Once There Was a Child | Critical Book Review

In Darlene Pscheidell Kwarta’s memoir, Once There Was a Child, the author, a retired special education teacher, offers a heartfelt journey through the highs and lows of tending to young children with disabilities.

Kwarta’s narrative unfolds with a glimpse into her childhood as a loner, finding purpose in caring for others, particularly her deaf neighbor. This sets the stage for her eventual career as a special education teacher, navigating the challenges of working with students who are often considered outcasts in society.

A Heartfelt Connection with Special Kids

The memoir resonates with the potential and goodness Kwarta sees in each child she teaches. The deep connection she shares with her students is palpable in the prose. However, as the weight of the job intensifies, especially after the death of a former student, Kwarta’s emotional struggles come to the forefront.

Walking in Kwarta’s Shoes

Once There Was a Child invites readers to step into Kwarta’s shoes and witness a world that many find challenging. The memoir sheds light on the lives of disabled children, emphasizing their dreams, fears, joys, and aspirations. Notable characters like Jacob and Kat offer glimpses into the unique qualities of these deserving children.

Challenges in the Classroom

The book candidly addresses the challenges of caring for individuals with special needs within a classroom setting. Memorable scenes depict emotional moments during school drills and unexpected disasters during outdoor trips, showcasing the complexities that special education teachers face.

Commitment, Setbacks, and Resilience

Despite setbacks, Kwarta’s unwavering commitment to her students is evident. The memoir emphasizes her dedication to creating opportunities for these children to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. The broader theme underscores the importance of empathy and resilience in providing a safe environment for these young minds to thrive.

Repetition Hindering Engagement

While the book offers valuable insights, its tendency to repeat scenes and paragraphs with similar purposes becomes a hindrance to full engagement. At times, the narrative feels stagnant, impacting the overall flow of the story.

Conclusion: An Enlightening Exploration

Once There Was A Child remains an enlightening book that provides valuable insights into the lives of disabled children and the educators who support them. Despite some repetitive elements, Kwarta’s memoir stands as a testament to the significance of empathy and resilience in fostering a nurturing environment for these remarkable young individuals.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressNonfiction / Memoir74 pages9781639885404

In Darlene Pscheidell Kwarta’s memoir, Once There Was a Child, the author, a retired special education teacher, offers a heartfelt journey through the highs and lows of tending to young children with disabilities. Kwarta’s narrative unfolds with a glimpse into her childhood as a loner, finding purpose in caring for others, particularly her deaf neighbor.…