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Ghost Girl: The True Story of a Child in Peril and the Teacher Who Saved Her Mass Market Paperback – July 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (July 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038071681X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380716814
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ultimately a testament to the powers of caring and commitment, this is the story of an traumatized eight-year-old who refused to speak due to sexual abuse and possible exposure to satanic rituals.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From 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
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Torey Hayden is an educational psychologist and special education teacher who, since 1979, has chronicled her struggles in the classroom in a succession of best-selling books. She lives in North Wales with her daughter.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 93 customer reviews
I couldn't put this book down until I finished it.
Mary A.
This book is based on a true story that the author actually experienced.
Hayley
It is a true story about a ritually abused girl and how she got help.
Erik Rodenborg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By EchoDelta on March 18, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book I've read from author Torey Hayden. While I was reading, it reminded me of author Dave Pelzer's book, "A Child Called It." While the content may be similar in that children are affected by the actions of adults, Ghost Girl is clearly different. As Hayden went on to describe the dialogue and experiences Jadie had gone though, there were many times when I was forced to set the book down in order to contemplate what I was reading. The pictures I created in my mind made me sick to my stomach. I could not even fathom what Jadie had to endure. Yet Hayden had the compassion to do what was right, which was to just care. Hayden's caring is what saved Jadie and her sisters from continued abuse. Yet questions went unanswered: were Jadie's descriptions psychotic or from real experience dealing with the occult and Satanism? We may never know and I really don't think it is the main point of Hayden's book.
I think Torey Hayden's writing is complete and very intriguing. She has already become a favorite author for education and I look forward to reading her other books of children with special needs.
NOTE: While this book will keep the reader interested, it can be very dark, horrid, and at times, scary.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "mcm1" on July 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again, Torey Hayden has written a captivating account of her experiences with a fascinating and trouble young child. As usual, the author's loving attention and professional insight help uncover hidden layers of traumatic emotion causing this child's unusual behavior. I believe the girl is the real star of this book though. Her behavior and attempts at healing in reaction to apparently appauling abuse is a testament to the depth and complexity of the human psyche.
While the epilogue paints a happy ending for the girl, I can't help but feel frustrated with the final chapters in the book -- at how long it took even a smart sensitive teacher to take seriously a girl's graphic descriptions of sexual abuse, at the entire professional community's naivete concerning the existence of ritual child abuse groups in this country, and the inability of the police to solve the case. For example, the girl demonstrates competence at operating video equipment (something her parents did not own in the 1980s) and describes being abused on TV, but the adults interpret this as a sign of mental disturbance, pretending to be in a TV show, not her familiarity with the making of child pornographic videos. I'm sure all the readers of this book are craving a follow-up book on the girl, who is now a healthy adult who apparently sticks to her story of ritual abuse.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "po5dude2" on October 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the incredible story of Jadie, a young girl who refuses to speak until her dedicated teacher convinces her to do so. Once she does, the story that comes out of her mouth--the story of her home life--is one that will shock, sadden, enrage, and leave the reader in disbelief. I could not put this book down. Jadie's character has a certain mystique about her when she does speak and as her story starts to unfold. It is intriquing and frightening as you ask yourself whether the horrors she's telling of are real or the result of a vivid imagination. Jadie's irrepressible spirit; her desire to tell her story, and her seemingly split personalities were incredibly fascinating, and I was inspired by the story of someone who has survived such horrific abuse, and had the courage to blow the horn on it as well. I will warn you, though...when Jadie begins to tell the story of the abuse she's suffered, the book leads you through several very graphic scenes of sickening sexual abuse. This book is not intended for children or those who are easily upset by stories of child abuse. There are also some statements that offer a disturbing look into the world of satanic cults, and many of those statements talk about rituals that turned my stomach. All in all, though, this was an incredible, eye-opening and inspiring story. It reminded me of the sacrifices that teachers make to each child in this country, each and every day.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on March 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again Torey Hayden has written an outstanding book about her work with children. This book is mainly about Jadie, who, at 8 is (s)electively mute, walks hunched over and expresses fears that initially seem bizarre.
At the opening of the book, Torey Hayden meets Jadie and her classmates after half term break. Within a short space of time during that first day together, Jadie broke her self imposed silence and spoke softly when asked a direct question. From that point on, Jadie's verbal progress is remarkable. A bright, expressive child, Jadie described a bizarre life outside of the classroom that certainly makes for a strong case for ritual abuse. Luckily Jadie was provided with a classroom environment in which she felt safe.
Jadie feared spiders because she believed they could hear her and "tell on her" if she divulged anything that could be construed as a breach of confidence. She explained her posture as a means of "keeping her insides from falling out;" she fears the number 6 and worries about her younger sister surviving her sixth birthday; she said adults she knew told her how at six one gains power and how people can hurt others with impunity; she describes drinking blood as "oily" and "slipping down." Ghosts and themes of death are trenchant; many of Jadie's early drawings are of ghosts and she said that she and her little sisters were ghosts at night. She also believed that a playmate who had allegedly died had become a ghost and that that child's ghost had gotten into her, Jadie.
Each fear she expressed can be traced to ritual abuse. In many cases, ritual abusers claim that spiders as well as insects spy on children and report anything the children might tell.
Read more ›
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