Book info

Beautiful Child (2003)

Beautiful Child (2003)
Rating
4.19 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
0060508876 (ISBN13: 9780060508876)
languge
English
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publisher
avon
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Beautiful Child (2003)
Beautiful Child (2003)

About book: Mendidik Anak dengan Cinta(sumber: Surabaya Post, Minggu 15 Januari 2005)Judul buku : Venus: Duka Lara Si Anak CantikPenulis : Torey HaydenPenerbit : Qanita, BandungTerbit : Pertama, Juni 2004Tebal buku : 612 halamanTAK pernah terbayangkan sebelumnya kalau pengalaman serta perjuangan yang penuh dengan duka lara selama mendidik anak-anak berpendidikan khusus sejak 1979, pada akhirnya membawa Torey Hayden, pakar psikologi pendidikan yang lahir di Montana, Amerika Serikat, terdorong untuk menerbitkan menjadi sebuah cerita. Alih-alih, ia berharap mendapatkan sambutan luas atau bukunya laris di pasaran. Sebab, dia semula hanya menuliskan dalam "catatan harian" tentang kasus-kasus anak-anak didiknya di dalam buku mengajar dengan sedikit analisa ringan dan bagaimana cara untuk menyelesaikannya dengan baik.Tapi, setelah ia menerbitkan buku pertamanya yang berjudul One Child 1980 (Sheila: Luka Hati Seorang Gadis Kecil) dan menjadi best seller serta diterjemahkan ke dalam berbagai bahasa, ia tidak hanya mantap untuk menjadi penulis, lebih dari itu, ia malah menyadari bahwa catatan-catatan hariannya memang layak diterbitkan. Tak pelak lagi buku selanjutnya bermunculan dengan kisah seputar anak yang mengalami gangguan mental. Di antaranya; Murpys's Boy (Kevin: Belenggu Masa Lalu), Just Another Kid (Murid istimewa: Jerit Liris Seorang Sahabat), Ghost Girl (Jadie: Tangis Tanpa Suara), Tiger's Child (Sheila: Kenangan yang Hilang).Semua karya Torey Hayden itu telah diterbitkan oleh penerbit Qanita. Karena mendapat respon yang baik dari pembaca di Indonesia, kini penerbit Qanita menerbitkan lagi karya Torey, Beautiful Child (dengan judul Venus: Duka Lara si Anak Cantik). Sebenarnya kisah dalam karya ini tidak beda jauh dengan karya Torey, Ghost Girl (Jadie: Tangis Tanpa Suara). Jika dalam Ghost Girl, Jadie (tokoh utama) mengalami electife mutism dikarenakan siksaan dan "penyimpangan seksual" sampai mengalami penderitaan dengan tubuh yang hampir membungkuk dan enggan berbicara, dalam Beautiful Child, Venus (tokoh utama) juga mengalami electif mutism karena penyiksaan sampai mengalami hipotermia, hingga enggan berbicara.Meski Torey Hayden tak bisa memastikan apa sebenarnya yang terjadi, setidaknya Venus terlihat sungguh katatonik. Tak cuma seperti seorang anak tunarungu, melainkan seperti menderita kerusakan otak atau kelainan mental. Ia seperti sebatang tanaman, yang hidup dan tumbuh tetapi tidak memberikan respon apa pun pada orang lain dan lingkungan sekitar. Venus setiap harinya hanya berdiam diri di temboknya sebelum masuk kelas dan saat istirahat. Ia baru masuk setelah diantar Wanda, kakak perempuannya (yang di kemudian hari diketahui ternyata ibu kandung Venus akibat dari pemerkosaan yang dilakukan Danny --ayah tiri Wanda).Torey yang sudah lama menaruh minat pada electife mutism, tentu tak mau menyerah jika usahanya memang belum mengalami kebuntuan. Tak pelak lagi, meski teman-teman dan sejumlah guru (termasuk Bob, Kepala Sekolah pendidikan Khususnya) sudah memperingatkan pada Torey untuk tak melanjutkan niat untuk membuat Venus bisa bersuara. Itu karena keluarga besar Venus memang sungguh berantakan dan kerap kali terlibat kasus kriminal. Tetapi, Torey tak kenal lelah meski harus memulai sedari awal lagi, tatkala Venus yang sudah mulai akrab dengan Torey ternyata kerap kali bolos. Padahal, venus sebenarnya bisa bersuara.Itu pernah terjadi ketika Venus, tak lagi mau masuk kelas saat jam istirahat sudah usai dan ia berdiam diri di tembok kesayangannya. Torey lalu mendekati Venus dan meraih tangannya, mendekap erat dengan tidak memberikan kesempatan bagi Venus untuk meloloskan diri. Tapi, betapa terkejutnya Torey ketika ia mendengar anak kumal yang oleh Wanda selalu dipanggil anak cantik meski wajahnya buruk apalagi sering pakai pakaian yang terkesan besar dan tak bersih, dengan terengah-engah bersuara, "Lepaskan aku!"Di saat lain, adalah saat Torey membacakan Venus kisah komik She-Ra, Sang Dewi Kekuatan yang dengan "pedang ajaib" bisa menumpas bajak laut. Anak itu, tidak hanya berminat untuk mendengarkan dengan serius, tapi juga mulai menunjukkan minat untuk bersuara dan mau memegang pedang. Sungguh aneh bagi Torey, tetapi rentang waktu yang membuat Venus kerap bolos selalu menjadi kendala dan Torey seperti kehilangan moment untuk berkomunikasi lagi hingga anak itu dikabarkan dirawat di rumah sakit akibat menderita hipotermia dan kerusakan jaringan akibat pembekuan.Sejak awal, Torey sebenarnya sudah menduga kalau di dalam keluarga Venus ada sesuatu yang tak beres berkaitan dengan perlakuan sewenang-wenang dari Danny. Selain itu, Teri (ibu Wanda) juga lebih dari tiga kali menikah dan terakhir dengan Danny. Tampaknya, Danny telah menyekap venus di kamar mandi seharian selama Venus tidak sekolah. Itu baru diketahui setelah Venus didiagnosis dan ditemukan memar-memar pada tubuhnya dan terdapat dua puluh retakan.Danny lalu dihukum dan Venus diambil anak keluarga lain sebagai anak angkat. Lalu, ia masuk sekolah lagi dan berkat didikan dari Torey yang penuh cinta, Venus akhirnya bisa sedikit merespon terhadap orang lain dan tak lagi menunjukkan keganasan tatkala anak lain mendekatinya. Malah saat usai tahun ajaran, Venus sudah bisa menuliskan di lembar secarik kertas yang berbunyi, "Aku bahagia." Tentunya, hal itu membuat Torey bangga karena ia berhasil.Tak bisa dipungkiri, membaca buku karya Torey ini pembaca pasti akan merasa tersentuh dengan kisah nyata yang dirangkai guru anak berpendidikan khusus ini sebab cukup mengaduk-aduk emosi dan empati siapapun. Hampir sama dengan karya Torey yang lain, buku ini setidaknya merupakan sumbangan besar yang tidak bisa dinafikan karena ia telah mendidik anak catat dengan cinta, dan dengan itu --dapat dikata-- Torey telah mengubah dunia.Hanya sayangnya, Torey kerap lupa dalam hal dialog yang diungkapkan anak-anak didiknya. Sebab, dialog yang dirangkai kerap "melebihi kemampuan" anak yang bersangkutan. Apalagi, anak didik Torey, tak dipungkiri, semuanya mengalami gangguan mental. Meski begitu, itu hanya sebuah "kesalahan kecil" yang tetap tidak mengganggu pembaca dalam mengikuti alur cerita dan upaya serius Torey dalam mencari solusi dalam memecahkan masalah yang dialami anak didiknya, termasuk masalah yang ditimpa Venus dalam kasus ini. ****) Nur Mursidi, cerpenis kelahiran Lasem, Rembang, Jawa Tengah.

Beautiful Child by Torey Hayden was an amazing memoir. The setting for the majority of the book was a classroom, as the narrator (Torey Hayden) is a special education teacher. There were five students in her classroom: an aggressive, loud nine-year-old named Billy, an eight year old named Jesse dealing with Tourette's Syndrome, six year old twins who had suffered FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) and had various behavioral problems, and then there was seven-year-old Venus Fox. Venus was the hardest one to understand. She never said a word during class and rarely looked up or even moved without being forced to. Throughout the book, the main character is trying to get Venus to respond and attempting to discover the reason behind the child's silence.The entire story is told using the author's point of view (since it is a memoir). However, the character who the reader really focuses on is Venus. At first, Venus's character frustrated me; I really didn't understand how she could be so unresponsive to the point where she didn't even move without being forced to. It confused me when it was revealed that she was not actually calm on the inside and whenever someone touched her, she went crazy and started beating them up. There didn't seem like there was really could be a reason for her to act so uncooperative. However, my frustration turned to sympathy as more was gradually uncovered about Venus's background. I realized that there really was a lot more going on in her life that no one but Venus was aware of. By the end of the book, her character had developed a lot more and she had become a girl who learned to express herself and respond. I had become a big fan of Venus as the book developed. I found myself cheering her on and smiling whenever she managed to make a gesture.I would recommend this book to any young adult/adult readers. I don't think that it would be as suitable of a book for younger kids because there are some concepts in the book that are very psychological and violent. Younger children would not handle this book as well as teenagers and adults. I would recommend this book because it really uncovered what life was like for kids with problems. Not only did it have the touching story of Venus Fox who refused to talk, but it also showed what kids like Billy, Jesse, Shane and Zane have to go through as they deal with their behavioral issues. I found it amazing and inspiring to follow what life was like in that classroom as the children advanced socially and academically. The fact that this entire book was true really emphasized how touching the story was. I would definitely recommend it to anyone 12 and up.
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Reviews
Faizan
.2 stars.Not that good.The author was like i did that for special children. Now i am doing it. before i do it. and and RANTING The tone of the teacher made the story boring.My first book of this author and i am not going to read more of her.I do not like the characters.Only Billy is one with some humor and his character is well written. Jesse: Dunno what was his problem. Or Jane's or Shane's.And the new girl. She was funny.I was thinking that there would be more about children and their problems and how they work in atmosphere but all is there is a Teacher showing that how grate is she, i think she is only doing her job. Nothing Else.Teacher Ranting. Telling on every second p[age that she is doing something that nobody want to do. story Nothing. I knew from the first page that it is a case of Abuse.And all that.A teacher with 5 special students and all. One is silent and sometime get violent.The teacher's great favor to humanity. And now she is telling everyone this. characters on the name of character development, there is nothing. Yes , but author wrapped the story in last 5 pages by saying that One of his student become lawyer. And or engineer in their adult life. Yeah!!! but what was the purpose of telling about the death of a character who is not even that important. Or if important, i did not find her of any importance, at least .Book go so boring and lazy at lots of places. I only know how i finished it.
Karen Douglas
Well, I'm glad that I have finished this! A relatively quick read, but I found it a bit depressing. I have never read anything like it before, so was interested to read about schooling for children with serious learning difficulties. However, it all became rather frustrating with limited resources, funds and the added red tape that restricts everything in life these days!On the positive side I did love each of the children. I really felt as though their characters shone through all the negative things that occurred in the classroom. Torey cleverly adapted her teaching methods to get the most out of each child.The relationship between Torey and her assistant Julie was an interesting one - as in many work situations, we can not always get on with those we work with, but in close quarters such as these there has to be respect for each others views. I got the impression that Torey really did believe her way was the right way and that there was no room for any alternative.As always, I shall look forward to discussing this at length at bookclub!
Margaret
I couldn't put this book down. The compassion Torey gives the children in her care is inspiring. In this book Venus is nearly catatonic. Yet Torey looked deeply at this child and knew she needed her desperately. I needed to know that Venus was going to be ok. There were other kids in her class that demanded attention too. Most with severe anger issues and learning deficits as well. Somehow she manages them all. Not without struggle but always from her heart. Also I love that on her website she has a "where are they now section" I was glad to find out how the kids turned out.
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