in drawing the child out also revealed the horror: Jadie's trauma appeared to have been the result of sexual abuse or satanic cult practices. A police case ensued; Jadie and her siblings were placed in foster care, but evidence to indict the parents remains inconclusive. Hayden describes the difficulties of believing a child with a history of bizarre psychological behavior, but ultimately Jadie's is a success story, and a testament to the powers of caring and commitment. (May)
School Library Journal
YA-- Hayden's classroom of emotionally disturbed children consists of Reuben, a boy suffering from autism; Philip, born to an addict mother and now in foster care; Jeremiah, a foul-mouthed fighter; and Jadie, a girl who never speaks and walks with such hunched posture that she appears to be doubled over. Through patience and determination, Hayden gains Jadie's confidence and gets her to speak, but with her conversation come tales of sexual abuse and ritual acts too horrifying to believe. When Hayden goes to the authorities, the community is reluctant to accept the possibility that Jadie is telling the truth. There are three explanations for her macabre and graphic disclosures: she is either a psychotic child beyond help, a victim of satanic rituals, or she has been used, along with her sisters, to make pornographic films. The conclusion is frustrating because readers never learn which of the three speculations is the truth. Hayden does tell us that today Jadie is a happy and functioning adult and that is some comfort. --Katherine Fitch, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA

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Little, Brown and Company
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1st ed

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