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Bestselling Books by Torey Hayden & Her Inspiring Work with Children

Updated on December 15, 2014

My Inspiration.

Torey Hayden's Bestselling Books. If you like reading true life stories of courage and passion then Torey Hayden's books, should be top of your reading list this year. Why because you will not be able to put them down, I guarantee it! If you have an interest in working with children, psychology or child development, then these books are for you.

Working with children who had emotional and behavioral difficulties, I became fascinated by the "educational system" that seemed to be failing our children of today.

Working with children who have special needs

....there is always a reason for the behaviour, we just need to find it

Whilst undergoing my HNC in Social Care, to become Registered by the Scottish Social Services I had to research the children's behaviour, the psychology behind it and for my own professional development, I became aware of the author Torey Hayden.

Working with class sizes of 5-6 children or less, we could hardly keep the class going never mind them all working together.

And at times I was given the most difficult children to manage within the School, all in one room together.

I looked further than the National Cirriculum for inspiration.

How was I going to understand let alone engage the children in the class work?

Sometimes a success was not measured on certification or completion, but success may be as simple as having the child actually IN your CLASS for the full duration

Torey Hayden is not only an author, who has a career not only in Education but also Psychology, but a teacher who specializes in working in an educational setting with children with special needs, through her writing she gives hope and encouragement to all who work with children in special education and to those children themselves. and has written several books about her work.

She teaches us that children with special needs, particularly those who have been neglected and/or abused, must be allowed time to trust again.

I laugh along with her of her stories of managing her class, meeting all their different needs, (all at the same time) sharing her failings too, and at times the heartfelt warmth of engaging with a child, that nearly has all but disappeared, due to Health and Safety regulations or Child Protection Guidelines.

When I first started my career we would take the children on outings to the seaside on the hot summers day, now if you take them they are not allowed to go into the water above their knees!

How can you explain to a child who has Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or AD/HD or ADD) Aspergers or Autism

Who is Torey Hayden

Her qualification for writing these books

Born: 21 May, 1951 in Livingston, Montana, USA

Dr. Michael Marlowe of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, USA has undertaken extensive academic research on the effective use of Torey's books in training new teachers and how the books can affect long-term attitudes towards individuals with special needs.

During the 1970s Torey studies elective mutism, which was at that time poorly-reported.

Most of her work was done in conjunction with work at the Department of Maternal and Child Health and the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Minnesota. She presented her research to the national conference of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 1978. And is a well known and respected name in her profession

A very full and colourful Career in teaching and education/psychology

Behavioural Support

A day in the life of a Residential Childcare Worker.

To understand this Chosen career or even to undertake this, Job I believe you need to be of certain character. Torey's writing conveys this throughout her writing.

And if it is a job working 9-5 you are looking for then quite simply you can forget it.

Why? You will bear the brunt of all the childs frustrations at life. But more importantly it will challenge YOUR values and beliefs too.

In my work I have been kicked, headbutted, spat at, nipped, punched and generally your patience tested to within an inch of your life.

all because these difficult children have been placed in a foreign institution, which goes against the grain of our society.

The children are told who they will live with (group setting is a familiar term for residential schools), they will give up their privacy and individuality, spiritual and religious beliefs all for reason to them unknown. To be pulled from all they know in their society, and told that everything they know is WRONG

I remember one child I was working with, who was brought up by his grandfather, who was a dominerring, and abusive individual, his grandfather had extremely strong religious views, which was conveyed through his favourite football teams, his views were such that it caused great conflict in a diverse group situation, now this 8 year old was used to singing songs used on a football park, but with the new focus on sectarianism especially on the football ground. This obviously was highly inappropriate, and caused very volitile situations, sometimes leading to near riot situations, frightning not only for the children but also the staff too.

I knew very little about this Sectarianism, which takes the form of religious and political sectarian rivalry between Roman Catholics and Protestants. It is reinforced by the long established rivalry between the two Old Firm football clubs: Rangers F.C. and Celtic F.C.

Now the child would be reminded that this was unnaceptable behaviour, continually. Until the child became that frustrated, distressed, and aggressive because ,we were questioning HIS Grandfathers view, we were questioning HIS life as he knew it. The situation at times could become so dangerous and escalate quickly resulting in the staff having to physically restrain him.

Now who's to blame?

Society has produced a void in the generations, a lost childhood.

Surely it is not the childs fault? They are product of the parents who live life through drink and drug fuelled days, have suffered the consequences of a generation who believe they are better off on the welfare system, who have no dreams or aspirations to succeed, or children who have suffered the most horrific abuse, you will not believe in this day and age is possible.

Their parents themselves did not receive the parenting skills to raise a family, that was once handed down from Generation to Generation.

So if you CAN see past the behaviour displayed by the children, see that child within, who has had to grow up too quickly, had to find food to feed their selves and siblings, had to care for the mother or father when they are too spaced out to do anything, lived every day in danger and all by the age of 8 years old

They have had to SURVIVE in a world that many of us do no believe or choose not to believe in.

Perhaps then you could make a difference to these child lives.

Because the most important thing I learned was understanding the behaviour. and only then will the child be able to start learning.

Torey Haydens writings not only give working examples of this, but also an insight into the emotion, frustration and stress involved in working in this sector.

One Child

This is the 1st book Torey had published - 1980 non-fiction

I have read this book 3 times now and every time I do, it still does not prepare me for what happens to this little girl. Note it is NOT an easy read in parts.

Sheila came into Torey Hayden's class for "special children" at the age of 6 after having tied a 3-year-old child to a tree and critically burned him.

ONE CHILD is Torey Hayden's story of her attempt to tap into the locked inside emotion of this tortured child.

Parts of this book will enrage you. Parts of this book - Sheila's quiet description of her anger and fears and doubts - will make you cry. And parts of this book - Sheila's gradual realization of her own potential - may make you cheer.

Whatever your reaction, I think you will agree that it has been a long time since you have read a book with the sheer emotional impact of ONE CHILD.

Tiger's Child

1995 non-fiction

Torey Hayden returns with a deeply-moving sequel to her first book, ONE CHILD

When Hayden first met Sheila, she refused to speak, her only communication coming through bursts of destructive, violent behavior.

After five intense months, Hayden successfully broke through to Sheila, and successfully fought to have her placed in a regular classroom.

Hayden did not see Sheila again until she was 13. Much to Hayden's astonishment, Sheila remembered little about their extraordinary time together. As Hayden continues to renew her relationship with the teenage Sheila, the memories slowly come back, bringing with them feelings of abandonment and hostility

Beautiful Child

2002 non fiction

Seven-year-old Venus Fox never spoke, never listened, never even acknowledged the presence of another human being in the room with her. Yet an accidental playground 'bump' would release a rage frightening to behold.

The school year that followed would prove to be one of the most trying, perplexing, and ultimately rewarding of Torey's career, as she struggled to reach a silent child in obvious pain. Torey remained committed to this child and worked her magic.

Beautiful Child: The story of a child trapped in silence and the teacher who refused to give up on her

Silent Boy- (Murphys boy)

1983 non-fiction

Silent Boy: He was a frightened boy who refused to speak - until a teacher's love broke through the silence

Meet Kevin a story of a boy trapped in silence and the teacher who rescued him, known among workers as "Zoo Boy".

When special education teacher Torey Hayden first met fifteen-year-old Kevin, he was barricaded under a table. Desperately afraid of the world around him, he hadn't spoken a word in eight years. He was considered hopeless and incurable. But Hayden refused to believe it, though she realised it might well take a miracle to break through the walls he had built around himself. With unwavering devotion and gentle, patient love, she set out to free him -- and slowly uncovered a shocking violent history and a terrible secret that an unfeeling bureaucracy had simply filed away and forgotten.

Kevin is now 30 years old and living with his own family.

Buy now at amazon Silent Boy

Just Another Kid

1988 non-fiction

A dramatic and remarkable story an extraordinary teacher's determination, from the author of the Sunday Times bestsellers 'The Tiger's Child' and 'One Child'. Torey Hayden faced six emotionally troubled kids no other teacher could handle -- three recent arrivals from battle-torn Northern Ireland, badly traumatised by the horrors of war; an eleven-year-old boy, who only knew life inside an institution; an excitable girl, 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.

Torey's biggest challenge turns out to be Leslie's mother, a stunning young doctor who soon discovers that she needs Torey's love and help just as much as the children. 'Just Another Kid' is a beautiful story of how one person CAN make a difference, go that extra mile for children who are in need.

Just Another Kid: Each was a child no one could reach - until one amazing teacher embraced them all

Twighlight Children

Special education teacher Torey Hayden left the classroom setting for work in a children's psychiatric ward, a diverse trio entered her life.

Abused nine-year-old Cassandra lashed out at anyone who tried to get close. At four, Drake refused to speak to anyone but his mother, and after a stroke, elderly Gerda was trapped in crippling depression and silence.

From interfering family members and caregivers to the challenge of building trust, Torey gives her experiences and the small, startling breakthroughs that offered her hope, that she should not give up on these kids. Told with her usual compassion, sensitivity and humour, it is a powerful, unforgettable book that reminds us of the strength and beauty of the truly talented and dedicated teacher to children we can all be.

These are My favourites

Although I have read all of the Authors books I have listed my favourite books, they are indeed compelling, thought provoking, emotional but sadly true.

I read somewhere that

It is reassurance we all need. In the wreck of this world, love still works. We can heal each other, if we listen.

This has been the most valuable lesson I have ever learned, do not judge until you have heard the complete story. And sometimes that story is not what we would like to hear, nor what we would agree with, it will be unimaginable, and unthinkable in today's society.

But Torey guides the reader effortlessly through the stories, with such compassion and understanding that you will learn the "secret" to becoming a Great Teacher.

Search Torey Hayen Books Here

Please leave your comments.

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    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      7 years ago

      Have just finished reading this whilst spellbound. In my opinion an exceptional lens. Why so few who think alike?

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Debbie told me about this lens, I know she has a lot of respect for Torey Haden and has many of her books. Great tribute to Torey and a good resource for anyone working with children who have emotional issues. Congratulations on your Purple Star, I just sprinkled some oofle dust as well.

    • debnet profile image


      7 years ago from England

      Well not only do we have similar careers, we share the same taste in books! I think you and I could talk for hours about children who we've worked with. Thank you so much for the Angel Blessing on 'Selective Mutism'. It's very much appreciated.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      8 years ago

      Congrats on the purple star!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      8 years ago

      Lisa, you have given so much of yourself. I can relate to your health and career story almost 'to a t' so to speak. It takes someone who can see past the behaviors to the broken heart to work with these terribly damaged kids. Their brains literally do not work the same way children who are raised with love operate. Much love to you Lisa, take care of your heart and body- put the oxygen mask on first -:)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You really opened my eyes. Did not know much about this.

    • choosehappy profile image


      8 years ago from US

      My daughter is in college now getting her degree to work with children with special needs. It definitely takes a wise soul with a heart of patience. Beautiful lens. *Blessed* by a Squid Angel.;)

    • I-sparkle profile image


      8 years ago

      Incredible lens. Thanks for sharing it with me and other members of the Squidoo community.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing these stories Lisa. They should and need to be told and read. Rising above takes time.

    • rwoman profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this!

    • MisterJeremy profile image


      8 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I had a summer/winter vacation job during college working in a group home for severely emotionally disturbed boys. It was one of the most rewarding and definitely most frustrating jobs I had. Big respect to those who make a career out of such work.

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 

      8 years ago

      You pay a beautiful tribute to the teacher and lives of these children. Not speaking seems to be a recurring theme amongst them that I can relate to.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      What a fascinating lens! I took music therapy courses in college along with music education because I have had an interest in working with special needs kids. Lensrolling to Free Homeschool Units for parents to see. Thanks! : )

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Blessed by an Angel today. A lens that deserves a wider ausience :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A Very interesting lens to read. Glad I stopped by to see.

    • vanidiana24 profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! I've read her books, they're just great!

    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 

      8 years ago from PA

      These books look very interesting. Thanks for sharing Torey Hayden with us.

    • LisaAuch1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Auch 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      @julieannbrady: Yes it is indeed a very challenging job.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the introduction to Torey Hayden -- definitely an inspirational person. I have the utmost respect for those special teachers and mentors for our children.


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