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The Lost Children

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First published in 1974 as A Circle of Children this is the first of four books from learning disabilities specialist Mary MacCracken. This is a book about children so emotionally disturbed they cannot fit into society; it is also the story of a woman whose involvement with these children changed the shape of their lives forever. When Mary MacCracken joined a school for emot First published in 1974 as A Circle of Children this is the first of four books from learning disabilities specialist Mary MacCracken. This is a book about children so emotionally disturbed they cannot fit into society; it is also the story of a woman whose involvement with these children changed the shape of their lives forever. When Mary MacCracken joined a school for emotionally disturbed children as a volunteer, she quickly found herself rocked to the core by the strong, loving people who taught there, the hard-pressed and bewildered parents, and the damaged children. On the outside most of the children looked healthy. But the reality was far sadder. Locked away from love and any human contact, these children struggled with life every day. It soon became evident that Mary MacCracken was a natural, gifted teacher. Using her instincts, observations and common sense, Mary was able to establish a rapport with even the most difficult children. Over time, Mary taught her class to eat and to drink; she decoded their mutterings, and taught them to talk and to read. But most important of all she helped them to take the first steps towards feeling love and trust. There are no miracle-workers in this story, only a remarkable woman who refused to give up. Heartfelt, moving and incredibly inspiring, this is an amazing story about the astonishing human capacity for growth and change, even in those whom society regards as beyond help.


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First published in 1974 as A Circle of Children this is the first of four books from learning disabilities specialist Mary MacCracken. This is a book about children so emotionally disturbed they cannot fit into society; it is also the story of a woman whose involvement with these children changed the shape of their lives forever. When Mary MacCracken joined a school for emot First published in 1974 as A Circle of Children this is the first of four books from learning disabilities specialist Mary MacCracken. This is a book about children so emotionally disturbed they cannot fit into society; it is also the story of a woman whose involvement with these children changed the shape of their lives forever. When Mary MacCracken joined a school for emotionally disturbed children as a volunteer, she quickly found herself rocked to the core by the strong, loving people who taught there, the hard-pressed and bewildered parents, and the damaged children. On the outside most of the children looked healthy. But the reality was far sadder. Locked away from love and any human contact, these children struggled with life every day. It soon became evident that Mary MacCracken was a natural, gifted teacher. Using her instincts, observations and common sense, Mary was able to establish a rapport with even the most difficult children. Over time, Mary taught her class to eat and to drink; she decoded their mutterings, and taught them to talk and to read. But most important of all she helped them to take the first steps towards feeling love and trust. There are no miracle-workers in this story, only a remarkable woman who refused to give up. Heartfelt, moving and incredibly inspiring, this is an amazing story about the astonishing human capacity for growth and change, even in those whom society regards as beyond help.

30 review for The Lost Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    **3,5 estrelas** Gosto de ler sobre esta temática. A paciência, a coragem, a determinação e a sensibilidade das pessoas que trabalham nesta área e a forma como abraçam estes desafios fascinam-me. O livro demonstra que a essência para obter resultados é seguramente o amor , este é o aspecto primordial. Confesso que pensei que iria encontrar algo mais fundamentado, contudo as crianças vão nos sendo apresentadas sem percebermos exatamente de que padecem e isso frustrou-me um pouco. Não são identifi **3,5 estrelas** Gosto de ler sobre esta temática. A paciência, a coragem, a determinação e a sensibilidade das pessoas que trabalham nesta área e a forma como abraçam estes desafios fascinam-me. O livro demonstra que a essência para obter resultados é seguramente o amor , este é o aspecto primordial. Confesso que pensei que iria encontrar algo mais fundamentado, contudo as crianças vão nos sendo apresentadas sem percebermos exatamente de que padecem e isso frustrou-me um pouco. Não são identificadas as doenças ou o que eventualmente terá levado aos comportamentos desviantes. Eram "depositadas" ali porque não eram aceites nas escolas ditas "normais" e por outro lado os pais não poderiam tê-las a tempo inteiro (nem seria aconselhável). O trabalho desenvolvido para as crianças conquistarem a par e passo competências, confiança em si próprias e nos outros, aprenderem a socializar e descobrirem o mundo que as rodeia, é absolutamente fabuloso. Mary, assim como o seu colega Dan, tinham um dom para comunicar e chegar ao âmago daquelas crianças, como poucos. Acredito sinceramente que cada um é dotado de algo especial que os caracteriza e valoriza e é disso que se trata. Leiam. Far-vos-á refletir. Urge aceitar e conviver com a diferença, sem preconceitos, sem juízos de valor, tantas vezes infundados e redutores.

  2. 4 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    In the late 1960s, Junior Leaguer Mary MacCracken observes a school for emotionally disturbed children and realizes her calling. I first read THE LOST CHILDREN, then titled A CIRCLE OF CHILDREN, in 1976 after it was first published using it for a book report in seventh grade. Enthralled with the true story by the late Mary MacCracken, I wanted to be a special education teacher just like MacCracken. I went on to become a child psychologist after realizing I lacked the patience for the daily rigors In the late 1960s, Junior Leaguer Mary MacCracken observes a school for emotionally disturbed children and realizes her calling. I first read THE LOST CHILDREN, then titled A CIRCLE OF CHILDREN, in 1976 after it was first published using it for a book report in seventh grade. Enthralled with the true story by the late Mary MacCracken, I wanted to be a special education teacher just like MacCracken. I went on to become a child psychologist after realizing I lacked the patience for the daily rigors of teaching. Unlike Torey Hayden, MacCracken tells her story with humility, never purporting herself as a savior. She writes of a time when parents, usually mothers, were blamed for their children’s emotional disturbances. Ahead of her time, MacCracken sees little use in blame and wonders about biology, the nature more than nurture. 12-year-old me wrote a fan letter to MacCracken and told her I wanted to be like her when I grew up and she delighted me with a return handwritten letter. THE LOST CHILDREN is as enjoyable now as I was 43 years ago.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cormac Healy

    I didn't really get this book. It was supposed to be an insight into working with children who have severe special needs, but I didn't feel it provided any insight or explanation into that sphere of work. Essentially, the message of the book was 'you need to be a naturally gifted teacher to be any good at this,' which I felt was both incorrect and harmful to people considering getting involved in the industry. The narrator clearly knew what she was doing when with the kids, but never gave any exp I didn't really get this book. It was supposed to be an insight into working with children who have severe special needs, but I didn't feel it provided any insight or explanation into that sphere of work. Essentially, the message of the book was 'you need to be a naturally gifted teacher to be any good at this,' which I felt was both incorrect and harmful to people considering getting involved in the industry. The narrator clearly knew what she was doing when with the kids, but never gave any explanation as to why she did it, or why the children were behaving in the way they were. I stopped reading with many more questions than when I started. For anyone interested in a book about working with children who suffer from mental disabilities, this is not one I would recommend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Montês

    (...) Mary acabara por aprender com os melhores, acabando ela mesma por criar os seus próprios métodos. Adorando aquelas crianças como ninguém, Mary compreendia-as e conseguia de alguma forma alcançá-las e ajudá-las a conseguirem entrar melhor no mundo em seu redor. Neste livro lemos sobre as suas primeiras experiências, sobre o que lhe passava pela cabeça enquanto tentava, por todos os meios em seu poder, ajudar aquelas crianças. Todas elas diferentes entre si, mas todas precisando do mesmo. De (...) Mary acabara por aprender com os melhores, acabando ela mesma por criar os seus próprios métodos. Adorando aquelas crianças como ninguém, Mary compreendia-as e conseguia de alguma forma alcançá-las e ajudá-las a conseguirem entrar melhor no mundo em seu redor. Neste livro lemos sobre as suas primeiras experiências, sobre o que lhe passava pela cabeça enquanto tentava, por todos os meios em seu poder, ajudar aquelas crianças. Todas elas diferentes entre si, mas todas precisando do mesmo. De alguém que as tratasse como se fossem crianças como todas as outras. De rápida leitura, a jornada desta mulher acaba por tocar todos de uma forma distinta. Foi um livro que adorei e que recomendo a todos. Opinião completa em http://blocodedevaneios.blogspot.pt/2...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeanine

    Excellent book

  6. 4 out of 5

    Louise Jones

    i have always been interested in health issues as i have so called special needs myself although dont like that expression . my mum was a teacher similar to mary and still keeps in touch with some of her children i have aspergers ocd ptsd and had a bleed on the brain so yer you can see why i liked this book s not everyone fits into a certain hole and the world needs to see this which mary does it is a beautiful read full of hope i wonder where these children r today

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Molina

    Wonderfully written Mary Mac Cracken is a talented writer. The story of how she became a teacher working with severely emotionally disturbed students is spellbinding. Her recollections of her first few years are funny, frustrating and inspirational. I highly recommend this book to anyone . Those working with or aspiring to work in special education will really appreciate her work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I so dearly love this book and her others! I am so glad they are being republished. It is wonderful to read about the beginnings of the special ed movement in our schools. While it is so far beyind what I hope we all have now, what is universal and timeless is Mary's love for and belief in these children. I so dearly love this book and her others! I am so glad they are being republished. It is wonderful to read about the beginnings of the special ed movement in our schools. While it is so far beyind what I hope we all have now, what is universal and timeless is Mary's love for and belief in these children.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gehayi

    Amazing. I wouldn't have the patience that Mary MacCracken did. The only thing I disliked was the title change. The Lost Children seems so...generic. And the book stresses not their lostness or apartness but how love and acceptance helped the children to grow, becoming a class and then a community. So I feel that A Circle of Children was a superior title. Amazing. I wouldn't have the patience that Mary MacCracken did. The only thing I disliked was the title change. The Lost Children seems so...generic. And the book stresses not their lostness or apartness but how love and acceptance helped the children to grow, becoming a class and then a community. So I feel that A Circle of Children was a superior title.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hillingdon Libraries

    Find this book at Hillingdon Libraries Find this book at Hillingdon Libraries

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Luís

    Um livro muito interessante para quem lida com crianças, sobretudo no ensino, mas não só. A forma como a autora relata as suas experiências é cativante e pessoal e leva-nos a questionar uma série de coisas e até mesmo como estas crianças são encaradas hoje em dia. Uma leitura que recomendo.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adelaide Silva

    Um livro em jeito autobiográfico, sobre a experiência da autora com crianças autistas e problemáticas. Um livro que deveria ser lido por toda a gente, principalmente por pessoas que se dedicam à educação de crianças

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julia Katic

    Mary MacCracken has such a gift for helping children. Her approach and attitude is really very inspiring.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Couldn't put it down, drew me in from the start. Fantastically truthful, real life, didn't want it to end. Ready for more from this lady. Couldn't put it down, drew me in from the start. Fantastically truthful, real life, didn't want it to end. Ready for more from this lady.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura Kenny

    I'm so glad my mum recommended this book to me! It is so inspiring and shows that with a little patience and time changes can be made. I read this book over a couple of days and loved it I'm so glad my mum recommended this book to me! It is so inspiring and shows that with a little patience and time changes can be made. I read this book over a couple of days and loved it

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alayne

    EXCELLENT :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alanalee Kellar

    `I think this was definitely a good book because I like books about kids and disorders. This book includes both of those. It's about kids who are emotionally disturbed. I would suggest this book to anyone who works/worked with emotionally disturbed children because if you have actually worked with kids like this, you can really connect to it. My little brother has always had a speech issue and I have always been by him to help. Now he is seven and can talk better but he still has trouble with so `I think this was definitely a good book because I like books about kids and disorders. This book includes both of those. It's about kids who are emotionally disturbed. I would suggest this book to anyone who works/worked with emotionally disturbed children because if you have actually worked with kids like this, you can really connect to it. My little brother has always had a speech issue and I have always been by him to help. Now he is seven and can talk better but he still has trouble with some words and how to pronounce them correctly. My favorite parts in the book is whenever the two main characters, Dan and Mary, would combine there classes and do things together so their children could get to know each other better. At the beginning, the pace of the novel was kinda slow and it started to get boring but once Mary becomes a full time teacher after the first few chapters, it goes at a medium pace. Not to much is happening at once but there is constantly new twists which kept the book interesting.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    A thought-provoking story. This book gives you a glimpse into the life of a teacher, particularly one that deals with "emotionally disturbed" children. It shows you the hardships they encounter, but also the joy the job brings and the sense of accomplishment for when they have helped a child develop, even by the smallest amount. Highly recommend to teachers, parents, or anyone who wants to go into a job with children. Even if you don't fit into those categories, it's still a wonderful, eye-openin A thought-provoking story. This book gives you a glimpse into the life of a teacher, particularly one that deals with "emotionally disturbed" children. It shows you the hardships they encounter, but also the joy the job brings and the sense of accomplishment for when they have helped a child develop, even by the smallest amount. Highly recommend to teachers, parents, or anyone who wants to go into a job with children. Even if you don't fit into those categories, it's still a wonderful, eye-opening story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    This is a very inspirational story of a woman who finds that she has a gift of being able to connect with children who had social and personal problems. She is able to join a school for emotionally disturbed children as a volunteer. She finds herself strongly connected to the children and to the teachers. She works with the children every day and soon discovered she has found her calling.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Austin

    I found it quite slow to start but soon got into this book and her way of writing. Very interesting, must now buy her other books!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    First book of hers I enjoyed this, though hadn't realised it was a little dated. Still a good read and I may try another by this author. First book of hers I enjoyed this, though hadn't realised it was a little dated. Still a good read and I may try another by this author.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Teodora Lipciuc

    Deeply touching and eye-opening.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Jaffe

    One of my favorite books. Mary MacCracken gives such a brave, vulnerable portrayal of learning to become a teacher of emotionally disturbed children.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melody Owens

  26. 4 out of 5

    En

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Snowden

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Coleman

  30. 5 out of 5

    Devon Southwell

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