One Child by Torey Hayden Book Review

One Child by Torey Hayden Book Review

One Child by Torey Hayden Book Review


I started reading One Child: The True Story of a Tormented Six-Year-Old and the Brilliant Teacher Who Reached Out over 20 years ago.  Working downtown Pittsburgh and taking the bus gave me time every day to read.  When I was about halfway through this book, however, my purse with the book in it was stolen at work.  After all these years I often thought about the book, wondering what happened to that little girl.  A week ago I found this book at the library and decided to read it again and finally find out how the story ended.


Sheila is a victim of child abuse. She lived in a migrant camp with her father after her mother abandoned her.  When Sheila was four-years-old, her mother left her on the side of a highway and fled to California with her younger son. Child abuse was apparent when Sheila was found and taken to the hospital.  She had multiple healed fractures and scars.  Custody then went to the father who was recently released from prison.

The newspaper reported that a six-year-old girl tied up and then burned a three-year-old neighborhood boy in woods near their houses.  The little boy was in critical condition.  The girl, Sheila, was taken into custody after the incident and then sent back home until an opening became available in the children’s unit at the state hospital.  She was causing trouble for a month at home, so authorities decided to enroll her in a classroom for severely disturbed children until she could be admitted to the state hospital.  The classroom teacher was Torey Hayden who described her experience with dealing with Sheila in One Child: The True Story of a Tormented Six-Year-Old and the Brilliant Teacher Who Reached Out.

Her father was very poor living in a migrant camp with no heat, plumbing, or electricity. Consequently, Sheila came to school every day with the same clothes on and without taking a bath.  She stank with body odor and urine.  After a while, Torey cleaned Sheila up a little before the other children arrived at school.  During this time, Torey had time to talk with Sheila alone to find out more about her situation.  It was their special time.  Sheila loved it and started opening up to her teacher.  Their relationship develops throughout the story.


I enjoyed the honesty in the book.  There are many things in this life that we will never know.  Torey tells us this in the book.  Sheila refused to do assignments that involved writing or drawing on paper.  When someone would give her paper, she would crumble it up and throw it, over and over again.  Sheila demonstrated how intelligent she was by doing verbal math or playing with blocks.  So it wasn’t because she didn’t know how.

I never learned whatever it was that motivated Sheila toward her paper phobia.  Later interactions with her over it and later comments that she made reaffirmed my belief that it was related to a fear of failure.  But I never really knew, nor did I feel a pressing need to know, only because so few human behaviors can be reduced to such simple cause-effect terms (p. 157)

Another mystery is why Sheila tied the little boy to a tree and burned him.  She never talked about it.  The book is told from Torey’s perspective, so we never really know or understand what Sheila is thinking.

Yet not once was the abuse incident brought up.  Not with the kids. Not with me or the other adults.  Never.  I did not suggest the topic either.  Although I seldom avoided issues, this one I felt instinctively I should leave alone, for no other reason than what my gut told me.  So we never discussed it.  I never found out what had been going through Sheila’s mind that cold November evening.



One Child: The True Story of a Tormented Six-Year-Old and the Brilliant Teacher Who Reached Out is a true story of child abuse which is heart-wrenching.  Torey saved Sheila’s life.  If Sheila would have been admitted to the State Hospital, she would most likely have been drugged and remained a mental patient the rest of her life.  I loved this book.  Although it is hard for me to hear about child abuse, I like happy endings.

Another great book, similar to this one, is Damaged and Bastard Out of Carolina.  They both are about child abuse and very good reads.


Sting by Sandra Brown

Sting by Sandra Brown

Sting by Sandra Brown


Sting is a mystery novel about murder, kidnapping, and the FBI.  The reader never knows who to believe.  The story is narrated from different characters’ point of views which are all trying to figure out the truth.  There is also some twists in the book which makes it more intriguing because it keeps you wondering if there is going to be another shift in the story.


Billy Panella hires Mickey Bolden as a hit man to kill Jordie Bennett.    Mickey then employs another person, Shaw Kinnard, to help with the job, and for compensation, he will receive half the reward money.  Shaw eagerly accepts the invitation and rushes to Mickey’s location, after he finishes his current job of killing two men.  The action starts right away.  The two men are in a bar in Louisianna relaxing with some beers.  They’ve been following Jordie all day and were told to kill her the next day.  However, plans changed when Jordie walked into the bar.  Panella instructs them to kill her right there that night.

Mickey and Shaw leave the bar and waits in their car in the parking lot outside the bar.  As soon as Jordie leaves the bar to go to her car, Mickey hurries out of his car to kill Jordie.  But Shaw is faster and shoots and kills Mickey first.  And then he kidnaps Jordie.


Many different events are happening at the same time.  The author switches back and forth between the scenes and telling them from different characters’ perspectives.  Shaw received the call from Mickey on a Tuesday hiring him for the job.  Also that same day Jordie’s brother escapes from the FBI.  The FBI is searching for Josh, Jordie, Panella, and the stolen money.

The whole story stems from the Bennett-Panella fraud case that happened six months ago.  Josh Bennett and Billy Panella had teamed up to steal money from people by enticing with a fraudulent business deal.  They made $30 million.  The FBI is trying to find Panella and the money.  Josh became an informant for the FBI in exchange for safety in their protection program.

There are many stories to follow and mysteries to solve, along with figuring out who is telling the truth.  There is a little romance in the novel to make it more enjoyable.


Once I started reading Sting, I wanted to keep on reading.  It occupied my mind so much that as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning, I thought about the book and wanted to continue to find out how they got out of the situation the found themselves in now.  The different plot twists made it an enjoyable read.  After the first shift in the book, I anticipated more.  It is an easy read with the plot not being complicated.

Damaged by Cathy Glass

Damaged by Cathy Glass

Damaged by Cathy Glass

Damaged by Cathy Glass

Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child is a true story of an abused child written by Cathy Glass.  Cathy was Jodie’s foster carer and writes about the time she spent with the child.

“This book tells the true story of my relationship with one of these children, an eight-year-old-girl called Jodie.  I was her foster carer, and she was the most disturbed child I had ever looked after.”

I wanted to read this book because I love kids and feel sad when hearing about children child abuse.  The story is heartbreaking, but I like when someone comes into their life and saves them.  I can relate to the child and am always hoping for a happy ending.   It’s been a long time since I have read a book like this.  I used to read them all the time.


Jodie is removed from her home when she is eight years old because of suspected child abuse by her parents.  After being in five carers’ homes within four months, social services calls Cathy Glass to see if she would take Jodie and care for her.  Cathy has been a foster carer for twenty years now and has had success with all her foster children.  The social services surmised that if Cathy can’t help Jodie, then no one could.  Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child is Jodie’s story.

Since fostering agencies suggest that other children in the household should not be in the same age range as the foster child, Cathy’s home would be a perfect fit.  She has three other children at home, two of her own and another foster child.  Adrian, Paula, and Lucy who were all teenagers.  They tried to help out sometimes by playing with Jodie.


Jodie exhibited very challenging behavior the first day.  Soon after arriving at Cathy’s house, she has a violent temper tantrum.  Furthermore, if Jodie doesn’t get her way, she kicks people.  After the social workers leave, Cathy sees that the child had defecated in her pants and then placed her hands on it and spread it over her face.  That night she had cut herself with a knife that she brought from her former caregiver’s house.  She had blood all over her when Cathy found her.  It was and exhausting day

As time went on and the child felt secure and loved, she began revealing hurts and abuses that have happened to her.  Jodie displayed sexual acts with her doll and told Cathy that her daddy did things like that to her.   After two weeks living with Cathy, Jodie was comfortable enough to confide in her some of her dark secrets.



I could not put this book down until I finished it.  Every page revealed more about the horrendous abuse this child had to live through. I had to know if she was alright at the end.  It is a heart-wrenching story, but one that is true for so many children.  Anger raged through me as I was reading the book.  Every page I read, I hoped that Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child would have a happy ending.

If you love Lifetime movies, this book is perfect for you.

Clean Eating by Amie Valpone book review

Clean Eating by Amie Valpone book review

Remove Toxins from Your Body with the 21-Day Plan


Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body is a diet that will help to remove toxins from your body.  The process is to go on the complete elimination diet and then reintroduce food back into your diet one item at a time.  Assess how the new food makes you feel.  If you have adverse reactions, then keep that ingredient off of your menu.  Essentially the book helps you to identify which foods are toxic to your body and get rid of them so that you can feel better.


Amie Valpone, the author, created this diet because of her story of being deathly ill.  At one point doctors told her that she only had 24 hours left to live.  At 25 years old she weighed only 89 pounds and was malnourished.  Her body was not absorbing any nutrients.  Furthermore, she had severe abdominal and leg swelling.  The doctors did not know what was wrong.  After being sent home from the hospital because they couldn’t find a diagnosis, Amie had to find her own diagnosis by seeking functional and integrative physicians.  They had her do the elimination diet which she describes in the book to determine which foods were toxic to her body.  Her diet now is free of gluten, dairy, egg, refined sugar, corn, peanut, and soy.   Consequently, she feels “unbelievably better” now.

“Many of the symptoms we experience are caused by toxins, especially those in our food system.  I’ve learned about the connection between the health of our gut and the efficiency of our immune system, the clarity of our skin, the ease of our digestion, and our risk for disease.” (p.53)


The author starts off with the 21-day elimination diet to remove toxins from your body.  She gives thirteen toxic foods to eliminate from your diet.  If you cheat by eating something you are not supposed to, you need to start the 21 days all over again.  Getting rid of addicting foods will be the hardest part.  The first days of the diet you most likely experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and feeling lethargic.  These side effects will pass within a few days; then you will start feeling energetic and clear headed.

Upon completing the 21-day elimination diet, slowly reintroduce organic, healthy foods back into your diet to determine which foods are sensitive to you. Add one food back into your diet at a time to see if you have any reaction to it.  After three days of eating this food, assess if you had any reactions.  Don’t eat the food on the fourth day.  If there are no symptoms, then this food can be a part of your diet.  However, if you did have an adverse reaction, such as headaches or stomach upsets, then stay away from eating this food.  On day five, try another food to introduce into your diet and repeat the process again.

“Counting calories is the last thing you should worry about when you’re trying to eat clean.  A handful of nuts may be calorically dense, but there’s a lot of goodness packed in there that you can’t get somewhere else.” (p. 12)

Two chapters are devoted to teaching you how to remove toxins from your environment.  There are many harmful ingredients in personal care products, cleaning supplies, and pesticides in your home and office,  The author tells you where they are and alternative products to use instead.


Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body describes a strict diet.  Hence, it is not for everyone.  This book will help people who are sick, even with minor symptoms, to eliminate toxic food in their diet.  If you have an ailment that could be caused by a certain food you are eating but cannot find the culprit, this diet is perfect for you.

There are recipes on how to make homemade dairy-free nut milk and flours, including almond milk, coconut milk, and almond flour. I enjoyed the recipes because they are easy to make and healthier than the products you purchase at a store.

The author provides many websites where you can buy organic ingredients, so you don’t have to waste time looking for them in a health store.  You may have never heard of some of the ingredients or don’t know where to find them at the store.  It is easier to order them online from these trusted websites and have it delivered to your home.

Guilty as Sin Book Review

Guilty as Sin Book Review


Guilty As Sin describes the details behind Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.  The book was published on August 22, 2016.  The author, Edward Klein, wanted to get the book out in enough time for people to read it before the 2016 Presidential Election in November in hopes of voters being aware of how much Hillary lies and is not fit to be President.  But, at the same time, he also wanted to include as much up-to-date information about the email scandals as possible. There are quotes, documents, and events in the book up to July 5, 2016.

The author also wrote another book, The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President, which he makes many references to in this book.  I did a book review on The Truth About Hillary.


The book starts off with Bill Clinton talking privately with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  He was on her airplane for about a half hour.  This happened in the midst of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.  Consequently, the public and FBI were furious because they felt that the meeting had compromised the investigation.  Four days after the incident she recused herself from the case

“It was four days since the airport encounter between Lynch and Bill Clinton, and in the public furor that ensued, everyone – Democrats and Republicans alike – agreed that the meeting had seriously compromised the FBI’s investigation into Hillary’s use of an unsecured private email system when she was secretary of state.”


It became apparent that Hillary would never pay for her crimes when President Barack Obama endorsed her as the Democratic Presidential Nominee on June 9, 2016.  The criminal investigation has been going on for fourteen months.

“Everyone knows Hillary is guilty as sin:  she sent and received classified information on an unsecure email server that was hackable by America’s enemies; she indulged in pay-to-play shenanigans with the Clinton Foundation when she was secretary of state; and her top aides suffered a sudden onset of amnesia when they testified under oath, suggesting that Hillary had conspired to suborn witnesses. Yet despite all that, Hillary would never pay for her crimes, because the president of the United States wouldn’t let that happened.

July 5, 2016, James Comey set the stage in a speech with all the evidence by stating all of the charges to prove her guilt.  He went on for ten minutes.  Everyone was waiting for the punchline saying that she would go to jail for the email scandal.  It was jaw dropping when we heard that Comey said he would NOT recommend the indictment of Secretary Hillary Clinton. She certainly should not have gotten away with it.


As soon as Guilty as Sin: Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation came out, I ordered it from the library.  I received it the evening of the 2016 Presidential Election, November 8.  While watching the presidential election coverage, I began reading the book.  The outcome of the election would be the deciding factor if I was going to finish it.  Trump won the election.  I could relax now with relief knowing that Trump won and I didn’t have to worry about all the corruption that Hillary would have done in the White House.  I continued reading the book until I was done two days later.

The majority of the book was information I already knew.  I learned most of it via media clips and interviews on Fox News.  Surprisingly though I never tire of listening to it, especially about FBI Director James Comey’s investigation of the email scandal.  Every time it comes on, I intently listen, even though I know it almost word for word.

This book is great for people who wants to know more about the email scandal and to reread it when more information comes out in the future.  This investigation is now over yet.  I’m sure a lot more evidence will surface after Donald Trump becomes President in January 2017.  A lot more history is in the making on this topic.

One thing that I did not like at all is the many curse words in the book.  The author quotes many people swearing.  In my opinion, it was unnecessary.


21-Day Weight Loss Book Review

21-Day Weight Loss Book Review

Boost Metabolism by Following 3 Simple Rules Without Counting Calories


21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart informs readers how making better food choices to boost metabolism  Best of all; there are no more counting calories.   Neal Barnard explains why some foods are harmful and what they do inside the body.  The main points of the diet emphasize replacing animal products, eliminating dairy, and minimizing oil.  There are only a few rules to follow.


  1. Replace Animal Products

    To have a healthy diet, you need to decrease fatty foods.  Animal products are part of that group.  When animals overeat, they get fat, and consequently, it gets transferred to you in the meat.  Eggs are not good either because they contain a lot of fat and cholesterol.

  2. Eliminate Dairy

    Cut all milk and cheese out of your diet.  Both the dairy fat and protein are a concern.  For one, many individuals are lactose intolerant, and this is becoming more common.

  3. Minimize Oil

    Keep all fats and oils to a minimum.  Do not eliminate them since your body does require some fat.  This includes the healthy varieties, such as Olive Oil.  To get fats out of your cells so that they can function, you need to eat less fat.

Since you are decreasing or eliminating some foods, you need to replace it with another food that is a healthier choice.  Boost metabolism by eating more fiber.  It will keep you satiated.  Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.  Carbohydrates are not frowned upon in this diet.  Bread and pasta are allowed, and not just the whole wheat variety.

“One of fiber’s greatest attributes is its ability to tackle your appetite. Fiber signals your brain that you’re full.  Here’s how it works.  In your stomach, fiber holds water, so it’s heavy enough to trick your stomach into thinking you have eaten quite a lot.  But fiber has virtually no calories.  In other words, it alerts your brain that you’ve eaten too many calories.” (p. 26)



There are no counting calories on this diet.  If you eat the correct foods, you will naturally stop eating when you are full.  Your body will not crave more food because it will be getting all the nutrients it needs.

“The success of this program is not based on willpower.  Instead, it is based on using the power of foods to change the basic body processes that determine your size and shape.  Certain foods trigger the appetite centers, causing you to overeat.  Others trigger the satiety centers – the parts of your brain that tells you to stop eating – so you eat less” (p. 6)

Chapter 8 inspires and encourages dieters as they go through the program with tips and encouragement every day, which helps to keep dieters from quitting the program.  The daily lessons include inspiration and nutrition tips to help you to understand what is happening in your body and why you should be eating certain foods.  It is like Neal Barnard is there right beside you during the whole 21-day journey.  He talks a lot about replacing ingredients, such as cheese and milk, with healthier foods.  For example, replace regular milk with almond or soy milk.

There are a lot of recipes in the book.  However, they are only a guideline to the right foods to eat.  Most of the book comprise information to give the reader knowledge to develop their own recipes.  They can keep their favorite recipes and switch out some ingredients to a healthier one.



Explaining in detail why I should be eating a certain food is very helpful to me.  I always need to know why before I do something.  I love how Neal Barnard explains why eating fiber is good for us.  He describes how when fibrous food reaches our stomachs; the food expands and that is why we feel full.  I understand now and want to follow his advice.  21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart diet makes sense and works.

I also think that it is helpful that he teaches you how to choose the right foods so that you can create your own recipes.  In some diet books, you need to eat what they tell you every day.


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