Once There Was a Child is a fun, yet deeply touching account of Darlene Pscheidell Kwarta’s time as a special education teacher. She describes the daily trials and triumphs of working with America’s ‘forgotten’ children: those living with disabilities, experiencing abuse or being passed around within the foster system. Darlene gives a unique perspective into the minds of her small group of students as they navigate school life and the outside world. She leaves the reader pondering how the system could be improved for these children, as many of the problems she encounters are still ongoing today.
Although the book is short, it takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute I was laughing and the next my heart was sinking. I only wish that the book had been longer, so I could have gotten to know the children’s backstories and personalities in more detail. I learned a lot from Darlene, particularly about the psychological aspects of such a job, and I would love to learn more.
I would definitely like to read more from this author, whose attitude towards her students should be an inspiration, not only for anyone working within this field, but for anyone who ever encounters a child with special needs. Darlene doesn’t preach about how you should treat these children, rather relays the information through short anecdotes. She manages to convey the thoughts and feelings of those who cannot speak, and delivers this to the reader in a comprehensible and personable manner. The combination of informal language and short, manageable chapters make this book an easy and enjoyable read, despite the emotional topic.
I would recommend Once There Was a Child to anyone who is interested in learning more about, or improving their attitude towards, children with special needs.
The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
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