One Child Characters

One Child Character List

Torey Hayden

The teacher who works with students with special needs. She is characterized throughout the novel as very empathetic, patient, and caring. She never gets angry in the novel, even though her students are uncontrollably naughty and aggressive. Slowly, this teacher turns out to be the reason for Sheila’s success in life.


This character is a disowned girl, who resides with her father, as her mother and relatives abandoned her previously. She starts off as a deeply disturbed, mentally retarded child in the beginning of the novel, but as the novel progresses, Sheila returns back to her old self with the help of her teacher Torey. It is revealed later in the novel that despite her struggles, Sheila is an incredibly intelligent child with knowledge extending way beyond her education level. In the end, instead of going to the hospital, Sheila ends up going to regular school.


A student in Torey’s class. This boy suffers from seizures and aggressive behavior, as he is prone to a neurological condition. Peter is black and wears an Afro.


This 8-year-old girl has dark hair, and she is extremely shy. She is suicidal, and is another one of Torey’s student as well.


A 6-year-old autistic blonde boy. He is big for his age, and he is another one of Torey’s students.


A 7-year-old boy who is extremely obese, at a weight 94 pounds. He is another one of Torey’s students, as he is mentally retarded.


A 7-year-old girl who remains selectively mute due to her sexual abuse by her father. She characterized as angry, and she is Torey’s student as well.

Susannah Joy

Even though she is described as beautiful and doll-like, she is schizophrenic.


This nine-year-old boy suffers from multiple extreme phobias, including phobias of vacuums, dust, water, darkness. He suffers from an obsessive chronic disorder.


A blind Mexican-American boy, who is too aggressive for regular blind classes.

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