Harper Element // April 2014 (original pub. 1978)
paperback, 256 pgs
ISBN: 978-0007555147

 About the book
This deeply moving memoir tells the story of Hannah: a child who has been beaten and abused; a girl full of loneliness and rage; a student no one but learning disabilities teacher Mary MacCracken could reach.
Mary had reservations about eight-year-old Hannah joining her class. The three emotionally disturbed boys she was currently looking after had been making steady progress, and Hannah, who had a reputation for being a withdrawn and incredibly troubled child, would only be a disruptive influence.
For the first fortnight Hannah retired to a cupboard and refused to come out. Howling almost non-stop she was displaying the worst symptoms that Mary had ever seen.
How could Mary help a child who had been shut up in closets and treated like an animal? What could she say to a child who had been locked out of her own home, and beaten by both her brother and her father? How could she reach this lost girl?
This is the remarkable story of Hannah and Mary’s journey together. Deep within Hannah, Mary recognises an amazing strength. And with love, skill and patience, she gradually starts to make a difference. It’s a long road to recovery, but Mary never gives up.
As this moving true story unfolds, we feel Mary’s joy, we share her hope and, in time, her faith that Hannah will be okay.

My thoughts:
As a veteran 6:1:1 middle school teacher of students at a residential treatment center (think: "at-risk", emotionally disturbed, mental health diagnosis, behavior issues, juvenile delinquent, etc etc... give me an acronym or diagnosis, I've probably experienced it), this book was put into my hands. I found it in our library as books for staff and upon cracking the spine, I realized why. That first moment where Mary realizes her class is changing?- yea, that happened to me the week prior. This book hits home for me. I have been immersed in this field for so long that sometimes I lose perspective and find myself drained of all hope. Winter break seemed like the best time to recharge my batteries and read this book to remind myself why it is that I teach the kids I do.
Lovey is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of a woman dedicated not to her job, but to her students. Mary is a first class teacher. I've read some backlash and hard judgment she has gotten and I can tell you that until you've been in shoes like hers, you have no clue. It is a whole other world. Maty does a superb job!
While reading, I kept finding bits of my kids in her students... I found ideas to modify and put into practice... I found drive, love, and hope. Lovey is a perfect representation of why I do what I do. It changes lives and it changes you.
Highly recommended.

About the author:
Mary MacCracken is a learning disabilities specialist and the author of four bestselling memoirs. She was first published in the 1970s/80s. Mary is now retired and lives in New Jersey, but she is still passionate about sharing her amazing stories and experiences.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Imagine, book synopsis, and author information from Amazon.com

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