The Girl in the Window by Lane DeGregory
This piece of longform journalism is from a prolific news reporter working for The Tampa Bay Times, Lane DeGregory. It was published in 2008 and tells the story of Dani, a feral child who finally gets rescued from her "mother" when she was six years old where her living situation was horrific. It also details the changes Dani is able to make as she gets adopted by a kind family.
Article: 10 of 10
Longform journalism doesn't really get much better than this. The opening few paragraphs completely capture the reader and the rest is just as entrancing. The story is fascinating enough that a person would be naturally interested (and heartbroken), but DeGregory adds so much with her vivid writing that it makes the article impossible to stop reading.
Teachability: 10 of 10
I've used this article in my classes for five years and it has always been great. The student interest aspect is off the charts for them as many of them say that it reminds them of "A Child Called It" by Dave Pelzer . From using this article I have received fantastic writing, research, discussion, questions, and effort from students. I work with low income kids and maybe that has something to do with the incredibly high interest, but I think it might be universal. The Tampa Bay Times website also has some very nice interactive things to go with the article, including the audio of DeGregory reading her piece.