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One for the Murphys Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (May 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399256156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256158
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This is a beautiful book, filled with hope. You'll cry and laugh along with Carley as she learns to lower her defenses enough to love--and, more surprisingly, be loved. It's a story you'll long remember."

~~Patricia Reilly Giff, Newbery Honor-winning author of Pictures of Hollis Woods and Lily's Crossing


 "An astonishing debut! Lynda Mullaly Hunt's direct style of writing has readers rooting for Carley Connors and all of the Murphys from start to satisfying finish."

~~Leslie Connor, ALA Schneider Family Award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch.

* "Carley is a modern-day Gilly Hopkins, bright and strong, angry and deeply hurt. . . . By the end of this poignant debut, readers will be applauding Carley's strength. . . . A worthy addition to the foster-family shelf."
(Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"Hunt's heart-wrenching debut believably captures Carley's painful one-step-forward, two-steps-back process, particularly as she acts out in order to protect dealing with her emotions. . . . Carley promises Mrs. Murphy that she'll 'have a happy life someday,' and readers will be cheering her on."

"Carley's struggles with anger, regret, and self-worth both balance and deepen this coming-of-age tale. . . . Speaks to the universal experience of growing up but will especially resonate with readers who have questioned the hands they have been dealt and wonder how to move forward nonetheless. . . . Vacillates between uplifting and heartbreaking as Carley learns to love, be loved, and let go."
(The Horn Book)

"Undeniably affecting. Hunt's writing is strong and her characters well-developed and believable . . . readers will . . . be drawn into this story of a girl's struggle against the ingrained belief that she is undeserving of kindness and generosity."
(Publishers Weekly)

"This debut novel holds its own. . . . Affectingly told. Believing that she can, someday, have a loving family of her own . . . makes a different kind of happy ending. Middle grade and teen readers will find this an engaging story."
(Voice of Youth Advocates)

About the Author

Lynda Mullaly Hunt has the best job in the world! She is also a former teacher and Scenario Writing coach. She is active in SCBWI-NE, where she is the Director of the annual Whispering Pines Writers' Retreat in Rhode Island. Besides reading and writing, Lynda enjoys juggling and watercolor painting--but not at the same time. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, impetuous beagle, and beagle-loathing cat. She is now working on her next middle-grade novel.

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Customer Reviews

I cried throughout the entire ending of the book.
Carley is such a real, believable character, and I felt immediately sucked into her story.
Tara D.
This book made me cry, laugh, and think about everything I have.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A&D on May 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The foster children and foster families make a good drama. This book is no exception.
This is a touching story of a Las Vegas -born girl named Carley Conners. She is twelve years old. She is placed in the state's foster care system. It is hard to fit if you are a child and placed to a new home.
She finds herself in a foster home full of Murphys. The Murphys are nice. Carley isn't used to accept love and kindness. As the story unfolds, you will understand how a foster child like Carly can think and how she can feel that she does not deserve happiness and a place like Murphy's. What happens when Carly's mom wants her back? She will have to give up her new home and her new best friend.... The author has written an interesting internal monologue of a teenager and her thoughts going through the foster care system and learning what the life could be in a different family than her own with her mother.
A truly inspirational story!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paige Bradish on July 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Received from DAC ARC Tours. One For The Murphy's was such a amazing story. I haven't read many books about Foster Care but I hope to read some more very soon because I loved reading Carley's story it was so inspirational! This book is about a 12 year old girl who finds herself in foster care after an incident with her mother and step father. At first she doesn't want to let herself like the family because she's scared but throughout the story she learns to love the caring family that took her in.

Carley the main character is very strong and courageous. She can't really remember everything that happened to her for her to end up with a whole new family but she does know that she has her mother and step father to blame for it. Carley has a tough time getting used to having someone to take care of her and having people be nice to her. Which is horrible for a little girl to not know what if feels like to have people care for her.

The Murphys are a great family and I wish every foster care family was like that. Most of the time when books or movies about foster care came out I never wanted to pick them up because usually when you see or hear things about foster care the parents are always crappy and I just don't understand how some people can qualify to be a foster parent when they're so horrible. The kids that are in foster care have already had a tough life that's why they're there they don't need crappy parents to make it worse. (Sorry about that I go off easily)

I have to say that my favorite characters had to be the three boys. We didn't get much of Adam but I really liked Daniel & Michael Eric. Now some might think why Daniel he was such a jerk! But I understood why Daniel was they way he was towards Carley.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KrazyBookLady on July 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Carley has just been released from the hospital and has to go stay with a foster family because her mother is still there. At first, we are not sure of the circumstances that put Carley and her mother in the hospital. However, it is obvious that Carley has not had the easiest childhood. For most of it, she had been raised by a single mom who isn't the most stable, caring person. Carley is expecting a foster family that is going to mistreat her, and she is caught by surprise when she meets the Murphys. Okay, so maybe not all of the Murphys are so excited that she is there at first. Carley is closed off emotionally and has a hard time trusting others, but she soon knows what it is like to be a part of a family who actually cares about each other. Just when Carley starts to feel as if she belongs, she learns that her mother is being released from the hospital and wants her back.

I loved One for the Murphys. Yes, it is sad. I cried throughout the entire ending of the book. However, it is so much more than just a sad story. It is a touching story of belonging, acceptance, love, hope, and what really defines a "family." Lynda Mullaly Hunt has done an outstanding job of portraying emotions and easily pulls you in. Carley was the perfect character. Even if she is a rude kid with a hard outer shell, she has a reason to be that way. You can easily understand her, relate to her, and feel for her. This kind of story could have easily felt like an "after school special" kind of thing, but it didn't. This isn't a fast-paced book either, but it doesn't matter because you are still engaged to the end. This is an amazing debut, and I look forward to reading future novels from Lynda. While it is geared toward middle grade/young adult, I think anyone from about 12 and up would enjoy One for the Murphys.

(A copy was provided by the publisher for review.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) on June 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
4.5 stars

Carly Connors is a beaten down, jaded, kind of bitter, but truly sweet girl. She's had a rough life, gone through more than any child should, and starts off the story by heading to a foster home. These are all things that many middle grade readers cannot relate to, but then we see the kind Carly who has a knack for the sarcastic and who loves making the two little boys she moves in with happy.

Throughout Carly's time with the Murphy's, we see every side there is to her: She's young and vulnerable, so we see her cry; she's tough and has had to grow up far too fast, so she's smart and independent; she could easily be closed off because how she's been treated in the past, but slowly, she opens up. Her relationship with Mrs. Murphy is the backbone of the book and incredibly touching. Carly grows to love this mother figure that she never really had before.

Carly's relationship with her schoolmate, Toni, has all kinds of wonderful parallels to her own life and teaches her more than one lesson, but it never comes off as preachy. There was not one moment in the book that I could imagine a middle grade reader becoming frustrated with. The pace and the tone of the book remain constant throughout and the entire story comes off as realistic. Toni's obsession with Wicked is also a nice touch.

Any Bostonian will appreciate the little nods to the Red Sox. I know I enjoyed it, along with Mr. Murphy's true Sox fan attitude toward the Yankees. His reaction to Toni's taunting help to lighten the mood. Because with such a deep and emotional subject matter, One For the Murphys does have its tearjerker moments. It would be wise to have a box of tissues handy, especially towards the end.
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